News Release

DePaul University in Chicago will begin offering classes in September for its new Electronic Commerce Technology master’s degree program and has created an Electronic Commerce Technology Institute to conduct applied research with the e-commerce industry.

The graduate degree program and the institute will be housed in a new Electronic Commerce Technology Center formed by DePaul’s School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems (CTI). Located in the emerging South Loop high-technology sector, CTI has the largest graduate technology program enrollment in the country with more than 1,300 students.

CTI Dean Helmut Epp said the program is the first of its kind in the nation to incorporate such a broad range of technology disciplines. The program builds on CTI’s strength in telecommunications, human-computer interaction, distributed systems and information systems education.

"While the business model for a successful e-commerce application is still far from certain and will be subject to many changes, the technologies that support e-commerce are reasonably well understood," he said. "CTI’s program is unique because it includes the many different technological disciplines required to implement e-commerce applications and combines a sensitivity to the business needs with the realities of the technology. CTI, with its strong background in telecommunications and computer science, is uniquely equipped to support this emerging discipline."

E-Commerce program director Susy S. Chan said: "A few business schools have recently introduced e-commerce concentrations or master’s degree programs. DePaul’s program is distinctive because it has been launched by CTI, a technology school with a reputation for offering cutting edge programs that respond to the needs of the business and technology industry."

Chan, a CTI associate professor, said the part-time master’s degree program targets information technology professionals who want to enter the e-commerce field to lead e-commerce application development at Fortune 500 companies, large consulting firms or their own consulting practices.

The explosive growth of Web-based retailing, electronic supply chain management, Web publishing and Intranets has fueled industry demand for employees with electronic commerce expertise.

Forrester Research, Inc., of Cambridge Mass., an independent research firm that studies the impact of technology on business, estimates that U.S. trade on the Internet will grow from $43 billion in 1998 to $1.3 trillion by 2003.

Vince Kellen, partner in the Chicago office of U.S. Web/CKS, a national Internet strategy and service firm with clients that include Levi Strauss & Co. and Harley-Davidson, said he expects the electronic commerce industry to embrace graduates with e-commerce master’s degrees.

"DePaul’s program has the right blend of practical ability and strategic thinking," Kellen said. "It’s at that intersection where companies are struggling and need help. Not enough people are produced by colleges and universities with these skill sets, and we’re just at the beginning of the need for them." Kellen, a DePaul alumnus, will teach advanced web technologies in the new program.

Chan, who directs CTI’s Information Systems Program, and eight other faculty members will teach the program’s 13 evening courses. Industry practitioners played a key role in designing the degree program. Earning a degree will take from 1 ½ to 2 years, depending on a student’s background and class -taking pace. An e-commerce concentration for information systems majors also will be offered by CTI.

"Students will be exposed to a broad and ever-changing mix of technologies, programming languages and tools," said program co-director Linda Knight, a CTI assistant professor. "Practical assignments, team projects and work for real clients will provide students an authentic environment for learning. The program will be updated constantly to keep pace with this dynamic field."

More information on DePaul’s E-Commerce Technology Program is available at: www.cs.depaul.edu.

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