For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech’s Master of Information Technology program has been named the No. 3 Best Online Program by U.S. News & World Report. The program is also celebrating its third-consecutive year as the No. 1 choice for veterans.

Similarly performing well in the latest U.S. News rankings is the university’s online graduate engineering program, which was named No. 25. 

The Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) program, shared by the Pamplin College of Business and the College of Engineering, has established itself as an innovator for interdisciplinary collaboration, successfully blending fields such as computer science, management, and business information technology. This integrated approach, which reflects the professional environment that graduates experience outside the classroom, creates opportunities for the university to reach a broader audience.  

Students can craft a personalized course of study to gain the technical foundation to excel in careers in information technology, business, data science, cybersecurity, and more, said Parviz Ghandforoush, associate dean for Pamplin graduate programs and executive director of the VT-MIT program. 

“The VT-MIT program has a record of long-standing academic excellence and commitment to providing a highly relevant curriculum for today's working professionals,” said Ghandforoush. “True to our university motto, Ut Prosim, we continue to emphasize veteran education, actively focusing on access to quality instruction relevant to IT and cybersecurity careers and for those students seeking to enhance their technology marketability.”

Jim Cox, a cybersecurity consultant with Cadre Information Security, enrolled in the master’s program to facilitate his transition into the field of cybersecurity. In the few months since he graduated in December, he said, the skills he learned have already helped him pass his Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) exam.

“Virginia Tech's program was exactly what I was looking for to help me better understand the influence cybersecurity has on businesses and developed my skills to better engage in leadership discussions,” said Cox. “I expect the combination of my degree and CISSP certification will play an important role in my resume standing out from others.”

U.S. News & World Report rankings measure whether online degree programs maintain brick-and-mortar academic standards while developing educational methods specific to online learning. The rankings reward long-term investments in designing and scaling student services, technologies, curricula, and instructor training toward distance learners. 

"The VT-MIT program consistently ranks high because of our top-talent faculty and our high-quality courses. It is a priority of the College of Engineering's strategic plan to not only attract talented students, but also to increase access to our brilliant faculty and programming,” said Glenda Scales, the college’s associate dean for global engagement and chief technology officer. 

As other university distance-education programs may come and go, the College of Engineering’s No. 25 ranking this year for its online graduate engineering program reflects its stable and growing online presence, said Scales.

For the past 40 years, the college has offered distance-learning opportunities through its own program offerings as well as those of its partners in Cardinal Education, a consortium of six universities that emphasizes flexible and rigorous learning in online graduate study programs.  

Virginia Tech continually builds its online course offerings, graduate certificates, and master’s programs to meet student and industry needs, said Alicia Johnson, director of Virginia Tech Engineering Online and Cardinal Education. Certificate programs offer the flexibility needed by today’s engineers, serving professionals looking to upskill and advance their careers as well as recent graduates who want to increase employment opportunities or lay a foundation for an engineering graduate degree. 

“We are excited to have two new graduate certificate programs rolling out in 2023 as well as an exciting interactive online course coming up from our quantum engineering program,” said Johnson. “We are proud of our ability to reach our students wherever they are and will continue to provide more online opportunities in 2023.”

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