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10-11-2000

New Graduate Program At Clarkson Has 'IT'

It’s difficult to find a business today that doesn’t rely on computers, networks and the World Wide Web to conduct its work each day. This reliance on computer and networking technology has given rise to a new – and challenging – position: the information technology professional.

Clarkson University’s new graduate program in Information Technology produces professionals with the skills to help businesses get connected and stay that way. The one-year master’s degree program has drawn a strong first-year gathering of students, including many from overseas who found out about it via the Web.

“This is the hottest field right now,” said William Dennis Horn, professor of Technical Communications. “As the Web grows and the Internet grows, every company needs a person capable of doing the technical part of their Web presence.”

Working with the Web is not the only skill students must learn before earning a degree. The program is an interdisciplinary one and features a broad-based curriculum including math and computer science, electrical and computer engineering, technical communications and management information systems. Upon completion, the students will receive a master of science degree.

Horn said there was very little difficulty in setting up the IT program.

“We were already teaching the things that many of our students go on and do in IT work,” he said. “We had the courses on the books.” Horn pointed out that the mix of courses provides a very well rounded IT background.

Students also receive hands-on experience with IT in an organizational setting.

“We try to give students a wide range of opportunities,” said Horn. “A person who is in the IT profession should know how to take a computer apart, put a new board in, put it back together and set up an office network. We try to do both the software side and the hardware side.”

Students are not only completing IT projects at Clarkson University, but may also be asked to work at the computer center at Canton-Potsdam Hospital or to do project work for St. Lawrence University.

“There’s lots for them to do here,” says Horn. “We need their skills, too. So we designed the program so they can do some of this work.”

Students who are interested in enrolling in the master’s program in Information Technology should have a bachelor’s degree and a strong technical background. This should include competence in at least one programming language, familiarity with current operating systems, and experience with applications on multiple hardware platforms. If a student does not meet these requirements, he or she has the option to complete coursework that will develop these skills prior to beginning the degree program.

For information about enrolling in the graduate program in Information Technology, contact Dennis Horn at 315-268-6420 or horn@clarkson.edu.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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