The Information Technology degree will no longer be offered to students beginning next fall. The program will be merged in with the Information Systems degree plan.
Director of the School of IT and Computing and Associate Professor John Homer, said why exactly dissolving IT into the IS program will be beneficial for incoming students.
“They will be able to take most of the technology classes they were going to take, and they will get the business classes as we see that most students are taking anyway… they are going to get the benefit of hearing from professors both from management sciences and from the school of IT and computing” Homer said. “The IT classes will still have their same focuses, we are just folding them into the business degree.”
There are currently around two dozen students enrolled as IT majors, and Homer said those students will still be able to keep their majors.
“Anybody who is currently an IT major will be able to finish in the degree plan. We will be offering the classes that they need,” Homer said. “Early on in the process we met in small groups with the current IT students to make sure they knew that”
Homer said IT has changed in the workplace due to business now relying on technology to run. This has caused students to pursue business classes in addition to technology courses”
“Eight or nine years ago there was a distinct difference between the information technology degree in our department and the information systems degree in management science,” Homer said. “Over time what we have seen is that in response to changes in the market, in response to some developments in business and technology to be more like each other”
Dwindling numbers of the IT program can also be attributed to other factors. Homer said new majors added to SITC has taken away students would would have previously majored in IT.
“Seven or eight years ago we had about 50 to 55 students and its trended down since then, and there’s reason for that,” Homer said. “Digital technology is now its own degree and so some of the students who were taking that as a minor are now majors. The computer science major has changed a bit, and so some people who were IT majors are now going to computer science.”
Business professor Dr. Mark Philip said the challenges of merging IT and IS due to the differences in the concentrations.
“What you will find is that IS program will have a common core, but IS veers more toward business, but IT tends to veer more toward the systems of technology,” Philip said. “So there is a track that is almost identical to the original IS degree, a second track that is like the previous IT degree, and a third analytics track which is splitting the difference somehow.”
Homer said he is hopeful about the future path of students enrolling in Information Systems.
“I think it is good. It was a program that has always been jointly managed by management and sciences and school of IT and computing, so we both look at that from our different perspectives and really try to find the balance between business and technology,” Homer said. “I think that the graduates of that program will be well positioned for starting either in an entry level technology job or starting more on the business side of being able to work with very closely the people working in technology”