FAQ on ITS – Information and Telecommunication Systems
Q: What is a "network?"
A: For us in ITS, networks are the physical 'stuff' that allows computers and telephones to communicate: switches, routers, antennas, satellites, cabling of various sorts, etc. and the processes and methods that make them work. By extension, networks allow all of us people to communicate. The most famous example is the Internet. Another is the public telephone network.
Q: What is the average beginning salary of ITS graduates?
A: Most ITS grads take jobs that range from the low $40's to the mid $50's. Of course, every student is unique and some find jobs that are outside this range, on both ends. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees with our experience – see http://www.bls.gov/oco/reprints/ocor006.pdf.
Q: Where would I work when I graduate?
A: Most ITS grads work for largish corporations in major cities. Most employers fall into one of these groups:
Users of telecom services, such as Progressive Insurance or Chase.
Equipment manufacturers or distributors, such as Cisco or Avaya.
Providers of telecom services, such as AT&T or Verizon.
Consulting companies, such as Accenture or Ernst & Young.
Q: What will I do on the job?
A: Here are some categories:
At user companies, ITS grads do troubleshooting, performance evaluation and planning, expansion planning and implementation, merger planning and implementation, upgrade planning, vendor relationship management, acquisition of equipment, and more.
ITS grads who work for equipment manufacturers generally are involved in sales. Often, they are Sales Engineers who work with actual sales professionals to insure that the system proposed to the customer actually works and solves the customer's problems.
At telecom service providers, ITS grads fill both operational and sales roles.
ITS grads who are consultants are experts hired to help companies with unusual or difficult projects.
Q: Is there a need for ITS majors in the workforce?
A: Yes. The employers who come to OU to hire all say they want to hire more good graduates. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees – it projects "Network systems and data communications analysts" to be the fastest growing occupation between now and 2016. See http://www.bls.gov/emp/emptab21.htm.
Q: Will I graduate in four years?
A: It depends on what you've done so far. Undecided students who transfer as freshmen with 16 credit hours per quarter and good progress on Tier II usually graduate in four years. Even undecided sophomores have a shot, depending on what they've taken.
Q: Do I have to go to grad school?
A: No. Very few ITS grads go to grad school immediately, although a fair number of them do MBA degrees after they've been in the workforce for a year or two.
Q: Can I minor in ITS?
A: As of April 08, our proposal to create an ITS minor is working its way through the approval process. We hope it will be final by fall.
Q: What kinds of classes do I take?
A: Within ITS:
Network technology courses
Governmental policy / corporate structure courses
Electives to suit individual interests and goals
In other departments:
Business courses, most of the business minor
Communication studies courses
One programming class of the student's choice
An Area of Concentration: five courses to advance individual goals. Some examples: MIS, Marketing, Management, Political Science
Q: What types of internships are available? Do faculty help you find them?
A: About a third of ITS students do paid internships, mostly with major companies in Ohio. Some students find their own internships, others with the assistance of the McClure School.
Q: What are the requirements of transferring into the program?
A: You must have a 2.5 GPA.
Q: What types of student organizations exist related to the major?
A: The student organization for ITS majors is TSMA – Telecommunication Systems Management Association. TSMA sponsors visiting speakers and field trips.
Q: What are the math requirements for ITS students?
A: ITS students take statistics, picking from the same list that all business minors take. Depending on your freshman math placement exam, you may need to take Math 113 as a prerequisite. ITS students are not required to take calculus.