Mapping industry workforce needs to academic curricula – A workforce development effort in model-based systems engineering

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Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is rapidly gaining popularity among U.S. industries. Though industry practitioners and academic researchers have identified several advantages in transitioning to MBSE, several adoption challenges of MBSE in industries, such as insufficient tool knowledge, lack of skilled personnel, and resistance in organizations toward a shift to MBSE, are observed. Attesting to the challenges in industry adoption of MBSE, a previous research study by the authors characterized the adoption challenges as tools-based, knowledge-based, cultural, political, and cost-related, and customer understanding and acceptance of MBSE practices. This study is motivated to explore further and address the challenge of low MBSE tool knowledge and lack of skilled personnel with MBSE knowledge for industry adoption. This paper presents a two-phased research approach framed by an overarching question of the extent to which the MBSE academic curriculum is aligned with industry workforce requirements. In Phase 1 of the study, we survey industry professionals from Defense, Aerospace, Automotive, and other industry clusters to identify MBSE tools, languages, and concepts preferred by industry professionals in a candidate for hire. This is followed by Phase 2 of the survey targeted at academic institutions with Systems and MBSE programs to analyze the extent to which MBSE curricula reflect industry workforce hiring requirements. Further, we also identify the challenges reported in academic institutions in training the Workforce on MBSE. The contributions of this paper are two-fold: providing a pathway for academic institutions to align their curricula to MBSE industry workforce requirements and triggering discussion in the broader MBSE community to identify strategies for addressing MBSE adoption challenges and training future model-based systems engineers.


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Systems Engineering