Q. What can I do with a degree in Information and Telecommunication Systems?
A. Almost every business that's positioning itself to be competitive in the new "Information Economy" uses high-tech communication systems. Most banks, oil companies, insurance firms, chain stores and major manufactures already have communication networks in place to help them move information from place to place. These businesses utilize ITS grads to plan and manage their networks. Also, many small businesses are plugging into the Information Age and have a growing need to manage the flow of data from one place to another.
Hundreds of vendors like AT&T, Worldcom, Sprint, Ameritech, and Qwest need sales people, as well as people to train their customers' employees on the proper and efficient use of their equipment and services. To remain competitive, vendors are always looking for new people who can do research and development on new services and technology; perform as traffic engineers to make sure that communication networks are sized properly; or serve in management and administrative positions.
Communication networks and services have become important to the economy and are closely monitored by both state and federal regulatory agencies. These agencies and regulatory bodies need people to work as policy analysts. Many independent opportunities are opening up as more organizations turn to outside communication consultants to help them assess their communication needs.
While specific job titles are likely to change in this new and growing field, here are some typical titles and job descriptions you will find currently in use by the "users" of communication systems and services.
-Voice Communications Coordinators review and analyze phone equipment, the number of calls, and the cost of long distance services in order to make recommendations for newer technologies and more cost-effective services.
-Computer Network Administrators keep current with the latest developments in data communication technologies so that they can recommend the purchase of new equipment or suggest changes in the configuration of an organization's "local" or "wide area" communication networks.
-Network Analysts monitor the performance of voice and data networks and seek ways to increase performance and keep it at an optimum level.
-Programmer Analysts develop software for specific communication purposes or test, evaluate, and adapt existing "off the shelf" software products for use in a communication system.
Q. When did your program get started?
A. During the late 1970's, Ohio University responded to the growing need for bright, energetic communication professionals by developing an undergraduate program in Communication Systems Management. This innovative program, one of the first in the United States, began in 1981 with 21 students, and has expanded to more than 200 majors.
In 1988, the school was named in honor of J. Warren McClure, an O.U. graduate, former newspaper editor and Gannett executive, in recognition of his continuing support for the program. In reference to the program, McClure once said, "I like a winner and this looked like a winner to me. I look around Ohio University and I can see people being turned out here who are going to be very, very successful."
McClure's support includes major contributions to the School's endowment and an endowed professorship which will enhance the School's ability to cover all areas of communication management.
After a unanimous recommendation of the CSM faculty and the CSM Advisory Board, and positive informal feedback from a number of alumni, the Ohio University Board of Trustees approved a name change for the School to "The J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems" in 2006. This change will better inform students and potential employers as to the content of the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Q. What will I learn?
A. Students majoring in Information and Telecommunication Systems will learn:
- about the various voice and data communication systems that governments, organizations, and corporations are using to move information from one place to another.
- how businesses design and sell services that utilize voice and data communications technology.
- how to assess the internal and external communication needs of an organization.
- about the benefits and drawbacks of today's and tomorrow's communication technologies like fiber-optics, satellites, computer networks, video conferencing equipment, microwaves and telephone systems.
- how to match an organization's communication needs with the right technologies to provide an efficient, cost-effective, and secure system of communications.
- how to manage an organization's existing communication systems so that it gets the most value for its money.
- about laws and regulations that both constrain and open opportunities in telecommunications markets.
Q. Is Information and Telecommunication Systems a four-year degree program?
A. Yes, Information and Telecommunication Systems (ITS) is a comprehensive four-year undergraduate program in the design and management of voice, data, and image communication systems. While most college programs are engineering based, ITS also focuses on business applications of communication technology.
The program's core courses cover network design and management; data communications; voice processing; voice and data equipment; the history of the telephone industry; regulatory and public policy issues; system security; project management; international communications; and other issues.
Students are required to complete 11 courses related to business administration, as well as courses in public speaking, technical writing, statistics, and computer science.