September 1, 2016
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers have been the center of national conversation, and if you find it's an area of interest related to your future career goals, opportunities will be plentiful with a technology-focused degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Aside from personal growth and a sense of accomplishment, a master's degree will give you greater recognition and credibility, according to a report from US News. You'll also have a proven track record showing that you can stay dedicated to your goal, run the course and handle challenging situations.
The choice of information technology (IT) programs at SNHU is varied and still growing. Dr. Gwen Britton, executive director of STEM programs for the university's College of Online and Continuing Education, said that SNHU has a "portfolio of choices," including technology degree options at the associate, bachelor and master degree levels.
SNHU's online degree programs offer tremendous flexibility, allowing for success regardless of how bus your life is. Attend class day or night - the convenient hours makes an IT master's degree manageable even amid the nonstop juggling of present-day life. Take a look at some of the online options for graduate students in information technology at SNHU.
MS Information Technology: If you're planning for a general career in information technology, the MS in Information Technology is a well-rounded program, which will focus on core classes such as Principles of Database Design, Technical Communication, Object Oriented Application Development, Advanced Information Technology, Telecommunications and Networking, and more - plus three additional classes in various concentrations that you can choose from.
If you're ready to take the next step, you can rest assured that your decision to move forward with an IT master's degree will be a sound one. At SNHU, student support is the top priority. There's someone available to help, offer support and answer questions from the minute you pick up the phone or request information online. Timothy Patterson, a student at SNHU, saw that right away.
"I decided that I needed a change. I selected SNHU's MS in IT after researching and talking with an admissions counselor. After that, I knew SNHU was the place for me," he said. "With the motivation of my academic advisor, Joseph, and my professors, I'm happy to say I'm doing much better. The support that SNHU shows to their students is topnotch. You won't find these kinds of people anywhere else."
Data Analytics - An online IT master's degree in data analytics can take you far. Companies large and small all depend on data analysis to move their businesses forward. Although, every profession is different in regard to how it handles data, the functions are the same in collecting, organizing and presenting information to solve problems within a company, adjust costs, determine a solid plan for growth and to make improvements in stagnant or troubled areas. Data analytics can involve structured data - numbers and words that can easily be categorized and analyzed - or unstructured data - data that is difficult to count, such as customer reviews on websites, comments on social media, photos and other types of multimedia. The future of big data is a big deal.
The information technology field is a far-reaching one. Most of the time, when people look for employment their job-search is focused on what is available in the U.S. employment market. However, there are jobs all over the world, and many international students are enrolled at SNHU. Anderson Che is one of them. "Now that I have a degree in IT, I see it as an opportunity to begin the great challenge that I already started, because specifically, I was sent here by my country, the government, through the national oil company of Liberia on a scholarship program," he said. "So, by getting the degree, I think, it's one step to the beginning of going back to my country, Liberia, and helping to build the country."
Database Design - Another interesting area of focus for your online IT master's degree could be database design. Data administrators may handle all functions pertaining to databases or may delegate work to a team for development. This may entail collaborating with management to learn what features a company can use in their data compilations, building a database from scratch, working out bugs, backing up systems, installing upgrades and ensuring that the integrity of new information is sound. Database development is an art in that each new database is unique to the project it is dedicated to.
Game Design and Development - Overall, the field of game design and development has taken a twist in the past 10 years. Some studies have shown that video games can help people with certain cognitive or physical problems. With this and other research on how games affect the brain, a future in game design is a good choice in IT.
In this field, the science of these applications has only scratched the surface of the many possibilities to come - add to that the educational and entertainment values, and the future looks good for game design. Some of the courses in this program are Game Design and Development, Artificial Intelligence, Object-Oriented Application Development, as well as database design.
Healthcare Informatics - Since 2014, with the federal mandate that all medical records must be filed electronically, healthcare informatics has grown. In this MS program, you'll attain the skills needed for managerial positions in the field in order to ensure the quality of patient care. The classes include Principles of Database Design, Social & Organizational Issues in Healthcare, Management of Information Technology, Information Technology Project and Team Management, Advanced Information Technology, Object Oriented Application Development, Innovations in Information Technology, Technical Communication, Operating Systems, Telecommunications and Networking - which are also included in the core IT courses. To tie everything together is the Capstone in Information Technology - all these courses are designed to build skills in social, ethical and work-related situations. With these skills, you will be able to work in many healthcare informatics areas, including clinical care, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health and medical research.
A 2012 report from Price Waterhouse states that clinical informatics are being used to influence patients' personal behavior to produce better health, reduce medical errors and reduce costs in preventative health. From a business standpoint, hospitals are looking to improve management of complex cases such as cancer, reducing emergency room visits and hospital admission rates, and provide insight on earlier diagnoses.
Among other things, your educational goals are about expanding your employment options. That's what enticed Lynnette Glen '15 to the IT program at SNHU. "I have an MS in Information Technology/Information Security. The education I got from SNHU has given me the ability to remain productive in my job as a bookkeeper and move toward my dream goal of teaching at a nearby college," she said. That's one of the perks of having the option of online classes. You can work and handle other responsibilities while increasing your knowledge and career potential.
IT Management - You'll have the opportunity to work from a top-down approach in IT management: working with upper management through to ground-floor employees, analyzing the company's strengths, weaknesses, problem areas and growth potential in order to develop and establish a computer system that will suit all the company's needs.
With an IT master's degree in management, you'll build on the structure and process in the strengths you've already acquired in project management, learn about different IT functions in companies and touch on cyberlaw and ethics. Some of the many hats IT managers wear are chief information officers, chief technology officers, IT directors, MIS directors and IT security managers.
Information Security - Information security skills are well worth developing in order to keep a company running smoothly and protecting the organization's computer system from network threats, both internal and external. One virus or one hacker can cause devastating results, knocking a company out for days or longer.
An IT master's degree in this concentration will train you in policies, procedures, practices and ethics. You'll learn how to lock-down a company's computer system to prevent further assaults, stay on top of current trends and learn about technical communication.
The future of the field looks good as well. "Given the vast amounts of technology and uses of that technology, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is incredible!" said Britton.
Software Application Development - With IT master's degree in software application development, you'll have the ability to create custom programs to meet the needs of your organization for maximum efficiency, or you might develop programs for commercial use. You may work alone or instruct programmers to write code as well as test, find and fix bugs, perform regular maintenance and recommend upgrades of the software and systems.
Some of the important skills you will attain are IT methodologies, planning, analysis, problem solving, project and team management, leadership theory and ethics; communication skills in developing and writing manuals, white papers, research, software development skills and many more.
Web Development - Hard work brings with it the security that you've trained for to be the best in your field. A master's degree in web development can set you on that higher plateau. Compared to other IT areas, this one differs in that it is a blend of artistic design, understanding of marketing principles and under-the-hood coding to develop a website to keep it running. Knowledge of web trafficking, capacity and performance of the site, and programming and designing on a variety of platforms will give you the security to move your career forward. You'll learn HTML/XML, scripting, embedding rich media and database connectivity, audience analysis, branding, page layout and templates, content organization and managing and marketing websites.
The online STEM programs at SNHU are helpful to students like Christopher Rodman who already have full-time careers. "I decided to take my professional potential to the next level by continuing my education, and choosing to study in a growing field that has already helped me in my current career path and will broaden my career opportunities in the future," Rodman said. "Information technology is a rapidly expanding field, and SNHU's IT programs, coupled with the core business courses, have enlightened me in areas I never thought I'd delve into. I now leverage my business and database design skills to solve real world problems within my organization, and better serve my customers. Data is power, and in this age, information is the key to good business decisions."
Rodman found that the ease of mobile and online learning along with the support from the instructors and advising staff had enabled him to learn important technical skills to use in his day-to-day life in running his business. He had a strong focus to finish his degree, and with the help and understanding of his family, he found it possible - even during difficult times. Rodman said, "I subscribe to the self-fulfilling prophecy in which anyone who wants to succeed is fully capable of doing so with determination" - and SNHU is there every step of the way to lend support.
An IT master's degree is a smart choice no matter which concentration you choose for your career. It is fulfilling in that people find it stimulating and intellectually challenging. There is shared enthusiasm between co-workers who are brainstorming in an innovative, progressive environment. Critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and patience to solve problems keeps the work exciting and fresh. These are all skills you can further develop at SNHU throughout your program to prove you will be successful in the information technology arena.
All of SNHU's IT master's degree programs are recognized by the Professional Science Master's Association (NPSMA) as a Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree. This degree is designed to combine business management backgrounds with technology skills to fill the need for high-level professional careers.
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