Louisiana Tech will have its first undergraduate information technology certificate program this fall, said director Sumeet Dua.
“We have the first statewide undergraduate certificate program,” Dua said. “This makes us (Tech) special in a way, but it also poses a challenge for us to do things right. We do not only want to meet the needs of Louisiana Tech, but also the needs of the state.”
The new program is designed for students and individuals to stay up to date with the latest developments in information technology. The program will give students and professionals the opportunity to get more experience in information technology.
“The certificate will provide unique instructional resources and hands-on experiences,” Dua said. “This will give insight into the business practices of IT that are integral to today’s economy.”
The course work will be comprised of 15 credit hours over a period of nine months, and it will be done with industrial partners.
According to Tech University Communications, “The certificate will be comprised of courses in software development, software engineering, data analytics, database management systems, distinctive project management and project experience sequence.”
“The program is offered to students in any major as long as the student has the aptitude to complete the program,” Dua said.
Approximately 70 students have applied for the program but only 50 will be accepted for the fall. Twenty-five will be accepted to online classes.
“This program is another example of the innovation reshaping today’s higher education,” said Nandor Toth, school director for Amdocs, a software provider. “It will streamline the path to bring the necessary IT talent to the companies looking for creative solutions in a highly competitive market place.”
Classes on campus will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This will allow students the opportunity to engage with faculty and to meet different groups of industry professionals. Online classes will have videos and presentations.
The process of getting the program to Tech was a long one, Dua said.
“Once we (the College of Engineering and Science) formed the IC3 program, we wanted to find out a way we could leverage the growth in North Louisiana and beyond,” he said. “There was clear workforce need in the IC3 area. Once we had to find a way to fill that need, we did not want a degree in that area so we decided to offer a certificate that is limited.”
Dua said he wants to train students and professionals in the building blocks of information technology.
“This is not a program you can get over four years, but a program that will take you to the next level of information technology,” he said. “ We want students to explore their potential and challenge their logical- and analytical-thinking skills. We also want to build up their credentials in information technology.”
The future is bright for the students at Tech, Dua said. He sees the program coming back in the near future.
“If the program is successful, which I’m sure it will be, I can see the program back next year,” he said. “Maybe we will change the formula next year, but we are looking at things this year to see if we need to adapt to create new options. I want this program to be something the students like.”
Email comments to dki...@latech.edu.