ITDS Academic Areas of Focus

Mainframe programming, development, and management

  • Began roll out Fall 2010; Fully rolled out Fall 2011
  • Accounts for approximately 1/3 of our undergraduate majors
  • One of very few programs in the nation that offers this focus. One estimate is that only 40 programs in the U.S. offer mainframe education at all. Ours is more extensive than many.
  • Could easily grow to be a Southwest Region destination for hiring.
  • This is a very high demand area of emphasis
    • We currently attract employers from cities including D/FW, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, with interest expressed from out of state.
    • We are garnering new employers on a regular basis.
    • Salaries for BCIS majors averaged over $67,000 Spring 2013 (up from $59,500 Spring 2012), with students having multiple site interviews, offers, and signing bonuses.

Cyber-security (Information Assurance)

  • Part of UNT’s recognition as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance education since 2007
  • We are part of NSF grant for approximately $1,000,000 to offer graduate education in Information Assurance.
  • We offer the Information Systems Security Professional, Senior Systems Manager CNSSI No. 4012 certification approved by the NSA
  • Approximately 1/3 of our undergraduate majors receive this certificate

Business Intelligence/Business Analytics (BI/BA)

  • Focuses on management, processing, and decision making using extremely large quantities of data
  • We believe it was among the first among information technology departments to approach from the analytics angle as opposed to purely the information processing angle
  • Have almost tripled the number of majors in this area of focus since 2011
  • Accounts for approximately 1/3 of our undergraduate majors

We are also in a position to help build what BI/BA graduate education looks like in academia.

  • We are moving from a traditional, more broadly oriented MS in ITDS to one that is more focused on business intelligence/business analytics which forms the foundation on which to build a somewhat unique, leading edge program in the space of MS degree programs in our fields around the country.
  • We have put together a set of masters courses that are either not found in many programs or certainly not found all together in one program. These include a survey course in enterprise applications of BI, data mining, predictive analytics, and two new courses in big data analytics and visualization analytics.
  • We have drawn on input from a 40+ member industry advisory board, our own knowledge of the current state of academic offerings, and our research and knowledge in the evolving practitioner landscape.

Experiential learning opportunities in which ITDS majors participate outside of the classroom

  • Internships in companies
  • Student Groups
    • Association for Information Systems (AIS)
    • Institute for Operations Research & the Management Sciences (INFORMS) NEW at UNT
  • Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition
  • Master the Mainframe Competition