Graduate Certificate or Master’s Degree? Which is right for you?

Perhaps you already have a master’s degree, and wish to explore another content area such as Security & Analytics. Maybe you are an emerging I.T. professional and don’t want to commit to a full master’s degree program quite yet. A graduate certificate will allow you to jump right in and quickly (usually within a year) earn a recognized credential that will translate into greater content knowledge in a specific area. The Virginia Tech Master of Information Technology Program is pleased to offer the following graduate certificates, 100% online:

The certificate in Information Security and Analytics introduces students to the fundamentals of computer and network security, teaches students how to analyze a client/server IT infrastructure for security weaknesses, and gives practical experience in analyzing common practices for security vulnerabilities that could result in the loss of sensitive company and customer information. It also provides the advanced network security knowledge to allow students to build trustworthy systems and to protect critical infrastructures through an understanding of how to engineer and evaluate relevant security solutions. The certificate also examines the use of business intelligence and analytics in data rich organizations and explores the development and application of business intelligence and analytics solutions to various types of decision problems.

To earn the certificate in Information Security and Analytics, students must complete the following courses:

ECE 5585 Information Security & Trust I
ECE 5586 Information Security & Trust II
BIT 5524 Introduction to Business Intelligence & Analytics
BIT 5534 Advanced Business Intelligence & Analytics

 

The healthcare industry is ever evolving. With the adoption of electronic medical records, telemedicine and the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) migration, there is demand for those with skills in both information technology and the healthcare field. The certificate in Health Information Technology aims to provide competence in patient informatics and the use of evidence based medicine, electronic prescribing, and telemedicine as tools to improve patient health and medical systems operations.  Students will understand the use of business intelligence and analytics in data rich organizations and obtain the ability to develop and apply business intelligence and analytics solutions to various types of decision problems.

To earn the certificate in Health Information Technology, students must complete the following courses:

BIT 5564 Healthcare Information
ACIS 5574 Healthcare Data Management
BIT 5524 Introduction to Business Intelligence & Analytics
BIT 5534 Advanced Business Intelligence & Analytics

 

In today's business environment, ad hoc approaches to information systems development are not sufficient. Modern approaches to the development of information systems, such as structured systems development, relational database development, and object-oriented systems development, are required. The certificate in Business Information Systems prepares the student to become a business information systems developer using both structured and object-oriented systems development approaches. It also prepares the student to be able to design and develop business information systems that use a relational database.

To earn the certificate in Business Analytics and Data Mining, students must complete the following courses:

BIT 5524 Introduction to Business Intelligence & Analytics
BIT 5534 Advanced Business Intelligence & Analytics
ACIS 5504 Information Systems Design & Database Concepts
ACIS 5524 Advanced Database Management

 

The certificate in Database Management covers business information systems development, database design and management, and the design and implementation of interactive computer-based information systems that use decision rules, models, and comprehensive databases to support the decision making process. Students will be prepared to become a business information systems developer using both structured and object-oriented systems development approaches, and to be able to design and develop business information systems that use a relational database. The certificate also includes an in-depth coverage of methods for data access, modeling and computation using a visual language, graphical display of support material and report generation methodologies, object sharing between software components, and the deployment of support systems within a distributed computing environment. Client server systems, common object model methodologies, and the distribution of support systems in a web-based environment are examined in the context of distributed decision support systems.

To earn the certificate in Database Management, students must complete the following courses:

ACIS 5504 Information Systems Design & Database Concepts
ACIS 5524 Advanced Database Management
BIT 5474 Computer-Based Decision Support Systems
BIT 5484 Cognitive Computing for Smart Service Systems

 

There is currently a high demand for software developers with a projected 22.8-percent employment growth for software developers between 2012 and 2022 and there is no shortage of employment opportunities in a variety of industries such as computer systems design, electronic product manufacturing, finance, web-based systems, and network security. The certificate in Software Development prepares students to be able to design and implement software systems using an object-oriented language such as Java; identify and apply appropriate design patterns and software development processes to develop software systems; review and assess software designs and software systems for quality, cist, reliability, complexity, and performance; and design and implement distributed software systems deployed over a web-based and cloud-based environment.

To earn the certificate in Software Development, students must complete the following courses:

CS 5044 Object Oriented Programming with Java
CS 5244 Internet Software
CS 5704 Software Engineering
CS 5744 Software Design & Quality

 

The certificate in Management of Technology prepares students to become information technology leaders and to be able to craft corporate and business strategies where technology provides the basis for an organization’s competitive advantage. Students will have an introduction to design methodologies in information systems and databases. Structured systems analysis and design methodologies as well as topics related to different database models and their implementation will be covered. An overview of the use of business intelligence and analytics technologies in rich organizations will be given and their strategic use including defining/framing the business context for decisions, a survey of the different types of decision models, data issues, business intelligence, building analytics capability, making organizations smarter, and measuring the value of analytics. Students will also learn about the characteristics, use, and development of decision support systems (DSS) within the context of other business information systems and the process of designing and implementing decision support systems in business is examined from both theoretical and practical standpoints.

To earn the certificate in Management of Technology, students must complete the following courses:

MGT 5804 Strategic Leadership in Technology Based Organizations
ACIS 5504 Information Systems Design and Database Concepts
BIT 5474 Computer-Based Decision Support Systems
BIT 5524 Introduction to Business Intelligence and Analytics

 

Requirements

A qualified student who wishes to enter Virginia Tech to obtain a graduate certificate, without being enrolled in the Master of Information Technology degree program, may apply for graduate admission to Graduate Certificate status. The Graduate School requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission to a graduate certificate program. There are no exceptions. Official transcripts and a resume must be submitted, along with an abbreviated application which can be found here. Students pursing a graduate certificate are not eligible for financial aid, due to the non-degree status. Need more details? Contact us at vtmit@vt.edu