George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Some tech students find bright future in web development

September 27, 2019   /   by Nanci Hellmich

Y. Diana Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), coordinates the department's concentration in web development in its bachelor of science degree in information (BSIT).

Mason Engineering students can take a specialized career path in web development that could help them land a job at Amazon and other tech companies.

The Department of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) offers a concentration in web development in its bachelor of science degree in information (BSIT). 

The option, which is popular with IST students, is continuing to grow, says Y. Diana Wang, an associate professor who coordinates the concentration and designed the courses.

There is a huge demand for people with these skills, because many legacy systems need to be converted to mobile-based, web-based, and cloud-based systems, she says. 

“A lot of our graduates who take this concentration end up working as web developers and mobile developers in major companies and government agencies. Many of the new jobs at Amazon will relate to web applications and services development.”

Andre Manitius, professor and chair of IST, says, “This is an important and timely initiative that will equip our graduates with the skills needed to meet the requirements of Cloud technologies.”

The IT undergraduate degree is not about making quick, simple websites; the program is very technical, Wang says.

Students are prepared to become full-stack web developers, who can work on both front-end applications, using such technologies as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Angular;  they also learn the back-end of applications, using such technologies as JSON, PHP, ASP.NET MVC, Java Servlet.

The front end is the part that users sees and interacts with, while the backend refers to the server side of an application. Students can also learn how to develop native iPhone apps using Xcode IDE and Swift.

 “Some of our courses cover cloud deployment on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform,” Wang says. “We are making sure the students are learning the hottest technologies in the marketplace.”

Graduates tell her they chose the BSIT program because it is the only one in the region that offers a bachelor’s degree program in web development. “The practical skills they have learned in the concentration courses have landed them jobs in top companies.”

Read stories about these IT students and alumni who work for AmazonBrandon MohabirTaylor Cacciotti, Jason Paul Pate, and Prinkle Lopes.

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