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BYU information systems program among top ten, says national tech news group

TechRepublic, a leading technology news organization owned by CBS Interactive, ranked Brigham Young University’s undergraduate information systems program among the top ten in the nation.

In its first-ever ranking, TechRepublic evaluated schools that provide information systems education geared toward careers in administration, consulting and management. The publication, which is widely read by technology professionals, highlighted ten schools with particularly strong programs.

“Our Education Committee pored over information from lots of different colleges and universities and ultimately came up with this list of 10 ‘can’t miss” programs,’ said Jason Hiner, editor in chief of TechRepublic, in an introduction to the report. “A degree from one of these 10 programs will provide a great foundation for a successful information technology career.”

The top 10 schools are: Brigham Young University, Carnegie Mellon University, James Madison University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, Temple University, University of Arizona, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland and Virginia Tech.

Hiner said, “We chose not to rank by number, since that gets even more subjective. The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with any of these programs.”

TechRepublic evaluated programs based on curriculum, cost-value analysis, student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of faculty with a doctorate degree, placement within six months after graduation, co-ops and internships offered in the program, number of computer labs and overall strength of the program. The report highlights BYU’s strengths in regard to quality of its information systems faculty, high rates of graduate placement and hands-on curriculum that challenges students to tackle business problems using information systems solutions.

The report called BYU information systems graduates “some of the nation’s most sought-after graduates,” citing a 100 percent placement rate within six months of graduation.

“Employers are very pleased with our graduates and in most cases once they hire one, they want more,” says Reid Grawe, a placement adviser for the program. “The students really sell themselves.”

According to the report, students in the BYU program face a rigorous set of courses that provide important hands-on experience to prepare them to face business world problems.

“During their first two semesters, students study a case that is applied in all their information systems classes,” says Gary Hansen, associate professor of information systems. “The first semester they do the analysis, get an understanding of the case and do some basic database design. During the second semester, they design an information system that is a technology solution for the problems of the case.”

In the past 12 years all faculty members hired to the program have arrived from elite doctorate programs. Hansen says, “Faculty members who’ve gone through difficult, rigorous programs have developed good minds and an understanding of what’s needed to succeed, and they instill that in students.”

In addition to having a high-quality faculty, the report points out that BYU ensures students have access to professors, with 13 faculty members for 120 students.

The complete report can be found online here.

The Marriott School has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

For this and other Marriott School news releases, visit the online newsroom at marriottschoool.byu.edu/news.

Writer: Cindy Badger

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Photo by Mark Showalter

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