By Erin Roberts
The Master of Communication Technology and Policy Graduate Program in the J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems at Ohio University -- known for its triple focus on technology, policy and strategic management -- recently was singled out for a Program of Excellence Award from the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association (ITERA).
The award -- which recognizes an ITERA member program for a body of work over a period of time, a special and unique program element, an unusual accomplishment or a program as a whole -- was presented at a late-March conference in Louisville, Ky.
"Ohio University was selected for ITERA recognition because of the strength of the academic program and faculty," said James Gantt, ITERA president and director of the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management at Murray (Ky.) State University. "The academic program provides a solid foundation for the success of their students in the job market. The faculty is productive and respected in the entire telecommunication community."
The interdisciplinary, professional master's degree was first offered in fall 2005, and enrollment in the program has doubled since that time. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in mid- to upper-management within technology companies and other industries that depend on communication networks for success. Emphases in both technology and policy are offered.
"This award is a recognition that we're on the right track and that what we're doing is valuable," says Graduate Studies Director and Professor Phyllis Bernt. "It validates that we're teaching our students what they need to know for today's environment and that we're maintaining high standards."
"We're attracting students from such varied places as China, India, the Middle East and Africa," Bernt added. "The courses are relevant to people working in information and telecommunication systems across the world."
Professor Andrew Snow said the program was modeled after the school's undergraduate curriculum -- one of the first in the nation in its combined focus on technology, management and policy.
"A technologist who understands management and regulatory issues and the economics associated with network technology will be a valued employee," Snow said. "When you combine the strengths of our faculty, there is a critical mass of talent you can't find in many places."
Snow, who served as the school's director from 2002 to 2007, said the program's inception was his first priority as director.
"It's flattering that it was chosen from among peer programs at Michigan State, Purdue and the Rochester Institute of Technology," he said. "Our graduates are finding employment at product companies such as Cisco and Interactive Intelligence; at service providers such as AT&T, MCI and Verizon; and with networking groups in corporate IT departments such as AIG and Progressive Insurance. It's an exciting time for our students."
Graduates can compete for positions with companies that rely on communication services such as banks, insurance companies, hospitals, telephone companies and wireless service providers. Those who choose the technical emphasis might pursue a career as a network designer, network administrator, telecommunications manager or system security manager. The policy emphasis opens doors to working for a public utility commission and doing policy analysis for industry associations or strategic planning for service providers.
For more information about the MCTP program, visit www.ohio.edu/mcclure/grad.
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