- This is a hands-on, project-based program. Yes, you will be reading. But you will be working on projects, by yourself, in pairs and in teams. The projects will be the kind that you may encounter in the workplace.
- The major is offfered by two colleges: the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Management. This makes for a better program; you get both the technical aspects and the business aspects of IT.
- There is a core body of knowledge (provided by a core set of courses) that everyone masters. Then you choose a specific track in which to concentrate. There are also various electives from which you may choose.
- Right now there are four tracks:
- We are doing our best to cooperate with area community colleges, so that you can do many of your (100-level and 200-level) core courses there if you like, and finish your degree at UMass Boston.
- We are doing our best to work with the local public and commercial sectors so as to make sure we teach what is useful to you in the workplace.
What the Major Will Prepare You For
A BS in information technology will prepare you to work in the exciting information technology (IT) sector. It is designed for students who want to work in IT but who do not want to become programmers. (Those who do want to be programmers would major in either computer science or in MSIS). At the moment, we offer four tracks:
- The system administrator track prepares you for a career in system and network administration. The study of operating systems is a part of this track since networks are normally implemented based on a family of operating systems (e.g. cs.umb.edu is implemented using UNIX and umb.edu is implemented using Microsoft Windows). The Computer Science Department is well-placed to offer this track.
SAGE, the System Administration Guild, a professional group of the Advanced Computing Systems Association, defines system administration as “Activities, which directly support the operations and integrity of computing systems and their use and which manage their intricacies. These activities minimally include system installation, configuration, integration, maintenance, performance management, data management, security management, failure analysis and recovery, and user support. In an inter-networked computing environment, the computer network is often included as part of the complex computing system.” System administrators solve different types of problems from programmers and software engineers, the traditional careers of computer science graduates.
2. The information architecture (IA) track prepares you to be able to specify the requirements and overall architecture of a component-based system. The MSIS Department is well-placed to offer this track drawing upon its expertise in both business principles and technology. Information architecture is concerned with structuring data in proper context, and defining user interactions. IA provides a blueprint that describes how information (not limited to web sites) is organized and structured. It has been described as identifying and leveraging patterns in data that make would-be-complex sets of information, increasingly easier to understand. As such the program will address information find ability, information design, interaction design, search engine optimization and marketing, usability, systems user experience, and user interface design. Students will be exposed to common packaged solutions and coached on.
3. Business intelligence is the technology that companies such as Amazon.com and Google use to take advantage of the enormous amount of data they collect and analyze. It is the technology with which Amazon.com knows what book to recommend you every time you login, Google knows how to rank the pages you are searching for, and banks decide whether to approve loan applications almost instantly. As organizations increasingly have to deal with “big data,” the number of job openings and the need for skilled professionals in this field will continue to increase.
4. The computer forensics track is a discipline of forensic science that combines elements of law and information technology to collect and analyze data from computer systems, networks, wireless communications, and storage devices in a way that is admissible as evidence in a court of law. CF is also the process of using scientific knowledge for collecting, analyzing, and presenting digital evidence to the courts. With the increasing use of computers to commit crimes and growing demand for computer-based data in civil proceedings, a need has rapidly developed for forensic experts to extract useful information from computer evidence.
The Courses You Will Take In addition to the general education courses that all undergraduate students take, there are three kinds of IT courses in the program:
- There are eleven core courses, which are taken by everyone in the IT program.
- There are four to six courses comprising a track, which is a concentration in some specific area. The four tracks currently implemented are system administration, information architecture, business intelligence, and computer forensic.
- There are a number of elective courses from which you may choose. You must take 3 of these. There are nine core courses you take in the first two years:
IT115L Introduction to Java Part II (syllabus)
IT240L Web Fluency (syllabus)
The System Administration Track
The Information Architecture Track
The Business Intelligence Track
Two of the following elective courses: IT 360 Enterprise Software
The Computer Forensic Track
Take five of the following courses:
Project Management, Electives and Capstone
Near the end of one’s study, one takes a project management course, three professional electives and a capstone course.
In addition to completing the core, the capstone, and the specialized track, students must complete three electives; electives will be selected in an appropriate area outside of IT (e.g. biology, computer science, finance, marketing, nursing, etc…) and are intended to support a student’s expected career path and interests.
Students transferring into the BS in IT, in either college, may transfer all 100-level and 200-level core courses, but no more courses in the major. That is, students must complete IT425 (Project Management) and IT485 (IT Capstone), and the courses in their chosen track at UMass Boston.
Questions? Need additional information? Want to visit? Feel free to contact us.
Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Information Technology
College of Science and Mathematics
glenn.hoffman “at” umb.edu
Associate Professor, Department of Management Science and Information Systems
College of Management
peng.xu “at” umb.edu