MSIT concentrations

Students in the MSIT program can choose two of six optional concentrations. The concentrations are meant to help students who are interested in a specific skill by giving them guidance when they select courses. Concentrations are not mentioned on degree certificates, though CMU-Africa uses them to refer students to employers who require specific skills.

Each concentration includes one core course and a selection of elective courses. For a student to acquire the skills of a concentration, s/he must complete 36 units in that concentration. Students also should select internship, practicum, and/or research in their concentration(s).

Cyber security

Students should select this concentration if they would like leadership positions in information security, which is protecting information in networks, storage systems, software, and web-based systems. They will become security technology experts, and excel in regulating and operating these complex systems.

Those in the program learn security fundamentals, and then gain hands-on experience in labs and by solving real problems that security professionals currently face.

Advanced classes allow students to specialize on network security, risk management, cyber forensics, and/or other areas.

What skills do students have after graduation?

Graduates have the following technical skills:

  • They have strong problem solving and analytic skills, both of which allow them to assess threats, vulnerabilities and risks. Graduates are also able to plan and implement ways to defend the system.
  • They understand the many facets of cybersecurity: technical, business, management, and policy.
  • They have both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in cybersecurity.
  • They understand security regulations and standards, and are able to make sure their company adheres to legal policies.
  • They also have skills that allow them to assume leadership positions.

What jobs does this concentration prepare students for?

While there are many job options, most of our graduates become:

  • Information security analysts for a government agency on Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT)
  • Network security engineers for a bank or larger retailer
  • Security consultants
  • Forensic analysts for a cybercrimes law-enforcement unit

 

Course Course Name Location Units Semester Offered
04-635 Introduction to Information Security Africa 12 Spring
94-806 Privacy in the Digital Age Africa 6 Intermittent
95-756 Information Security Risk Africa 6 Spring
95-757 Information Security Risk Policy & Management Africa 6 Spring

Data science

Data science is for those interested in learning how to collect and analyze data, which they can then use to develop statistics that can either help businesses make informed decisions or can be used for research purposes.

Students study how data science can be used in research, business, and the public sector by studying the concepts, methodology, and techniques used in data science. These include skills such as asking the right kinds of questions, making inferences, and providing actionable insights via a dashboard.

The concentration combines interdisciplinary coursework with cutting-edge research, and shows students how to draw on concepts and models from engineering, computing, the environment, and social sciences when working in the data science field.

What skills do students have after graduation?

Graduates have the following technical skills:

  • How to plan, design, and implement an empirical research project using statistical and computational techniques.
  • How to test for statistically significant relationships and to build decision support tools and offer solutions for business intelligence.
  • Practical skills strengthened by discussing project design, data collection, data exploration, data visualization, and the advantages and disadvantages of the quantitative models available for different tasks such as forecasting, classification, risk management, and decision-making.

What jobs does this concentration prepare students for?

While there are many job options, most of our graduates become:

  • Business analysts
  • Data analysts
  • Data scientists
  • Analytics experts
  • Search engine engineers
  • Business intelligence experts
  • Risk managers
Course Course Name Location Units Semester Offered
18-899-K1 Data and Inference Africa 6 Spring
18-899-K2 Applied Machine Learning Africa 6 Spring
18-899-K3 Data Analytics Africa 6 Spring
18-899-K4 Big Data Science Africa 6 Spring
04-611 Strategic Use of Digital Information in Enterprises Africa 12 Fall
91-801 Statistical Methods for Managers Africa 12 Fall
94-842/A4 Programming R for Analytics Africa 6 Intermittent
95-797 Data Warehousing Africa 6 Spring
95-864/A4 Text Analytics Africa 6 Fall
95-872/A3 & Z4 The Art & Science of Business Analytics Africa 6 Intermittent
95-703 Database Management Africa 12 Fall, Spring
10-605 Machine Learning with Large Datasets Pittsburgh 12 Fall, Spring

Software engineering

Software engineering studies and applies engineering to designing, developing, and maintaining software, including mobile applications.

Students are able to guide their studies in this concentration based on their career goals. They are encouraged to consult with their adviser to select courses that match their specific interest.

What skills do students have after graduation?

Graduates are able to:

  • Design, write and test code
  • Manage and organize a technical project
  • Use a systematic approach to solve software engineering problems

What jobs does this concentration prepare students for?

While there are many job options, most of our graduates become:

  • Software engineers
  • IT consultants
  • Software testers/analysts
  • Cloud computing engineers
  • Software architects
  • Database managers
Course Course Name Location Units Semester Offered
04-330 Fundamentals of Software Development & Problem Solving Africa 12 Fall
18-652 Foundations of Software Engineering Pittsburgh 12 Fall, Spring
15-619 Cloud Computing Africa 12 Fall, Spring
17-653 Managing Software Development Africa 12 Fall
18-640 Foundations of Computer Architecture Pittsburgh 12 Fall, Spring
18-641 Java Smart Phone Development Africa 12 Fall
18-645 How to Write Fast Code Pittsburgh 12 Spring
18-732 Secure Software Systems Pittsburgh 12 Spring
94-813/B3 Project Management Africa 6 Intermittent
95-706 Object Oriented Analysis & Design Africa 6 Fall

Information technology (IT) entrepreneurship

The information technology (IT) entrepreneurship concentration has two aspects:

  • Learning both the business aspects of IT, including the responsibilities of entrepreneurs and business professionals
  • Using information and communication technology to solve problems in underserved communities, which is called Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D)

After studying the business aspects of IT, students will be able to readily identify, analyze, and develop opportunities for creating new IT products and services.

What skills do students have after graduation?

Graduates have the skills to:

  • Understand how to take an idea and turn it into a successful market product
  • Develop a business strategy for a company
  • Analyze a company's income statement and balance sheet
  • Understand how to build and manage a startup team
  • Asses community needs, and then manage the technological, economic, and cultural factors that will influence whether the community successfully adopts ICT
  • Work with multidisciplinary teams in the creation, funding, deployment, and evaluation of development solutions

What jobs does this concentration prepare students for?

While there are many job options, most of our graduates become:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Marketing specialists
  • Product managers
  • Business development managers
  • Product designers
  • Innovation consultants
  • ICT project implementers for a development agency
  • ICT project planners for a government agency
  • ICT consultants supporting multinational company entering emerging markets

Telecommunications and networking

Graduates who select the telecommunication and networks concentration are able to design, maintain, and operate telecommunication systems and networks, including management and policy.

What skills do students have after graduation?

Graduates have the skills to:

  • Design and analyze a telecommunication system and/or network
  • Build, maintain, and operate telecommunications/wireless networks
  • Explain and analyze both the business and economic aspects of telecommunications networks
  • Analyze the operation of telecommunications systems and networks, as well as detect failures in these systems and networks
  • Optimize telecommunications/wireless systems and networks’ operations
  • Evaluate the telecommunication policies and propose how to improve policies and regulations

What jobs does this concentration prepare students for?

While there are many job options, most of our graduates become:

  • Telecommunications engineers
  • Networks engineers for mobile service providers, regulation authorities, or other government organizations
  • Network architects for mobile service providers, or organizations with private networks
  • Telecommunication system designers, such as telecommunication manufacturers or equipment providers
  • Telecommunication or ICT policy agents, which could involve working for the government, ICT ministry, telecommunication services providers or international organizations

Energy systems

Those who choose an energy systems concentration will focus on how to balance energy generation and consumption, and work to find effective solutions to energy problems.

Students in this field have a passion for addressing our society’s increasing energy consumption–they are well aware that we cannot keep up with demand, and are concerned about the environmental implications of our primary fuel sources.

By studying alternative energy sources, such as renewable mini grids, storage and generators, students will be prepared to develop effective solutions to these problems. They will be trained to understand the interdisciplinary challenges of energy, and to become well-informed on the issues of energy supply, demand, storage, utilization, policy, sustainability, and the environment.

What skills do students have after graduation?

Graduates have the skills to:

  • Develop and manage energy projects
  • Manage energy efficiency and demand-side response
  • Understand emerging energy policies
  • Be able to design small microgrids for a given set up

What jobs does this concentration prepare students for?

While there are many job options, most of our graduates become:

  • Energy auditors
  • Project managers
  • Consultants
  • Control Systems Engineers
  • Transmission Engineers
  • Distribution Engineers
  • Researchers