Doing better business with information technology

Oct 29, 2004

Kettering's master's of science in Information Technology (MSIT) helps students apply technology to achieve business results for their organizations.

Kettering's master's of science in Information Technology (MSIT) helps students apply technology to achieve business results for their organizations.

The fundamental structure of the global business environment changes as rapidly as Michigan weather during the fall season. Much of this change is for the better and is attributable to how companies view and use information technology (IT).

Over the past several years, IT has taken on greater significance within the corporate structure and continues to help companies meet global business needs through greater efficiencies afforded by IT plans. For example, "Small-Business Owners Buying More PCs Than A Year Ago," written by Eric Chabrow for InformationWeek magazine (, notes that "one-third of small businesses with capital-spending plans will invest in technology, according to a new survey. Among those investing in technology, 54 percent say they'll buy PCs, according to a survey of 773 small business owners and managers conducted by American Express."

The function of IT in business is not lost on the small business owner. Nor should it be lost on the CEO of the largest firms in the country and across the world. Furthermore, the Oct. 18 edition of InformationWeek reported that the worldwide market for offshore IT services will grow to $17 billion in 2008, up from $7 billion last year. Clearly IT functions within industry are becoming more and more significant as organizations work to remain competitive.

To meet the growing demand among companies and professionals in many industries that utilize IT services to bolster business, Kettering's Office of Graduate Studies launched the MSIT program in January of this year. The 40-hour credit program, according to Dr. Andrew Borchers, associate professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Business (IMEB) and an instructor in the MSIT offering, is a cross-disciplinary effort geared to professionals who wish to apply technology to achieve business results. The curriculum provides a mix of technology and management courses to give students a core body of knowledge needed to transform their organizations as well as their careers. Some of the current course offerings include Managing an e-Business, IT Policy and Strategy, Managing People and Technology, and Software Requirements Engineering.

"The program addresses an array of subjects in addition to computer technology," explained Borchers. "Students who enroll in the MSIT may be IT professionals or individuals who want to become the liaison between the typical functions of a business and the company's IT operations. They want to achieve results through information technology and show how this function can help their organizations become competitive.

"Today, companies ask, 'what will IT do for our organization?'" Borchers continued. "We believe this program helps students understand how to make the most efficient use of IT infrastructure at their organizations and explain where to focus IT dollars. Most importantly, this program can aid individuals by keeping their company up to date with IT changes and enhancements."

Borchers also said that the program is open to all individuals from a variety of industries and companies. Several other Kettering professors teaching in the program include Dr. Charles White of the IMEB Dept., Dr. John Geske from the Science and Mathematics Dept. who also directs the Computer Science area, and Dr. Peter Stanchev of Science and Mathematics. Like the rest of the Kettering faculty, these professors leverage their years of industry experience to provide students a practical approach supplemented by examination of relevant theories to help students apply classroom knowledge directly to their work environment. One of themost helpful aspects of the MSIT program is its delivery through Kettering's diverse offering of mediums. For example, students can view lectures via CDs and VHS tape, and class interaction takes place on Kettering's Blackboard System. This allows students the flexibility and convenience to watch most classes at a time that fits their schedule while earning the same degree that on-campus graduate students pursue.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools of North America accredit the MSIT program. Thus far, more than 40 students enroll in the program each term since its inception. Based on student evaluations collected and examined after each term, Borchers noted that students are positive about the new program, with a number of them commenting favorably on the flexibility of delivery, which allows students to engage in class from the comfort of their own homes or offices.

To learn more about Kettering's master's of science in Information Technology, visit, scroll down the left side to the link MS in Information Technology, or call (866) 584-7237.

Written by Gary J. Erwin
(810) 762-9538