Information Technology Major
Today's technological advancements require technology professionals who can help companies administer their system networks and databases. More importantly, these companies need professionals to keep businesses running smoothly and provide an advantage in today's competitive business climate. IT professionals work as systems administrators, network administrators, Web developers, network engineers, database administrators, and in telecommunications.
Read about the recent Twenty-Eighth Annual Invitational High School Computer Programming Contest for local high school students.
Visit the Institute for Computing for information on other computer programs available at the University.
- Our students are prepared to be the IT professionals who are able to analyze a company’s system and network needs and make recommendations to senior management.
- The Department of Computer Science and Information Technology has assembled an Industry Advisory Board to help keep us apprised of trends in the industry, from changes in technology to forecasting course offerings, to what companies are looking for in their new hires.
Women in Computing—Exciting Opportunities
Computing is one of the most equitable fields for salaries among men and women. These links provide more information about careers for women in computer science:
- The National Center for Women in Computing
- US News and World Report, which says women are in great demand for IT jobs
- the DotDiva program and its efforts to attract women to computing careers
- the current shortage of women in computing in this recent WGBH article
- Heidi Ellis, chair and associate professor of computer science and information technology, and two students represented the University at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in 2012.
Information Technology Curriculum
Our Information Technology major prepares you to become a technology professional who can:
- administer computer systems
- manage computer networks
- design and develop Web pages
- troubleshoot network security problems
- oversee the physical connectivity of Internet or Intranet connections
For details about courses and requirements, please consult the Catalogue:
You'll be taught in small classes by experienced professors (not graduate students) who take a personal interest in your progress. Their prime focus is teaching and mentoring you, and our students find their teachers easy to approach and available for one-to-one consultation. Information Technology faculty have a combination of excellent academic credentials and extensive backgrounds in the computer-related industry. Information Technology faculty have a combination of excellent academic credentials and extensive backgrounds in computer-related industries.
The rapid advancement of technology makes ongoing professional development critical for our faculty. Our faculty are involved in a program called Professor’s Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE), a Red Hat-sponsored cultural immersion in the tools and practices of open source communities that's designed for professors looking for ways to bring their students into active participation in those communities.
Internships, Research, and Special Opportunities
The best way to get acquainted with computer technology is by actually working with it. You’ll have internship opportunities to get in touch with what’s going on in the workplace. Some have interned at a police department doing database applications and at a plastics company working on systems administration and network administration with machines that check bar coding processes. Our students have interned in the IT departments of regional companies and some have been hired by those companies after graduation. At Pratt and Whitney, an IT intern worked on a document processing application. Another student performed an evaluation of compliance with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library for Cambridge Interactive Development Corp. IT interns have provided IT support for public radio. Students drafted policy on network security for the Springfield Police Department. Our students have also served as interns in Western New England's Office of Information Technology (OIT), where they have designed computer labs.
Information Technology students are active in:
• Alpha Lambda Delta (First-year honor society)
• Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
• Community Services (helping area schools)
• Honors Program
• Study Abroad Program
Many of our students also participate in varsity and intramural sports, special interest groups, and student government.
Inside Information Technology
Fields: System administration, web design and development, network administration, and network security
Outlook: In the book, 100 Fastest-Growing Careers, the number two spot was computer network systems, and database administrators.
Overall employment of computer network systems, and database administrators is projected to increase by 30 percent through 2018—much faster than the average for all occupations, adding 286,600 new jobs over the 2008-2018 decade. Annual job openings are predicted to be 46,080, with most openings in urban areas.The median annual earnings is $67,710 for network and computer systems administrators, and $71,550 for database administrators. (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Opportunities: A Forbes' article about the 10 top jobs for women for 2012 says, “Three of the top 10 highest-paying jobs for women were in technology fields."