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ASU launching Doctor of Information Technology degree program in fall 2024

New professional doctorate will produce industry leaders

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Features, Fulton Schools

Riddhi Tamakuwala, a graduate student in the information technology program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, presents her applied project at the end of her master’s program. Photo courtesy of Tatiana Walsh

Technology is ever changing and leadership must evolve to keep pace with advancements across high-tech fields. The rise in artificial intelligence, or AI, is creating new challenges in many sectors. In an era of great change, those in decision-making roles must develop the skills to manage uncertainty and disruption. Effective leaders must also be able to blend technological acumen with soft skills, creating work environments where their teams collaborate successfully.

To prepare for this future, The Polytechnic School, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, will launch a Doctor of Information Technology program this fall.

“Over the next few years The Polytechnic School will launch several graduate programs to develop leaders who can combine deep technical know-how with broad principled know-why. We are starting with a doctor of information technology because the faculty understand the demand for this training, but also because IT is everywhere. I can’t imagine a better academic opportunity for a new generation of tech executives to benefit so many people,” says Kurt Paterson, director of The Polytechnic School.

This professional doctorate, which focuses on developing solutions to practical problems rather than on academic research, will be geared toward working professionals who already have a master’s degree in a related field, substantial professional experience, and are looking to advance their career and seek new leadership opportunities. The degree program is designed to leverage students’ work experience to help enhance their management skills through academic theory and applied engineering.

“This doctoral program focuses on combining applied research, industry practices and leadership to innovate solutions to complex multifaceted challenges. The emphasis on leadership, principled innovation and industry experience is a key difference between this program and other doctoral programs,” says Tatiana Walsh, an assistant teaching professor and chair of the information technology program in The Polytechnic School.

Derex Griffin, an assistant teaching professor of information technology in The Polytechnic School, says the program is ideal for students already dedicated to their work in the information technology field and who see themselves as transformative leaders in an industry where leadership is especially consequential.

“We’ve built a comprehensive, hands-on experience to address the leadership challenge that comes with being a part of the next generation of information technology innovators,” says Griffin.

There are key aspects of The Polytechnic School’s new doctorate degree that set it apart from other programs.

This is the first program of its kind in the state of Arizona, which aligns with ASU’s forward thinking and innovation. Students are given the opportunity to do practical research to develop best practices that can be immediately applied in the workplace. This prepares them to address today’s information technology challenges and help to advance this industry.

“Students will obtain experiences in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cyber security and data science,” Walsh says. “Graduates will become technology leaders who have the skills required to lead enterprise initiatives that innovate highly reliable communications networks, implement resilient security global systems and leverage data analytics in daily big data business decisions.”

Another advantage offered by the program is that students will be able to complete their studies in three years, which makes the degree more cost-effective than alternatives. In addition, the atmosphere of The Polytechnic School’s atmosphere is familial in nature, which contributes to a successful learning environment. The school’s programs tend to foster long-term professional relationships that can lead to networking that benefits students in their future careers.

Upon graduation, students will have opportunities to advance in careers such as senior technology managers, consultants, researchers and chief information officer in fields like business, education, government and non-profit organizations.

“Students develop the engineering skills and professional competencies in collaboration, communication, agility, ethics and teamwork to advance their leadership career,” says Walsh.

Appropriate undergraduate degrees completed by students that will render them successful in this program include information technology, information sciences, cybersecurity, computer science, computer systems engineering, computer engineering and software engineering.

To be awarded the Doctor of Information Technology, students must complete 60 credit hours, including an applied project course, and meet the requirements of both ASU’s Graduate College and the Fulton Schools.

“Our program will help professionals to step into advanced technical leadership roles to lead initiatives that create principled solutions for real-world needs,” Walsh says.

The application is now open for fall 2024 and spring 2025 semesters.

About The Author

Joy Gaeraths

Joy Gaeraths joined the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering marketing and communications team in February 2024 as the embedded communications specialist for The Polytechnic School.

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