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PUBLISHED August 2, 2023
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has added three new graduate concentrations for people interested in changing careers or advancing in technological roles.
Students seeking a master’s degree in informatics from UL Lafayette’s Ray P. Authement College of the Sciences can now choose from concentrations in cybersecurity, data science and health informatics. That’s in addition to the existing informatics generalist concentration.
The 33-credit-hour master’s in informatics degree offers thesis and non-thesis tracks. Core courses cover human-computer interaction, network infrastructures, systems development, IT security, data analysis and visualization, distributed databases, cloud computing and big data applications.
The University established the master’s in informatics degree program in 2018. In 2021, it began offering the master’s degree online, along with the existing on-campus format.
“As a graduate school and a university, we’re committed to research and to helping students apply that research in programs that fit into their lives,” said Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of the Graduate School. “Delivering a top-tier curriculum on campus and online is one of the many ways we’re demonstrating those values.”
The three new concentrations are strategic additions designed to meet student needs and industry demands, and to maximize opportunities for graduates, said Dr. Martin Margala, a professor who directs the School of Computing and Informatics.
“Technology and the needs surrounding technology are constantly changing. It’s critical that we’re responsive to those changes to best prepare students for workforce needs,” Margala said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for roles related to the master’s program’s three new concentrations are growing faster than average. This includes positions as information security analysts, data scientists, information systems managers, health information technologists, database administrators and computer systems analysts.
Informatics is widely applicable because computing skills are critical across industries, said Dr. Azmy S. Ackleh, dean of the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences, which includes the School of Computing and Informatics.
“By definition, informatics is applied computing across multiple domains – business, health sciences, engineering,” he said. “Our informatics graduates are in high demand and have received outstanding career opportunities in industry from companies and organizations across the board at competitive salaries.”
Dr. Michael Totaro, graduate coordinator and an associate professor in the School of Computing and Informatics, said the cross-disciplinary nature of informatics means students can leverage their existing knowledge. That includes, he added, students who don’t have a technical background prior to starting their informatics program of study.
“Students can merge the area of expertise that they already have and the expertise they're going to develop in informatics,” Totaro said. “Everything that you've learned, everything that you've done, can be useful to you.”
Learn more at the School of Computing and Informatics website.
Photo caption: UL Lafayette has added three new concentrations to its master’s degree in informatics, additions that are designed to meet workforce needs. Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette