Penn College to Offer New Information Technology Majors This Fall

Published 01.29.2004


Recognizing the rising demand for information-technology skills in the workforce and home, Pennsylvania College of Technology's School of Business and Computer Technologies is updating its computer Information Technology programs this fall with new two- and four-year majors.

The associate-degree Information Technology program will now have five emphases from which to choose (instead of two): CISCO Technology, Information Technology Technician, Network Technology, Technical Support Technology and Web and Applications Technology.

The bachelor-degree Information Technology program will have four concentrations from which to choose (instead of two): Network Specialist, IT Security Specialist, Technical Support Specialist and Weband Applications Development.

"We consulted with industry, government, research organizations, alumni and current student sources to form an exciting array of new degree offerings that address the robust growth in technology use in much of the economy and the surge in statewide, national and international demand for workers with broad IT skills as opposed to traditionally defined computer-science skills," said Dr. Edward A. Henninger, dean of business and computer technologies. "These new degrees provide IT experiences and training emphasizing what students have come to expect from Penn College: a practical, hands-on, valuable, professional and cutting-edge education."

To maintain a competitive edge and a cost-effective operation, Henninger said, companies need technically competent employees who can provide appropriate computer solutions. Employers seek workers with broad knowledge and experience with information systems and technologies; strong problem-solving and analytical skills; good interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills; the ability to plan, implement and coordinate security measures; and the ability to understand, adapt to and implement the latest technologies.

According to the 2002-03 "Occupational Outlook Handbook" published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, information-technology employment opportunities are expected to grow by rates ranging from 48 percent (computer and information systems managers) to 100 percent (computer software engineers, applications) from 2000-2010. The national average for other occupations is 15.2 percent.

IT-related occupations account for seven of the eight fastest-growing occupations requiring a bachelor's degree. The fastest-growing information-technology occupation requiring at least an associate's degree is computer support specialist (a 97-percent change).

The new Penn College Information Technology majors will help prepare successful students to enter occupations with average annual salaries ranging from $33,500 to $70,200 nationwide, based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information about the academic programs offered by the School of Business and Computer Technologies at Penn College, call (570) 327-4517, send e-mail or visit on the Web.