This semester marks the beginning of the computer information technology program at Ferris.
“CIT classes were made for people who love computers,” said Anita Kern, president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals.
“As an IT major I get a lot of people asking me to solve their computer problems, but that’s not an area my major focuses on,” said Kern. “One of the first classes in the CIT program is computer troubleshooting and repair, which does cover those issues.”
Edward Lopez-Acosta, a transfer student in the computer information technology program, finds the classes to be very hands on.
“The program is designed for students to go out in the business world and support the IT infrastructure of the business itself,” said Clyde Hardman, professor of accountancy, finance and information technology.
“I chose the program because of the administrative aspect and focus on security of computer systems,” said Lopez-Acosta. “I have met many people and have gained an enormous amount of various skills.”
“There are many things you can learn from the CIT classes that aren’t covered in any others currently offered,” said Kern.
According to Hardman, the CIT program is unique for several reasons.
Hardman said most equatable programs from community colleges produce two-year degrees. The CIT program at Ferris is a four-year Bachelor of Science degree.
Hardman said the program is unique because it is a degree in which students get the business core, and are required to obtain five industry certifications in addition to the core curriculum.
Lopez-Acosta said schools he attended before Ferris did not offer this program, and it is a great experience for him to be part of the new addition.
“The advisor and professors don’t just see you as a number, but as an individual,” said Lopez-Acosta. “They care about you. Other institutions I attended failed to show that.”
According to Hardman, the program was started to help students transitioning from community college programs.
“A lot of jobs require a four-year degree in the long run now,” said Hardman.
Hardman said graduates from the CIT program are entering a highly demanded field with a starting wage of $40,000- $50,000 a year.
The program goals are to have growth of a couple hundred students in the next few years, and to get students high-paying jobs.
Hardman said it took over $40,000 in equipment to get the program started. This cost includes new software and computers for students to disassemble, reassemble, troubleshoot and repair.
Computer Information Technology is also offered in Traverse City and Grand Rapids. n