Last Updated: June 2019
Majors within the School of Information Technology include:
The School of Information Technology recommends that students purchase a Windows machine with an operating system of Windows 10.
Linux and Macintosh based Operating Systems are also acceptable, but may not support various software applications required for course work.
Students should consult with their undergraduate advisor or faculty members if they have any specific questions.
Either a laptop or desktop is acceptable for the completion of coursework. That being said, the need for mobility is an increasingly important factor in the laptop vs. desktop decision process.
Special Note from TechZone: In order to complete their coursework, students may often find it necessary to use computers in their residence, around campus, or when meeting with project groups. For this reason, TechZone recommends that students strongly consider purchasing a laptop that will support such activities.
Although it is possible to successfully complete their college coursework with only a desktop computer, students may find themselves more dependent on the use (and availability) of on-campus computer labs, or their fellow students, for accomplishing some of the required course and project work.
Most of the software students use in the labs is available for free/download. The School of IT offers a Virtual Desktop Environment (VDI) and OpenStack virtual machines to all students that need to access specialized software from outside the computer labs or classroom.
The School of IT labs run Windows operating systems, and most of the software used in IT classes run on the Windows OS. There are Linux based terminal server environments along with OpenStack Windows and Linux based VM’s used in multiple IT classes as well.
Lab use depends on the course and/or instructor. Some classes have dedicated lab sections, while others, such as some of the security classes, require OpenStack VM’s to complete course work.
All faculty have Windows machines, and several also run Linux and Mac.
Buying a new computer in line with the University’s Minimum Specifications, and TechZone’s buying advice should work fine for most IT students.
Additionally, IT students may also be eligible to participate in a number of free educational software programs, such as:
* The list of software titles available through the Microsoft Academic Alliance program are too numerous to list, however MS Office is NOT included and should be obtained through office365.ilstu.edu. Students will be able to sign up for the MSDNAA program once enrolled in an IT course.