Program Description

Program Director: Thomas Gallagher

The Information Technology Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program prepares students for entry-level technical support positions in the career field of Computing and Information Technology.  The program provides students with a well-rounded technical background for computer support.

Requirements include coursework in data modeling, networking, operating systems, PC hardware, programming, and web technologies.  Soft skills involving business organization structure, customer service, problem solving, and writing are emphasized. 

All students gain work experience in their field of study through the completion of an internship.  Students are also required to complete an industry certification process and a certification exam.

In working towards completion of the two-year AAS degree, students will complete all course work required for a Ceritficate of Applied Science in Computer Support.  

Information Systems Management Option

The Information Systems Management option emphasizes application development and business process.  

Students learn to write software using an object-oriented programming paradigm for deployment to the web and the desktop.  

Relational database design, structured query language (SQL), and the ability to create applications which push and pull information from databases are highlighted.

Graduates seek careers as computer support specialists, database administrators, help desk technicians, software developers, and web developers. 

Network Management Option

Network administrator has become a common job title across all career fields.  

The Network Management option provides students with a background in network administration for supporting users and computing in a networked environment.

Coursework in network operating systems, server administration, routers, switches, security, and IP telephony are all embedded in the Network Management option.

The University of Montana is a Cisco Networking Academy, a CompTIA Authorized Academy, and a member of the Microsoft Developers Network Academic Alliance. Opportunities exist for professional certification from Cisco (CCENT/CCNA), Microsoft and Comp TIA (A+, Network+ and Security+).

Computer Support Program Description

Program Director: Thomas Gallagher

The Certificate of Appied Science in Computer Support is essentially the first year of the IT AAS degree.  Students pursuing their AAS may obtain this credential in the course of completing their degree program. 

Students are accepted into the program autumn and spring terms.  Students entering the program should be prepared with basic computing skills (file management, keyboarding, word processing, and Internet applications) and adequate preparation in mathematics (completion of M 090 or equivalent placement scores). 

Underprepared students should allocate an additional semester to the suggested four semester sequence.  Some classes are available online.  All students attempt at least one industry certification and complete at least one online course.  

Academically prepared students can complete the Associate of Applied Science degree and at least one industry certification within two years.  All credits earned in the program fulfill partial requirements towards a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree through The University of Montana. 

Student Outcomes

Upon completion of the program students will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in supporting end-users by designing, installing and maintaining the hardware, software, and networking technologies used in information technology.
  • Describe the structure of organizations and the information technology resources needed to support it.
  • Demonstrate the workplace skills of effective communication, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and leadership.
  • Effectively utilize information technology as a research and productivity tool.
  • Identify the societal impact of information technology and apply appropriate best practices for security and safety.

Students with an option in Information Systems Management will:

  • Design, develop, and maintain desktop and web-based information systems to support institutions and organizations.

Students with an option in Network Management will:

  • Configure, install, monitor, secure, troubleshoot, and manage networking connectivity technologies; server-based computing systems; and integrated video/voice/data systems.

Related Job Titles

  • Application Developer
  • Computer Repair Technician
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Computer System Technician
  • Database Administrator
  • Help-Desk Technician
  • Network Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Web Developer

Related Occupations (US-DOL Occupations Handbook)

Related Industry Certification Opportunities

  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
  • Cisco Certified Networking Associate
  • CompTIA A+ Certified Computer Support Technician
  • CompTIA Network+ Network Professional
  • Microsoft Certified System Administrator
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist

Further Educational Opportunities

The Computer Support Certificate of Applied Science is a first step for individuals interested in building a technical skill set for a career involving Information Technology.  

It is part of a laddered credential approach involving a one-year certificate, industry certification, a two-year associate degree, and a four-year baccalaureate degree.

All credits completed for the Information Technology A.A.S. degree fulfill partial requirements for a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree.

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