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Virginia Tech’s online IT master’s launches AI/ML specialization

Today’s artificial-intelligence and machine-learning technologies touch all aspects of the computing environment, from front-end systems to back-office workflows. Many IT and business leaders are realizing significant business value from their investments.

For some, this means the ability to process information, such as financial data and customer interactions, at a higher speed than humans and with fewer errors due to sophisticated algorithms. For others, AI/ML lets IT leaders quickly understand pressing problems and execute a plan of action. AI-powered cybersecurity tools, which can detect threats before they have a chance to wreak havoc on IT infrastructure, are a perfect example.

“AI and ML are such powerful technologies,” says Kendall Giles, a faculty member in Virginia Tech’s online Master of Information Technology (VT-MIT) degree program. “The more you can spread an understanding of these technologies throughout your organization, the better off everyone will be.”

As reliance on AI and ML grows, so too does the need for talent with the knowledge and skills to use these tools in a robust business and IT environment.

That’s why Virginia Tech’s fully online Master of Information Technology program recently launched a new Innovation and Entrepreneurship in AI/ML specialization area.

“With all the challenges of deploying AI systems, IT and business leaders need a wide variety of expertise, from operational to strategic skills, to identify problems that can be solved with AI,” Giles says. “While most AI and ML programs focus only on algorithms, the MIT program offers both a technical foundation as well as leadership skills.”

Another key differentiator of the online MIT program: Students hail from a wide variety of industries and disciplines. This comes in handy when it’s time to divide them into groups to develop a problem involving an interesting data set, either public or proprietary. In most cases, the goal is to tackle a predictive application, algorithm or task that makes sense for a particular domain.

“Students come from all of these different backgrounds and have a wide variety of skills, which leads to some interesting discussions and perspectives,” Giles says. “By contributing these unique insights, they improve the learning experience for everyone.”

Visit vtmit.vt.edu to learn more about Virginia Tech’s 100% online Master of Information Technology program.

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