Business Information Technology (BIT) is basically about how IT benefits businesses and how to make the most of that. BIT graduates are essentially the business brains of IT companies, in that they could undertake a range of business roles related to IT. Examples include:
BIT places more emphasis on the business side of things in an IT company. CIT is a broad IT course that encompasses programming as well as the more technical side of IT (keeping an IT system running in a bank, hospital, university, bank etc). If a BIT and a CIT graduate were employed in the same company, the BIT graduate is more likely to be employed in a job such as project management or sales or marketing – their role is to manage and grow the business. The CIT graduate would be employed to manage the company's own IT system – they would therefore set up email accounts, back up information, fix computers that have broken down, network computers to printers etc. Both courses include some programming but not as much as the Computer Science, Software Engineering and Games Development degrees, which would lead mainly to jobs as programmers/software developers for software development companies.
While Business Studies is about accountancy, management, economics, finance, marketing and organisational behavior, IT is about using computer based applications, BIT combines both of these elements. It allows you to develop, integrate and deploy computer based technologies to enhance and improve business initiatives.
In first year BIT students have a total of six modules to undertake (three from management and three from computing). The modules include topics such as management principles, accounting, project management and multimedia. Each semester students will have approximately 12 hours of class including lectures, practicals and tutorials. There will be approximately five hours of lectures, four hours of practicals and three hours spent in tutorials. Students are encouraged to spend a lot of time on individual study and work on assignments and have meetings with their teams for group based assignments.
BIT students are required to undertake a placement year (optional for overseas students). There is a vast amount of help available for students to gain placement and the university’s Computer Science careers department has links with over 500 companies. The placement for BIT students provides the opportunity for the student to gain experience of the business world, put into practice what they have learnt and develop employability and technical skills.
Graduates from this degree tend to secure jobs in areas such as project management in IT companies, IT consultancy or general management positions. With the ICT industry becoming the fastest growing employment sector in Northern Ireland there is a real need for skilled managers in a dynamic technology driven environment. Some graduates even use the entrepreneurial skills they developed throughout their degree and develop their own business.
BIT graduates tend to secure employment with a wide range of employers, from software companies to city councils and banks. Examples include Deloitte, PwC, Microsoft, Intel, NYSE, Citi and Bank of Scotland.