UC’s School of Information Technology to Offer New Master’s Program

Curriculum prepares students to shape an increasingly complex, technology-driven global business environment

As increased demand for and interest in digital information management and security permeates businesses, UC’s School of Information Technology is proud to announce its newest degree program: the Master of Science in Information Technology.

The curriculum, which will be offered starting in fall 2015 with both online and on-campus program options, emphasizes collaborative, problem-solving, and communication skills to prepare students for a technology-driven global business environment. The new program represents the School of Information Technology’s commitment to pioneering computing education and delivering curricula that speaks to and shapes an ever-changing, complex business and technological environment.

According to L2 Research firm, data hacking crime has increased 50 percent from 2013, with 117,339 hacks occurring per day – and greater financial loss reported for companies. With a significant rise in data hacking, more nimble IT professionals with expertise in cybersecurity will be crucial for organizations and government agencies alike.

“Much like our undergraduate programs, our master’s program focuses on today’s most relevant IT demands, including cybersecurity,” said Chengcheng Li, assistant professor and graduate program director. “In our cybersecurity track, students will study key issues around the security of information assets and design an information security system with appropriate intrusion detection and reporting features, among others.”

The coursework is an apt account of the types of business and technology challenges students will face on the job. It will equip students with the opportunity to transfer hands-on skills directly and immediately to their careers, whether they remain employed while earning their degree or return to work upon graduation. The program is designed for individuals who seek to gain graduate-level knowledge, practical problem solving skills, and cutting edge IT research capacity to advance in their current roles or move into different or more specialized career paths.

The online, part-time option gives students increased flexibility, especially if they plan to earn their degree while working. When done on a full-time basis, the on-campus program is designed to be completed within one year. However, students may finish the program in multiple years if individuals enter the program from a non-computing background through bridge courses that allow current non-IT professionals to marry their expertise in healthcare, for example, with technology to become competitive candidates for health informatics – one of the fastest-growing fields in the nation.

“We are proud to be able to offer our program to a range of individuals – from those looking to enter a new industry to those furthering their earning potential or looking to specialize in a specific area of IT,” said Hazem Said, director of the School of Information Technology and associate professor. “Additionally, today’s, always-connected, technology savvy students welcome the increased use of online courses in education, and we are proud to be able to keep pace with students’ evolving needs and offer this master’s program online.”

The Master’s in Information Technology is offered as a thesis or project-based program, giving students the option to work with faculty on building real IT solutions or developing research for publications and national organizations that shape innovation.

“National staffing firms predict IT to have among the largest salary gains in 2015, as demand for expertise in mobile, cybersecurity, and big data continues to grow,” said Rebekah Michael, research associate and master’s program coordinator. “We are thrilled to be developing students for this exciting and growing field and think our graduates will be well equipped to develop fresh ideas and creative, team-oriented problem solving approaches to real IT issues.”

To learn more, visit http://cech.uc.edu/MSIT.html.