OHSU Initiates New Business Course for Portland-Area Information Technology Workers

11/25/03    Portland, Ore.

OGI School of Science & Engineering aims to help information technology workers strengthen their project management and business process skills

In Oregon there are an estimated 71,000 information technology workers primarily employed outside high-technology companies, and it is estimated that Oregon will have 5,000 to 6,000 new openings for information technology jobs every year -- more than double the state average growth rate -- according to a recent study commissioned by the Oregon Council for Knowledge & Economic Development.

To better prepare information technology workers for managing projects and strengthen their business process skills, Oregon Health & Science University's OGI School of Science & Engineering will begin offering graduate management courses tailored specifically for people working in information technology. Registration is now under way for the winter 2004 information technology class, which begins Jan. 9, 2004, on the Hillsboro, Ore., campus.

The first information technology course is "Managing IT/IS Security and Operations," taught by Mark Palmer, the director of Information Technology for Merant Inc. Individuals may take the course without enrolling in OGI's degreed management in science and technology program. For more information about the course, contact Jack Raiton, M.B.A., head of OGI's Department of Management in Science and Technology, 503 748-3075, raitonj@ohsu.edu; or go to www.ogi.edu/MST.

The "Managing IT/IS Security and Operations" course analyzes the concerns of top management regarding liability issues in file sharing, hacking and identify theft; compliance; disaster recovery; and risk management. The topics of costing, constructing, maintaining and policing a secure IT facility will be addressed.

Students will be taught the profit impacts of security breaches, liability areas, and nondisclosure and noncompete agreements. Information will be given about the nature of hacking, worms and viruses; physical plant issues; and personnel policies. Other legal and homeland security issues also addressed.

The course also focuses on managing: a data center, a call center, outsourced IT/IS functions, software licenses, the maintenance and support functions within the life cycle of purchased hardware, the flow of jobs; and interfacing with users.

"Information technology workers almost always have terrific technical skills," said Raiton. "We want to help information technology workers with their business skills, such as project/program management, and strategy and database management, which are now the standard skill sets needed for technology employees who wish to advance to senior levels in their field."

Raiton said he hopes that providing more business process training for information technology workers in the Portland-area will be a boost to the community. "We hope to eventually offer an information technology certificate and a dedicated master's degree program for information technology workers," he said.

Since 1995 OGI's Department of Management in Science and Technology has offered an accredited graduate degree program that has prepared students for leadership roles in technology-driven companies. Students from more than 200 companies in eight countries and 15 states have taken advantage of OGI's innovative technology-focused management courses.

For more information about management courses at OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering, go to www.ogi.edu/MST.

The OGI School of Science & Engineering (formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology) became one of four schools of the Oregon Health & Science University in 2001 (see www.ogi.edu).