June 23, 2008
Metropolitan State University of Denver
From geeks to masters
Cell phones, iPods, BlackBerrys and laptops. Everyone from today’s youth to Baby Boomers has grown dependent on some type of technology, and rarely do they think about how they work until they don’t work. That’s when the behind-the-scenes people are sometimes revealed.
Long thought of as the geeks of the business world, they are now considered masters, according to results of the nationally accredited Information Systems Analyst (ISA) exam. Students taking the test can earn two different levels of ISA certification. A score of 50 or higher yields the title of ISA practitioner. At 70 percent or higher, they earn the title of ISA master.
Metropolitan State College of Denver Computer Information Systems Department has a history of producing masters.
Spring 2008 graduate Chad Kropf, 28, had the highest test score in the country on the nationally accredited ISA exam, and the second-highest score in the exam’s history at 79.457 percent on the test given in April. He now works in Hutchinson, Kan. as an application developer for Data Center, Inc. Kropf’s part of a fast-growing field.
According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations for computer scientists and database administrators is expected to grow 37 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations. Kropf is also part of a long history of Metro State students who made it to the mastery level.
In the past two years the College has produced 15 master-level students and numerous students who have scored above the national average says Computer Information Systems Department Chair Abel Moreno. “The test is a win-win for the students, staff and faculty,” he says.
“The test can also tell us how to make sure that our students are getting the right knowledge from our curriculum.”
Knowledge has a lot to do with a great score, but so does endurance. Students have three hours to complete the test, answering 278 questions regarding every aspect of the computer systems industry.
The ISA exam is presented by the Center for Computing Education Research and the Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals. Metro State’s Computer Information Systems program has become one of small number of CIS programs in the country to have earned accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. As of 2006, only 20 colleges in the country had this accreditation, with Metro State being one of only two in the West.