CXO

Top IT college programs focus on real-world experience

In the TechRepublic Special Report Top 10 U.S. college programs for IT, a number of the professors and alumni say that their school's program prepares students for real-world IT work.

In the TechRepublic Special Report Top 10 U.S. college programs for IT, a number of the professors and alumni say that their school's program prepares students for real-world IT work.

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Note: This is a guest post by TechRepublic Senior Editor Mary Weilage. 

The TechRepublic Special Report entitled Top 10 U.S. college programs for IT features business education programs that are aimed at students who want to get on the CIO career track.

As part of our research for the report, we conducted a survey of 2,811 TechRepublic members to learn more about their educational backgrounds. Even though the United States sometimes gets a bad rap for not preparing its IT students as well as schools in other countries, our survey shows that more than 38% of respondents found that their college's program was effective in preparing them for real-world IT work.

Figure A

Here are examples from the report that highlight how four of the undergraduate programs help IT students gain real-world experience:

  • Jason Hessing, a 2002 graduate of Brigham Young University: "BYU put me ahead of the curve in key areas because we didn't just learn about IT, we did it," Hessing said. "The education helped me develop two different skill sets: the business acumen to understand the corporate world and the necessary understanding and language I needed to address the technical folk on a given project."
  • At James Madison University, a CIS executive board comprised of partners in area firms works with the faculty to make certain that the program's objectives and outcomes remain relevant to real-world needs.
  • At Pennsylvania State University's Smeal School of Business, hands-on experience with business software systems is a crucial element of the MIS degree, as are problem-solving workshops with real-world businesses.
  • Temple University's Fox School of Business, which offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management Information Systems (MIS), program requires that students complete interactive case studies, as well as hands-on projects using cutting-edge technologies.

Read the entire Special Report, Top 10 U.S. college programs for IT, to find out more about how these programs are preparing future IT leaders.

About Mary Weilage

Mary Weilage is a Feature Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

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