Georgia Gwinnett College Adds Information Technology Degree Program

Georgia Gwinnett College President Dan Kaufman announced today that GGC will begin offering coursework for a bachelor’s degree program in Information Technology starting in fall 2007. The decision to add an IT degree was made in response to conversations with key community leaders who identified Gwinnett County’s growing need for college graduates possessing the skills and knowledge required for these quality jobs.

Lawrenceville, GA – Georgia Gwinnett College President Dan Kaufman announced today that GGC will begin offering coursework for a bachelor’s degree program in Information Technology starting in fall 2007. The decision to add an IT degree was made in response to conversations with key community leaders who identified Gwinnett County’s growing need for college graduates possessing the skills and knowledge required for these quality jobs.

“As with all programs offered at GGC, we are conducting a needs analysis that will result in an outcomes-based curriculum to meet the identified needs of our region,” says Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Stas Preczewski.

Bill McCargo, Scientific Atlanta’s vice president of community relations says, “as one of the largest employers in the county, Scientific Atlanta needs qualified IT personnel and it's good to know that Georgia Gwinnett will be offering this degree. IT jobs are high-paying and satisfying jobs and there is a great value in educating and keeping our own citizens in Gwinnett.

"The average manager in the Information Technology field makes $99,000 a year, while the average IT staffer makes $73,000 a year according to InformationWeek Research’s National IT Salary Survey.

Gwinnett County has been one of the nation’s fastest growing counties for over a decade, and has experienced job growth that has outpaced the Atlanta metro area and the state of Georgia, according to a July 2006 report commissioned by the Partnership Gwinnett initiative. Experts predict that Gwinnett will become Georgia’s largest county in less than five years.

The report suggests that as the top population growth county in Georgia, Gwinnett community leaders need to focus on the development of a diverse group of industries with strong wealth-creating potential that can complement existing fast-growing sectors.

“This degree will help raise the number of IT professionals in the county and will boost the economic development in this area,” says Kaufman. “The jobs are available and GGC graduates will be prepared to fill them.”

The degree will be offered with three separate tracks. A business track will be available to students who want an interdisciplinary focus in business, science and technology. A systems and security track will be available, as will a track in software development.

Software development is a growing area and part of its growth is attributed to the booming gaming and animation industries. The Atlanta region has seen tremendous growth in the animation business which has been traditionally rooted in Los Angeles.

As an IT-enriched learning community, GGC provides numerous opportunities for IT students to work part-time and receive hands-on experience in the field while attending classes.

GGC’s Vice President for Educational Technology Lonnie Harvel says that “students will be able to take advantage of learning IT in the classroom and in real-world experiences.”

Information technology graduates may work in a variety of industries including designing hardware, software, communications networks, internet applications, and more according to WorldWideLearn.com, an online directory of education. The directory advises individuals interested in pursuing this degree, that a degree in IT can help nearly anyone with an interest in computers find a job they are qualified for in an industry they find exciting.

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