In the past, Colorado Technical University hasn’t been known for its ability to launch careers in academia.
That’s starting to change.
Three graduates from the doctorate of computer science program have recently landed jobs as tenure-track professors at big universities: University of Maine at Augusta, Alabama A&M University and Missouri Baptist University.
“I think in the past, people would consider us less an academic path and more of a professional path,” says Bruce Harmon, Ph.D., the doctoral dean of computer science at CTU. “It’s been our intent to upgrade our program in this way, to make publication more important than it has been in the past.”
Over the past couple of years, CTU has upgraded its faculty and placed more emphasis on publishing academic research papers.
“We’ve made a point of hiring faculty that are more publication savvy and have more publications of their own,” Harmon says. “I think we’re moving up the ladder in prestige, and (the graduates’ hiring success) is tangible evidence that it’s happening.”
For example, CTU recently added a professor emeritus who hails from Louisiana State University, having served as the department chair there. This professor’s publication record is “outrageous,” Harmon says.
Today’s computer science doctoral students are able to participate in workshops to improve their skills at authoring academic papers, and their successes are celebrated at regular symposia. Faculty and students have been invited to present papers at prestigious events such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conference, the Cyber Security Training Conference, and the Embedded Systems Conference.
CTU’s School of Computer Science doctoral program has five concentrations available to students: computer science, digital systems security, emerging media, enterprise information systems and information assurance.
Information assurance is the most recent addition to the program, and has proven to be the most popular.
“It’s a blend of information systems and computer security,” Harmon says. “By matching them both, we find that information systems is more popular than computer science, because people are not so involved with deep technical things that they would be in computer science. They’re able to concentrate more on the infrastructure that needs to be supported and architected without being involved in the details of programming and databases.”
Woven throughout the curriculum is information on bleeding-edge topics that will help students stay abreast of the important trends in today’s marketplace. For example, mobile computing has taken off in incredible ways in the past several years, meaning today’s students need to understand how to work with those iPhones in their pockets.
Cloud computing is another topic for industry buzz, offering consumers a centralized computing resource that they pay for as they use it.
With every new computing technology comes a threat to consumer information, as hackers target everything from e-mail accounts to account records at major credit card companies. CTU makes sure to infuse every aspect of its programs with a strong understanding of computer security.
“Security always has been a major area of expertise in our group,” Harmon says.
Students who are interested in the doctorate of computer science program at CTU are encouraged to attend an open house at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 on the CTU campus, 4435 N. Chestnut St. Attendees should RSVP by calling 719-598-0200.
For more information on CTU and its available programs, visit www.ColoradoTech.edu.
5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25
Colorado Technical University
4435 N. Chestnut St.