Information technology is the use of computers and software to manage information. The information technology major provides a foundation in computer architecture, systems programming, data structures and networks. Upper level courses include web and internet systems, database systems, and information assurance and network security. The program is completed with electives emphasizing applications in areas such as web technology, databases, and computer security. After completing the information technology program at the Naval Academy one can go on to advanced study in databases, information assurance, and computer/network security.
Midshipmen participate in hands-on projects beginning in third class year and the program culminates in a capstone design experience in the first class year. The capstone experience provides a relevant, practical opportunity to incorporate all of the knowledge gained into a culminating project. The capstone project can be interdisciplinary, with teams made up of computer science and information technology majors. Recent projects have included developing the USNA Honor website, developing apps for the IPod and iPhone and designing the system to allow the naval Academy radio station to broadcast on the internet.
The Computer Science Department is equipped with Windows and Unix computers, networking, and computer forensics labs. Midshipmen utilize these resources to reinforce and apply the theory learned in the classroom and to complete projects throughout the curriculum.
Upper class information technology majors may engage in independent study, or participate in summer internships with the National Security Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency, or the Naval Research Labs. Annually, a select group of information technology majors participate in the Service Academy Cyber Defense Exercise. Several midshipmen acquire majors in both computer science and information each year.
Information technology graduates can be selected into the highly competitive Information Professional (IP) or Information Warfare (IW) career field options. IP officers harness technology, information and knowledge to ensure battlespace dominance and IW officers conduct offensive cyber warfare operations. Computer and network security related fields are one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. A degree in information technology can lead to a highly successful career in the Navy and Marine Corps, or in the government and private sectors.
Midshipmen considering the information technology major should have a strong interest in computer technology as it applies to systems of computers and networks. Students will spend a significant amount of time in labs working with computers, servers, routers, switches, and other computer equipment. Students who enjoy working with systems of computers, who have an interest in the technical foundation for computer and network security, or who have a systematic way of thinking, have the greatest success in the major. No prior computer programming experience is required to be successful in this major.