Today, every business and enterprise requires Information Technology (IT) in order to function productively, efficiently and competitively in the global economy. Succinctly, IT is the engine powering current information systems (computers of all types, peripheral hardware, software, and communications).
As a discipline, Information Technology (IT) is an offspring of Computer Science. Whereas a computer scientist is able to create complex software and hardware systems, an information technologist is able to manage, configure and support computer systems used in enterprise computing and information processing.
Effective IT doesn’t just happen; it requires the effort of intelligent people. Clark once quipped, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” However, effective IT doesn’t result from magic, but through the efforts of educated practitioners! Our MSIT program provides the foundational knowledge and practical skills to equip IT professionals to produce some “magic” for their organization.
While Computer Science, Information Systems, and Information Technology deal with common concepts, themes, and issues, there are distinguishing characteristics of each degree field.
1. CS – Computer Science focuses on creating computing applications in a variety of problem domains. A computer scientist investigates real-world problems and creates automated, computerized solutions for them. CS solves problems by creating software “tools” for people. Currently CUW offers an undergraduate major, an undergraduate minor, and a graduate degree in CS.
2. IS – Information Systems focuses on information aspects of computing within the context of business and personnel management. IS solves problems by integrating computing within business processes to provide information for decision making. IS programs are usually found within business schools in a university setting. Currently CUW offers a graduate degree in MIS within its MBA program.
3. IT – Information Technology focuses on the technology aspects of computing. Thus IT is the complement of IS. IT solves problems by responding to the practical, on-going needs of an organization for computing resources. All organizations are dependent upon computing for efficient and productive operation. Organizations need computing systems which work properly (installed, configured, secured) and are properly maintained (updated, patched, customized). IT solves problems by supporting employees in the use of computing resources.offers an undergraduate major, an undergraduate minor, and a graduate degree in IT.
Our program is designed to meet the needs of current IT professionals and new graduates interested in IT. The program is designed for those with either vocational experience or undergraduate education in IT-related fields. If you work in the IT industry, our program provides you the intellectual tools to perform better and keep current with rapidly changing IT. If you have a strong interest in IT, our program provides you with the foundational knowledge and skills to understand systems and their relationship to business problems.
The MSIT program is not just for “geeks.” If you enjoy technology and work with it for fun, you may do well in our program. On the other hand, success in our program requires good communication and problem-solving skills also. Therefore the MS IT appeals to a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds. Their common thread: a desire to understand, master and apply IT to help other people solve problems.
Unlike a Computer Science masters program, there is no “hard core” theory in the MSIT program. While there is a small amount of programming required, it is not over-emphasized. Our program does focus on foundational concepts and practical skills within a framework of “ethical computing.” Technology advances swiftly. The CUW MSIT program allows you to see the big picture and develop a road map for understanding current and new technology.
Almost every business needs qualified IT practitioners. While technology oriented firms certainly employ IT graduates, so too do service, heath care, finance, retail, marketing, manufacturing and a host of other companies. CUW graduates work for a broad spectrum of business.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer scientists and information technologists are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations through 2014. Employment of information and computer specialists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations as companies continue to adopt and integrate increasingly sophisticated technologies.
Students list “career advancement” as one reason to pursue the MSIT degree. Perhaps an even more important reason is the satisfaction they receive when they are able to effectively solve a difficult problem for their employer.
As the premier Lutheran university in North America, CUW emphasizes the vocation of information technologist within the curriculum. A vocation is not just a job producing a paycheck, but it is a heartfelt calling to serve others. The goal of IT is to serve other people by solving real problems. Every course in the curriculum discusses more than the technology as we integrate aspects of ethical computing into the material.
CUW has state-of-the-art computing resources to aid your education. In addition, all courses are taught by full-time CUW faculty or qualified adjunct professors. You will not find other students (teaching assistants) providing instruction in the MSIT program.
For immediate admission to the MSIT program you must either have an undergraduate degree in an IT-related discipline, or you must currently work in an IT-related field (regardless of your undergraduate degree). Without either of these requirements, you may still apply to the program. Your transcript and background will be evaluated and you may need to complete prerequisite courses as part of your admission to the program.
A masters degree is ideal for a rapidly changing technological environment. Because new technology and systems require new and increasing skill levels, continuing education is vital for IT practitioners. Businesses desire workers with both a broad background in technology and diverse interpersonal, communication and managerial skills. CUW offers a technology education within a broad-based liberal arts framework.
For information about the application process, please consult the program admission page.
The MSIT program is available in a distance format via eLearning and is also available in an accelerated on-campus classroom environment. Students from anywhere in the world can complete the MSIT program via web-based eLearning. The only residency requirement is to come to campus in order to present the final capstone project. Students close to the Mequon campus can complete the MS IT program via either eLearning or on-campus instruction (or a combination to suit their needs).
Selected courses are offered in an accelerated on-campus environment. These courses typically meet one evening a week for two months. Usually two courses are offered (back-to-back) each semester.
Distance students must (and all students should) have access to suitable computing resources. At a minimum this includes a fairly recent “wintel” architecture PC along with suitable internet connectivity. The student must have access to standard productivity software (eg, an Office suite). Students in the MSIT program will be provided with specific software in order to complete certain course requirements (eg, a programming language environment).
E-Learning appeals to students who seek specific learning not readily available in traditional programs, who may not be located near an institution, or who, for a variety of reasons, may wish to complete their degree by an alternative delivery system. This delivery system is not appropriate for everyone. Students who are self-motivated, independent learners will thrive in this environment.