There can be no doubt that the future of the business world lies in the ever-expanding field of information technology. The current generation of businesspeople will be expected to possess a high level of technical knowledge and information fluency. In accordance with this goal, Furman's highly respected computer science department offers an interdisciplinary major in Information Technology. In addition to studying fundamental computing principles and learning to solve complex problems using computers, majors will take several courses in economics, accounting and business administration to expand their knowledge about the major functional areas of business and how these areas are affected by changing technology. With a degree in this major, you'll be well prepared to pursue either scientific, technical and managerial jobs in business and industry or attend graduate school.
In order to receive a degree in Information Technology, students must complete the basic sequence of Computer Science and Math courses, and may then choose from topics including Data Communication and Networking and Project management to complete their program. These specialized upper-level classes will give majors the tools they need to transfer their technological skills into real-world working environments. Students will examine how to initiate and plan projects, learn about professional responsibilities, and data-base management. In addition, all students are required to take Morals, Law, and Society in a Digital Age, a class which deals with social, legal, and moral issues raised by the development of digital information technologies.
Information Technology majors who excel in their courses are also eligible for inclusion in Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an honors society which scholarship and professionalism in the Computing Sciences. Furman also has an active chapter of the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM). The organization sponsors social events for Computer Science majors as well as lectures by notable alumni or influential members of the technological community.
Exceptional High-Tech Facilities
With a major such as Information Technology, the latest equipment and state-of-the-art facilities are essential to a student’s success. The computer science department is housed in Richard W. Riley Hall, one of the newest buildings on campus. There are three main laboratories with more than 50 networked PCs and Sun and Silicon Graphics workstations. The department also maintains a number of Macintosh computers for student and faculty use. Majors will have access to color and monochrome laser printers, digital cameras, slide and flatbed scanners and multimedia presentation devices. The department currently houses servers running a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Solaris, Irix, MacOS and Linux. The machines in Riley Hall are supplied through a lease program which rotates every three years. This lease program insures that the students will consistently have access to the latest technology available, and thus stay on the cutting edge of emerging information technology. There is also a teaching theatre with state-of-the-art video presentation facilities. Majors have exclusive access to this excellent computer equipment.
Furman’s Information Technology major gives students multiple opportunities to apply their knowledge outside of a classroom setting. You can pursue research interests through summer activities sponsored by the Furman Advantage program and through research grants held by faculty members. The South Carolina Space Grant programs provide supplementary support for faculty and/or students at SCSG member institutions to develop contacts and collaborations that will bring South Carolina scientists into the mainstream of NASA-funded research. In the past, students have worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories and the Marshall Space Flight Center. Majors will have the opportunity to present their research at national events such as the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) conference in Gatlinburg, TN, and to compete in computer programming competitions sponsored by the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC). In recent years Furman students have received national recognition in both events.
Many Information Technology majors choose to engage in an internship to provide them with real-world work experience and prepare them for a specific career after graduation. Majors can be involved in diverse projects such as event planning and implementation for a major arts festival, using analysis and software or sales and marketing of financial services, or writing and reporting on stories for the Business section of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Previously, students have obtained internships at companies such as First Union Bank, Lucent Technologies and Liberty Corporation.
Looking To Your Future
A degree in Information Technology will make you highly employable and provide you with a wide range of career options once you finish your time at Furman. Your ability to analyze information, combined with your knowledge of the latest computer technology, will put you at the forefront of today’s business opportunities. Graduates of the department have joined such companies as AT&T, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Arthur Andersen, Lockheed and Michelin. They have also attended some of the finest graduate schools in the country, including Brown, Duke, Vanderbilt and Carnegie-Mellon