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Business degree is not complete without IT

By John PritsiolasSpecial to the Chronicle

The typical conclusion of a hard day’s work for the modern worker most likely concludes with the employee virtually logging his hours on the corporate web page. That page was probably developed by a contractor who never set foot in the building and is not even remotely close to the location.

This is a far cry from the primordial but effective tabulating machines invented by Herman Hollerith, which recorded only a handful of entities (consumer records or employee hours), usually punched into sheets of paper.

On the other hand, information technology is ubiquitous and permeates every aspect of the business world – and with a high degree of singularity, as well. For businesses and individuals alike, the ease of access regarding information is par none compared to any other time in our history.

However, despite the advent of modern information technology and the inundation by this ever-changing fascination, there seems to be a dearth of understanding surrounding the subject.

For example, if you were to approach most business students and ask them if they knew what XML, HTML, Java or even Visual Basic was, you would surely receive blank stares in return.

These methods of programming are some of the most commonly utilized coding in the business world, and are all incredibly relevant to fields like finance and marketing. Yet, judging by the responses garnered from students in general, you certainly wouldn’t walk away with that impression.

Furthermore, many students and even adults who have spent their entire life toiling away in the realm of business still don’t have a firm grasp on the importance of network security and the repercussions resulting from their negligence (viruses, identity theft and stolen corporate information). Their irresponsible actions, whether intentional or not, can ultimately culminate in unnecessary multi-million dollar expenses as firms rush to rectify the situation.

Fortunately, there is a solution already at hand; it just requires a proactive approach from faculty members within business schools around the country. That solution revolves around restructuring courses to be more IT-centric and requiring all business students to at least have a minor in information technology as a pre-requisite to graduate.

Although it may seem like just an additional scribble on a degree, a minor in information technology would hopefully serve as the catalyst to bridge the glaring gap that technologically inept students and businessmen seemingly have yet to cross.

As a technologically driven student, I have always seen today’s IT major as the business world’s electrician. If you don’t know how to properly install wire, then good luck, because you will be kept in the dark.

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