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Computer Information Systems

Dockery 400-L
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4631
Email: muin@ucmo.edu





Master of Science in Information Technology FAQ

Questions relating to the MSIT program at UCM.

1: What exactly is the Information Technology discipline?
2: What makes the Harmon College of Business MSIT degree from UCM so special?
3: What are the main features of Information Technology Curriculum at UCM?
4: How are your resources to support MSIT curriculum?
5: Do you have on-the-job-training program and are those paid?
6: My Undergraduate degree is in Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Computer Science. Should I consider MS in IT?
7: My background is neither in Engineering or Computer Science. Should I still consider MS in IT?
8: Can I do specialization in the MSIT program?
9: Would MSIT curriculum prepare me for the global market?
10: How is the job placement rate for MSIT graduates from UCM?
11: What kinds of jobs are available for the MSIT graduates?



General questions relating to Computer Science and Information Technology.

1: What are the different ´computing´ fields other than Computer Science?
2: Are there differences in emphasis given in Computer Science and Information Technology fields?
3: What are the main differences between Computer Science and Information Technology?



Questions relating to MSIT program at UCM.

1: What exactly is the Information Technology discipline?
A: According to CC2005, In the broadest sense, the term information technology is often used to refer to all of computing degree programs that prepare students to meet the computer technology needs of business, government, healthcare, schools, and other kinds of organizations. In short, it is the applied side of computing. In Information Technology all areas and disciplines covered are application oriented. Our focus is on application rather than on theory. Emphasis is placed on solving enterprise wide business problems that harness the core applied computer science / computer engineering. Information Technology encompasses programming, analysis and design of systems, database development and administration, network design and administration, information and network security, business analysis, etc. It is application of computer technology to achieve the enterprise business goals of an organization.

2: What makes the Harmon College of Business MSIT degree from UCM so special?
A: It´s national and international recognition. The MSIT degree program at UCM is nationally and internationally recognized as an outstanding program with distinctions. It is the only internationally accredited program in computing at UCM. All undergraduate and graduate programs in the Harmon College of Business are accredited by AACSB International (only 6% of US universities have such distinction). This outstanding program in IT was the only such program approved by the state of Missouri as a part of the university´s ´state wide mission´ since 1997.

3: What are the main features of Information Technology Curriculum at UCM?
A: Information Technology (MSIT) curriculum is based on hands-on application, implementation, and management. Our curriculum's emphasis is to bring the latest application development and industry best practices to the classroom. The curriculum is geared towards making you an effective practitioner in the IT industry. You may take courses in Software Development based on technologies such as Java /VB.net/ C#/Mobile computing Android and iPhone - iOS and/or Web Development based on technologies such as HTML, XML, ASP.Net, Flash, and Expressions Blend to build systems in a multi-platform environment with GUI/Web front end and Database (Oracle/SQL) back end. The technology component of the courses are adapted to the current requirements of the IT industry. In addition, you may also take courses in networking/security, advanced OO design and IT architecture. This is complemented with courses such as Project Management and Legal Issues in IT that can help you become a leader in IT. The focus is on implementation, practice and leadership. In traditional Computer Engineering / Computer Science curriculum, emphasis is given on theory and mathematical formulations that emphasize the theoretical foundations of computing.

4: How are your resources to support MSIT curriculum?
A: Second to none. Our technology resources are second to none in the region. Our specialized labs include Software Engineering lab, Network Development and Security lab and Web development laboratory. Our student lab resources now exceed $5 million. All these labs are available to students 24 hours/day and 7 days/week. Our faculty pool of 7 professors, with Ph.D. from the best US universities along with significant research and consulting experience, makes us a leader in the nation. We have academic alliances with Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Cisco and Apple Corp.

5: Do you have on-the-job-training program and are those paid?
A: Yes and Yes. We call this Internship program. As an Intern you work with a company in their IT areas for four months to twelve months. While you are working there you get a monthly salary from the company and also earn MSIT course credit towards your completion of degree. Typical salary ranges from $15 to $30 an hour. During 2010-11 academic year, twenty one (21) internship positions were taken. In addition to on-the-job training, internship also gives you an opportunity to network with other IT professionals in the company. Many of these companies make job offer after completing your MSIT degree. Internship opportunities are available in companies like Hallmark Cards, Kansas City Power & Light, Boeing Company, Edward Jones, Sprint, IBM, Microsoft Corporation, CERNER, State Farm Insurance, etc.

6. My Undergraduate degree is in Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering / Computer Science. Should I consider MS in IT?
A. Yes. Many of our students came with bachelors/masters degree in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, etc. MS in IT curriculum complements your undergraduate background and makes you more marketable in the USA/ global businesses. Our MSIT curriculum will build on your undergraduate theoretical computing knowledge. The entire curriculum is focused on building real life applications to solve real world problems in small to multinational business domain. Experience in building real life applications, working knowledge of best practices in business, ability to understand enterprise wide impact including security and constant practice of soft skills such as ´business communications´ allowed our graduates to move rapidly into management positions. In fact, a number of our MSIT students have had a BE/B.Tech degree with emphasis in theory and have benefited from the state-of-the-art technical skills and soft skills imparted in the program.

7. My background is neither in Engineering or Computer Science. Should I still consider MS in IT?
A. Yes. Many of our students come from non-technical background. If you are motivated to work hard and take the appropriate pre-requisite courses, you will be successful in MSIT. If you have certain abilities to analyze problems, understand business issues, willing to learn and practice technical skills, you will be a great candidate for this degree. We have had students with degrees in Accounting, Biology, Music, Marketing, Education, just to mention a few that were very successful in the program.

8. Can I do specialization in the MSIT program?
A. Yes. We offer 3 tracks in the MSIT program, (1) Software Engineering track for people who want a career path in design and development of distributed systems ranging from mission critical backend systems to the ones rendered on mobile devices. This track provides the skills for developing systems in all environments including Android and iOS; (2) Internet Technology track for people that are more interested in enterprise wide network design, development and administration, network and information security, server side and client side computing and development; and (3) Geographic Information Systems track is an emerging field that is more and more used in remote sensing, resource planning and management, threat analysis, industrial customer planning, etc.

9: Would MSIT curriculum prepare me for the global market?
A: Yes. In current technology areas our MSIT program will keep you at the top of the technology knowledge base through hands-on practices, implementation and learning management best practices in industries. These are the key words: knowledgeable in best practices in IT, hands-on experience, understand business. You are going to study, learn and practice state-of-the-art applied technology. You will learn through hands-on practice and implementation as it is done in global companies such as Boeing, Wal-Mart, IBM, Microsoft, etc.

10. How is the job placement rate for MSIT graduates from UCM?
A. In short, the best that it can be. MSIT degree graduates from UCM have the highest average salary and the highest placement rate. According to the latest data available from the UCM´s Career Services office, MSIT graduates start at an average salary of $53,000 per year and with a placement rate of 100%. That is the best placement rate among all computing disciplines at UCM. MSIT program at UCM has a long history of successful graduates that are working all over the world. Being the only nationally/ and internationally accredited program in computing at UCM, MSIT graduates enjoy competitive advantage in the job market. Our MSIT faculty work very closely with many Fortune 500 companies and help students to network with them. CIS Advisory Board members interact with MSIT students in the classroom as well as in corporate visits. In addition, a strong alumni network helps in placing national / international students with ease.

11: What kinds of jobs are available for the MSIT graduates?
A: Our curriculum prepares you for various IT jobs. Some of the specific jobs that our students work in are: Software Engineer - developing large scale enterprise applications using various platforms, Web Developer - using the latest Web technologies for building front-end and back end, Database/Data Warehousing specialist, Systems Analysts, Network Administrator, CRM integrator, Software Architect, ERP Integrators, Testing specialist, GIS specialist, IT Manager. We also have some who have become Academics by pursuing a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) at various renowned Universities.


General questions relating to Computer science and Information Technology.

1: What are the different ´computing´ fields other than Computer Science?
A. Globally and across the USA there is lot of confusions in the general public about what "computing" is and what are the different computing-related fields. In September of 2005, the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula 2005, a joint project of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association of Information Systems (AIS) and the Computer Society of IEEE produced appropriate definitions and curricular guidelines known as Computing Curricula 2005 or CC2005. According to CC2005 the computing related fields are: a. Information Technology, b. Information Systems, c. Computer Engineering d. Software Engineering e. Computer Science.

2. Are there differences in emphasis given in Computer Science and Information Technology fields?
A. Yes. The difference in emphasis comes from the key words used in the document ´Computing Curricula 2005: The Overview Report´ (a joint project of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Association of Information Systems (AIS) and the Computer Society of IEEE) to describe the two fields:
Computer Science: theoretical background, algorithmic foundations, developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, effective ways to solve computing problems, new approaches that provide better performance, etc.
Information Technology: computer technology needs of business, government, healthcare, schools, and other, grass root response to the practical, everyday needs of business and other organizations, systems must work properly, be secure, and upgraded, maintained, and replaced as appropriate, understand computer systems and their software and are committed to solving whatever computer-related problems they might have, possess the right combination of knowledge and practical, hands-on expertise to take care of both an organization´s information technology infrastructure and the people who use it.

3: What are the main differences between Computer Science and Information Technology?
A: Definitions below are taken from the document ´Computing Curricula 2005: The Overview Report´ (produced by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula 2005, a joint project of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Association for Information Systems, and the Computer Society of the IEEE, September, 2005). This is referred to as CC2005. Other documents in this series also exist and are useful for understanding the differences between the fields:

Computer Science (CC2005, page 13, 14): "Computer science spans a wide range, from its theoretical and algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, and other exciting areas. They develop effective ways to solve computing problems. For example, computer scientists develop the best possible ways to store information in databases, send data over networks, and display complex images. Their theoretical background allows them to determine the best performance possible, and their study of algorithms helps them to develop new approaches that provide better performance."

Information Technology (CC2005, pages 14, 15) "In the broadest sense, the term information technology is often used to refer to all of computing degree programs that prepare students to meet the computer technology needs of business, government, healthcare, schools, and other kinds of organizations. IT is a new and rapidly growing field that started as a grassroots response to the practical, everyday needs of business and other organizations. Today, organizations of every kind are dependent on information technology. They need to have appropriate systems in place. These systems must work properly, be secure, and upgraded, maintained, and replaced as appropriate. Employees throughout an organization require support from IT staff who understands computer systems and their software and are committed to solving whatever computer-related problems they might have. Graduates of information technology programs address these needs. Degree programs in information technology arose because degree programs in the other computing disciplines were not producing an adequate supply of graduates capable of handling these very real needs. IT programs exist to produce graduates who possess the right combination of knowledge and practical, hands-on expertise to take care of both an organization´s information technology infrastructure and the people who use it."


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