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ECU student Eric Howard works in the computer lab in the College of Technology and Computer Science. The college has received approval for a new master's degree in network technology. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

New master’s degree offers students job-ready skills in network technology

March 20, 2013

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

A new East Carolina University graduate program capitalizing on continued growth in the information technology sector will begin accepting students this fall.

A master of science in network technology was approved in February by the UNC Board of Governors. It will be offered through the College of Technology and Computer Science’s Department of Technology Systems and will be available online to students worldwide through remotely accessible labs.

The network technology degree will meet two specific needs, according to Dr. T.J. Mohammed, chair of the department. First, it will be a degree graduates can easily market to potential employers because of the recognizable name. This differs from the existing master’s in technology systems degree, Mohammed said, which will continue to accept students.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also identifies information technology jobs, network analyst and network administrator positions as “key growth” areas over the next decade.
Student Tammy Battle completes work in an ECU computer lab.

“This field is going to be in demand,” Mohammed said. “It’s a really hot area…an area of high need.”

The new program encompasses several existing concentrations within Technology Systems – digital communication, computer and network management, information security – and adds a newly-created concentration in web technology.

Earning a master’s degree in this field will enable ECU students to more easily pursue management positions at major IT corporations, Mohammed said, as well as give them the ability to teach courses in the discipline either at a community college or university.

The program will be created and taught with existing resources, but also with the support of technology, open source and cloud computing industries including Red Hat, Cisco, EMC, HP and VMware.

“We’ll be able to prepare people to help North Carolina’s economy,” Mohammed said. “By collaborating closely with these industries, we get to be in step (with the latest technology).

“This degree…will provide global exposure for ECU.”