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Grad Program: Information Technology

Basic Information

Information Technology is the term for the transmission of information by computers—something everyone does these days, from teenagers chatting online to huge corporations performing major business transactions. Computers are a vital part of our personal and professional lives, and specialists in the field of Information Technology grow more important every day.

Information Technology covers the entire spectrum of computer-based information, and if you undertake study in this field, you’ll learn about it all. First of all, you’ll learn about computer hardware and software. You’ll learn how to view and send information by computer, and how to adapt, control, and improve the experiences had by computer users. You’ll also learn how to create and modify the very systems that transmit the information—and how to best distribute that information to the target audience.

Though you’ll learn theories about information and information distribution, most of your work will be hands-on—getting practical experience with the computer systems that you may someday oversee or improve. Your studies will touch on many different computer-related fields such as programming, designing, and engineering. The internet—a main source of information—is constantly growing and changing, and you’ll learn about web-based computer applications, the fundamentals of e-commerce, and the importance of web security. Ethical issues will also be part of your studies. Finally, you’ll learn how Information Technology affects business and society, and how it can and should be best utilized.

Degree Information

A M.S. in Information Technology (I.T.) or Information Technology and Management (I.T.M.) is one option for students. The program generally takes about one year and prepares students for various careers in Information Technology. A M.S. in I.T. can also lead to a Ph.D. in another computer-related field, or to a Ph.D. with significant research possibilities in the field of Information Technology itself.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • What sort of research have the faculty been involved with?
  • What about the graduate students? Do their projects interest me?
  • Will my own research ideas fit with the general "theme" of the program, if there is one?
  • What sorts of careers do graduates of the program pursue? Is the program known for graduating a lot of database administrators, for example?
  • How helpful is the program in job-placement after graduation?
  • How connected is the program to business and industry? Can I make good connections?
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