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NMSU?s Information and Communication Technology program offers online degree

Technology is consistently changing. To keep up with the demands of the evolving technology, students can learn about useful tools needed in the field through New Mexico State University?s bachelor?s degree in information and communication technology.

The program is offered through NMSU?s College of Engineering. ICT is a distance education program and two plus two program, which is intended as two years of instruction for students who have an associate degree or two year?s of credits in computer and other technology-related programs. The ICT program was launched in 2006 and is a great opportunity for people considering a career change according to ICT Coordinator Jeff Beasley.

?The two plus two program is very important because most of our students are working part-time or full-time. This provides a wonderful opportunity for them to get a bachelor?s,? Beasley said. ?The goal is to make it easy for them and to provide a marketable degree online that they can complete without having to travel to Las Cruces.?

Beasley said students in the program reside throughout the state and region including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Artesia and El Paso. He also noted that he was proud of the real-world scenarios that are taught in the program.

?The academic content for the program is exceptional,? Beasley said. ?The classes that we provide are things that people working out there need.

?It?s beneficial to the students? future, and we?re not just giving them a theoretical base that they would never use,? Beasley said. ?We are giving them very real things they need to know and apply right now. We update the curriculum constantly. Technology changes all the time, and the bad guys know how to get in. So we have to make sure we have the good guys that know how to keep them out and build robust systems.?

Current ICT student Damon Beasley said he is learning new procedures that he can use in his position as a technology support tech with NMSU?s Student Affairs and Enrollment Management office.

?I have been at my job for two and a half years and when I take a new ICT class I always learn something new,? he said. ?I always learn a new way to do something easier and more efficient, and I think to myself?I?m glad I took this class or else I would have never known about this.?

Even though he earned a bachelor?s in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology from NMSU in fall 2012, Damon Beasley intends to complete another bachelor?s in ICT while working full-time at the university. His current studies are helping him learn about different operating systems, including operating systems on mobile devices, servers, programming and networking that he can incorporate into his department.

A summer course called Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing is a prime example of how useful an ICT degree is in today?s environment, Jeff Beasley said.

?If you are going to be serious about cyber security you need to know how the bad guys get in. You can?t just put blinders on and skip that, because you have to know how they get in because you have to be able to protect that and then you have to be smart enough to go in and be able to test your system to see if there are ways for people to get in,? he said.

For more information on the Information and Communication Technology program visit http://et.nmsu.edu/undergraduate-programs/degree-programs/information-and-communication-technology-ict/.