Wanted: Business information technology majors

Employer demand for business information technology graduates continues to be very strong amid a shortage of graduates in the field, but enrollments in the major at the Pamplin College of Business continue to be low.

BIT head Bernard Taylor said the persisting low enrollments, despite various publicity measures by his department, including local and national media stories, are “a real mystery.”

Taylor said BIT enrollments at the Pamplin College and other schools have dropped steadily since the dot-com crash in 2002 — at the Pamplin College, from more than 800 in 2001 at the height of the dot-com boom to fewer than 300 in 2009. Meanwhile, demand among employers for graduates with business information technology skills has rebounded.

The major continues to be among the top 10 majors sought by companies recruiting at Virginia Tech. New graduates, he said, average more than $52,000 in starting salary (the sixth highest average starting salary in the university and the highest non-engineering starting salary).

“One reason for the anomaly may be a persisting false impression among students that the field offers limited prospects, given the trend towards overseas outsourcing,” Taylor said. “It’s true that programming jobs have moved offshore, but there are numerous other information technology jobs that require a higher level of information technology skills and business knowledge and a higher level of interaction with the customer.”

Visit the program's website to get more information about the business information technology major.