Inside Discovery Hall: UNK programs prepare students for high-paying tech jobs

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence leverages software and services to analyze information and help businesses and organizations make data-driven decisions.

UNK’s business intelligence students enjoy solving problems efficiently and effectively using technology.

This program prepares graduates for lucrative careers that allow them to use their innovative nature while creating and maintaining systems that keep information current and accessible for decision makers.

Business intelligence graduates work in a variety of fields, from health care to energy exploration, in positions such as:

  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Operations research analyst
  • Computer and IT manager
  • Market research analyst
  • Management analyst
Job placement rate: 100%
Starting salary: $42,500
Student enrollment: 4

Computer Science

UNK offers bachelor’s degrees in applied computer science and computer science comprehensive, as well as a computer science minor.

The computer science comprehensive program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET and doesn’t require a minor. The applied computer science program is designed primarily for students who want to seek employment after graduation, rather than attend graduate school. Students pair this major with a secondary interest in any of the 80-plus minors offered at UNK, such as graphic design, business or networking.

Graduates from either program are ready to develop innovative software solutions using advanced problem-solving techniques.

Under the direction of experienced faculty members, UNK computer science students complete hands-on projects such as designing mobile apps, games and robotics solutions while developing a strong theoretical foundation that prepares them for successful careers. Students also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships, business partnerships and regional competitions in areas like cybersecurity, computer programming and robotics.

The curriculum is continually updated to keep pace with changing industry needs and practices so students graduate with skills that are in demand in today’s job market.

Career Opportunities
  • Software engineer
  • Game developer
  • Systems analyst
  • Security engineer
  • Computer programmer
  • App developer
  • Software architect
  • Database developer
  • IT consultant
  • Network administrator
  • Web designer
Job placement rate: 100%
Starting salary: $63,000
Student enrollment: 88

“I chose UNK’s computer science comprehensive program because it provides a well-rounded education in multiple areas of computer science. I also enjoy the family feeling within the Cyber Systems Department. That connection allowed me to delve deeper into my interest areas and pursue projects, even though they weren’t always required for a class. When you talk to your professors, you feel comfortable asking for their input on projects and ideas.”
Trenton Chramosta, UNK senior, Lincoln


Cybersecurity experts are in high demand.

The number of nation state attackers, industrial spies, organized crime groups and hackers is growing, which puts government, companies and others at increased risk. As they become more vulnerable to disruption and theft of information, money and essential services, organizations are looking to protect themselves by beefing up network security.

UNK’s cybersecurity operations program trains students to fill these high-demand, high-wage jobs.

This program provides students with a background for protecting and defending networks and information systems from cyberattacks. It emphasizes technologies that enhance the national security posture of U.S. intelligence, military and law enforcement special operations, as well as energy, financial and health care corporations.

UNK cybersecurity majors gain hands-on experience in programming languages, software reverse engineering, operating system theory, networking, cellular and mobile technologies, discrete mathematics and algorithms, cyber defense, security fundamental principles, vulnerabilities, and legal issues.

The program is based on the National Security Agency’s National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations curriculum.

UNK also offers a Cyber Security Club for students and its Cybersecurity Team is a top performer at regional competitions.

Career Opportunities
  • Cybersecurity adviser
  • Cybersecurity assistant
  • Cybersecurity specialist
  • Cybersecurity analyst
  • Cybersecurity administrator
  • Cybersecurity engineer
Job placement rate: 96%
Starting salary: $65,000
Student enrollment: 8

“As more and more items move toward online connectedness, our security needs grow even fiercer. Last year was the worst year so far for security data breaches, which left many businesses vulnerable to sophisticated cyberattacks. The need for UNK’s cybersecurity program is evident to produce graduates who can critically think and help industry with their security needs. Our cyber workforce is in dire need of graduates, to the tune of 145% growth, to help close the gap and better defend organizations worldwide.”
Angela Hollman, associate professor, UNK Department of Cyber Systems

Information Networking and Telecommunications

Students enrolled in UNK’s information networking and telecommunications program learn how to design, build, secure and manage the infrastructure and technology businesses need to operate in today’s world.

The program, which is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, provides hands-on training for majors and minors and offers real-world experiences through internships and business partnerships.

Students can choose between business and technical career pathways.

Career Opportunities
  • Managing data center systems
  • Analyzing data and configuring networks to fend off hackers
  • Leading an IT team to implement networks in new construction
  • Configuring and implementing wireless networks for companies
  • Setting up new voice networks for companies for videoconferencing
UNK graduates work for companies such as:
  • Sprint (Kansas City)
  • Intellicom (Kearney)
  • Windstream (Lincoln)
  • Verizon (Dallas)
  • AT&T (Redmond, Washington)
  • The Buckle (Kearney)
  • Cox Communications (Omaha)
Job placement rate: 92%
Starting salary: $55,000
Student enrollment: 26

“UNK does a great job of combining classroom education with experiential learning opportunities and produces a well-rounded student who is prepared to jump into their first full-time job and really make an impact.”
Bryan Kuntz, vice president of operations, Intellicom

Information Technology

UNK’s information technology program is designed for students who want a career in a variety of IT-related areas, such as system administration, computer security, web development, systems analysis, user support, database development and more.

Professionals in this field help businesses and organizations meet their IT needs through the planning, selection, creation, application, integration and management of computing technologies. IT professionals work for hospitals, educational units, government agencies and businesses both large and small. They can also operate independently as freelancers.

Career Opportunities
  • System administration
  • Systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Web developer/webmaster
  • Security analyst
  • Network administrator
  • IT manager
  • Computer support specialist
  • Quality assurance analyst
Job placement rate: 92%
Starting salary: $56,000
Student enrollment: 36

“I decided to major in information technology because I wanted to experience a different side of technology, more of an administrator role rather than a developer. What stands out about UNK’s program is the depth of knowledge that is provided. Knowing a lot about the different areas of information technology will be beneficial to my career.”
Nate Kiolbasa, UNK senior, Hastings