By DeVry University
Do you “like working with computers,” but aren’t sure where your tech-related strengths, talents and passions fit into the technology industry at large?
The omnipresence of the Internet of Things (IoT) in today’s technological landscape has inspired a recent realignment of DeVry’s tech curriculum into three areas: Engineering Technology, Information Technology and Software and Information Systems.
The realignment also includes a new learning path, the Undecided Option. It’s basically a chance to get your feet wet and plan a viable career path while learning skills you’ll need across multiple tech-related fields.
Undecided? Not a Problem
Students taking the Undecided Option will choose a specialty after earning 30 academic credits, in the meantime focusing on building skillsets in operating systems, programming, hardware, connectivity and security. The degree provides a specialized foundation of knowledge useful on its own, or as the launch of a student’s academic aspirations.
Tech Core acts as a conduit toward undergraduate and advanced degrees. The end result: students working to gain the knowledge they need in careers related to the most important tech innovations of the day. Some of these include big data, cloud storage, mobile technology, the latest digital devices (from smartphones to Fitbits) and more.
Students will receive a complimentary laptop* to use during their studies and access to an online IoT program that functions as a personal, cloud-based lab for students to virtually practice the lessons they’re learning online and/or in the classroom.
An Academic Overhaul
The Undecided Option is just one aspect of more sweeping changes, though. Students’ expectations are changing, says the leader of the curriculum revamp effort, William Phillips, Ph.D., DeVry’s Associate National Dean of Engineering & Information Sciences, Health Sciences, and Media Arts & Technology.
Phillips and his team set out to modularize DeVry’s credential offerings, make them industry pertinent and stackable. “In the past, students just took a bunch of courses and educators hoped synthesis would occur,” Phillips says. “Now, it’s important to point out exactly what you’re trying to get the student to understand.”
This included making some courses standard across the curriculum both so that students gain fundamental knowledge critical to their field and can use the credits earned toward a degree in as flexible a manner as possible. The new and revised courses are also offered both on campus and online, or a hybrid of the two.**
In revamping the curriculum, special emphasis and work was put into the actual content students are presented by faculty, who are embracing their role as curators of their own educational content in the digital age, “It’s a digital media experience whether a student is online or on campus,” Phillips says. “You’re probably going to get left behind if not approaching your curriculum [and classes] in that fashion.”
As far as the course work itself, “We’re rewriting the courses to give the students exactly what they need that’s relevant to their career path—less side topics, more so what they need to do the work.”
Introducing Tech Core
After nine months of effort, Phillips was excited to introduce students to the new curriculum. “The graduating classes of today and tomorrow want to know the rigor is there,” he says. “They’re the ones spending the money and want to know what’s under the hood: specifically what they’re learning, why they’re learning it, and what it’s going to do for them.
“Relevant rigor,” Phillips calls it. “They want to know you’ve done the work so that they can learn and build a career for themselves.”
*As part of this program, one complimentary laptop is provided to students enrolled in the Associate in Information Technology and Networking, Associate in Engineering Technology, Associate in Network Systems Administration, Bachelor’s in Information Technology and Networking, Bachelor’s in Software Development, Bachelor’s in Engineering Technology, Bachelor’s in Network and Communications Management and Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems. The laptop is issued during the student’s second session. Certain restrictions apply.
**Program Availability varies by location.