In October 2020, Missouri State’s Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) held the second annual IT Student Competition.
“The goal is to encourage students to not only learn in classrooms, but also put their knowledge to the test with real life problem solving,” said Blake Heckman, AITP vice president and senior IT infrastructure major.
About the competition
In fall 2019, MSU’s AITP began hosting the internal competition and made it open to all MSU students.
The first competition involved faculty members from the information technology and cybersecurity (ITC) department creating challenges related to their areas of study.
The event was well received, and it helped prepare students for the U.S. Information Technology Collegiate Conference that AITP typically participates in.
The U.S. Information Technology Collegiate Conference involves competing against 38 universities from all over the country, including Tier 1 institutions in nine different areas.
Unfortunately, the competition—scheduled to be held in spring 2020—was cancelled due to COVID.
The second MSU IT Student Competition was held via Zoom this year.
Sponsors for the competition included ConocoPhillips and Koch Industries. ConocoPhillips hosted the Data Analytics competition, and Koch Industries sponsored the Application Development competition. The third competition, Infrastructure and Cybersecurity, was hosted by the ITC department.
“We are fortunate to have our business partners, MSU alumni and former AITP MSU members participate,” Heckman said.
The competition helps set students apart.
“Students are willing to spend a lot more time outside of class to learn, practice and prepare themselves for the competition,” Heckman said.
The experience also is a great way to network in the industry and potentially find employment or internships through the event sponsors and partners.
“We are going to continue the competition as a new tradition of AITP MSU,” Heckman said. “And we hope to expand it to include more colleges around us in the future.”
AITP provides educational development within the Information Technology field. They are dedicated to promoting growth by utilizing forums for networking with experienced peers and other IT professionals.