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ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

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    What Can You Do with a Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree?


    What Can You Do with a Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree? Technology forecasters claim that the future is digital. This prediction applies to tech-centric careers and in traditional industries where work is performed manually. A new industrial revolution is unfolding and this time–it’s all about digital...

    What Can You Do with a Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree?

    Technology forecasters claim that the future is digital. This prediction applies to tech-centric careers and in traditional industries where work is performed manually. A new industrial revolution is unfolding and this time–it’s all about digital manufacturing.

    Digital modeling and fabrication involves the use of computer design and 3D models to change, enhance, or produce new manufacturing workflows. In 2020, the value of this industry exceeded $260 billion dollars.

    While the future looks bright, many students wonder whether they should specialize or choose a degree in digital fabrication. 

    In this post, we’ll share what you can expect to gain and accomplish with a Digital Maker and Fabrication degree.

    What is Digital Maker and Fabrication?

    Digital fabrication is a modern method for designing and producing goods that combines computer-aided design (CAD) with additive manufacturing (3D printing). This combination results in intelligently designed products that enhance the user experience.

    Digital maker and fabrication is more than just 3D printing, as many people wrongly assume. 

    In fact, fabrication methods involve both additive and subtractive technologies that assist with bringing digital design ideas to physical conception:

    • Additive technologies are those that produce three dimensional objects layer-by-layer. Computer-aided-designed (CAD) is the means of creation.
    • Subtractive technologies begin with a solid block of material and create the finished product by drilling, chipping, or removing excess material. 

    Digital makers learn how to leverage both technologies to produce the intended final product or design.

    What is the Digital Maker Movement?

    The “Digital Maker Movement” is a way to describe the rise of digital tools, fabrication methods and creative computer systems as they relate to production and manufacturing. 

    These innovations revolutionize the way that humans create new inventions and bring physical products to market. Additionally, the “Internet of Things'' culture means that there is extra attention on how human beings interact with and benefit from computer-generated systems and products. 

    The maker movement enhances this progress through creativity and innovation. At University of Advancing Technology (UAT), we recognize and embrace the Digital Maker Movement and equip students with both the educational and practical tools required to pioneer new solutions.

    Skills Associated with the Digital Maker Movement

    Digital fabrication requires a strong skill set based on technological aptitude. In order to excel in a future digital fabrication career, students should be well versed in the following foundational skills.

    • Computer programming
    • Computer-assisted-design (CAD) 
    • Parametric modeling
    • Topology optimization
    • Kinematics
    • Electronics
    • Metallurgy
    • Additive manufacturing
    • 3D printing

    In addition to these hard or technical skills, students pursuing a digital maker and fabrication education should be creative, open-minded and innovative. Since this field requires invention and problem-solving, many learners are very tactile and hands-on.

    Although not required, digital makers may also need to be persuasive, particularly as they introduce or advocate for new technologies and processes in traditional settings. For example, digital makers may need to use persuasive skills to revamp outdated manufacturing techniques and introduce computer-assisted design into the workplace.

    What Can You Do with a Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree?

    A Digital Maker and Fabrication degree provides plenty of occupational options to students. Given the relative newness of digital fabrication in the modern business marketplace, many students have the potential to forge their own career paths in exciting industries. 

    A Digital Maker and Fabrication degree serves as a launching point for careers based on skills such as:

    • Prototyping– With the use of CAD/CAM software, more companies are relying on digital prototyping to develop new products and services.
    • Additive manufacturing– Skills like 3D printing enable manufacturers to save time, improve workflows and produce new physical material to meet rising consumer demands. 
    • Robotics– Robotic solutions are becoming increasingly prominent, particularly in fields like healthcare and automotive manufacturing. 
    • Patent development– Bringing new inventions to market involves a thoroughly tested and vetted process; digital makers know how to effectively establish patents for fabricated products and goods.
    • Technology selection– Being a digital maker involves recognizing the most appropriate design strategy and tools for a particular job. Each design element requires the right hardware, software and computer programming language. 

    If these specialty areas pique your interest, explore the possibilities of what a Digital Maker and Fabrication degree and technical training program can mean for your future career.

    What Jobs Can You Get with a Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree?

    A Digital Maker and Fabrication degree allows students to excel in a variety of fields and disciplines. While many of these jobs are related to manufacturing, others are independent and entrepreneurial. 

    When applying for Digital Maker and Fabrication (DMF) jobs, you can expect to encounter titles such as:

    • Manufacturing Technician
    • Technical Manufacturing Manager
    • Digital Manufacturing Engineer
    • MFG Engineer
    • Manufacturing Systems Analyst
    • CAD Engineer
    • Fabricator
    • Digital Manufacturing Strategist
    • IoT Analyst

    What is the Expected Salary for a Digital Maker and Fabrication Career?

    While the average base salary for Computer and Information Systems careers in the United States averages around $88,950 per year, many open positions include salary ranges from $100,000-$130,000 per year. 

    Expected salary ranges are based on years of experience, areas of expertise and the global needs of the hiring company.

    Effects of Digital Fabrication Across Industries

    Despite its relative newness, digital fabrication is changing the way that human beings design, create and invent new physical goods and solutions. Digital modeling software is useful in almost any industry and it provides numerous benefits to modern consumers who want more access to affordable and reliable products. 

    In addition to improving business manufacturing processes, digital fabrication is also crucial for crisis response and humanitarian aid in a world with evolving threats and disasters. 

    Having the ability to access, produce and distribute life-saving goods and materials is one extremely important way that digital fabrication has a huge part to play in the future of society.

    Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree Programs

    The Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree is relatively new when it comes to technological education, but the field is expanding every year. This growth provides students with several options when choosing the degree or certificate that best suits their needs and career goals.

    Flexible Online Degree

    Given the modern nature of remote learning, many fabrication programs can be easily completed in an online format. This provides flexibility to different types of learners, particularly adult learners who may be looking for a career change.

    At UAT, faculty in the Digital Maker degree program receive extensive training to help students succeed in an online learning environment. During each class session, course instructors actively participate in online lectures and discussion groups and respond to student questions in a timely manner. These steps create a more engaging, in-depth learning experience.

    Associate's Degree

    An Associate’s Degree in Digital Fabrication provides a basic foundation to the skills and computer programs needed to excel. These degrees may provide apprenticeship and internship opportunities that can be helpful for a student’s next educational step.

    Bachelor's Degree

    A Bachelor’s Degree, such as the Digital Maker and Design Program at UAT, provides students with comprehensive coursework to develop technical skills. A Bachelor’s degree is typically a more full-time program that requires a completed work portfolio, internship and capstone project.

    At UAT, all students approach graduation ready and able to apply for an official U.S. Patent on their product or invention of choice.

    Graduate Certificate

    Graduate certificates are typically shorter (12 credit hours or less) programs that offer additional training or professional development to individuals with foundational knowledge of design and fabrication.

    These types of programs are often more hands-on and may require in-person instructional time to complete coursework or a faculty mentorship. There is usually a practicum or final project that summarizes a student’s work and achievement in fabrication skills.

    Is It Worth Getting a Degree in Digital Fabrication?

    If you’re a creative thinker with a mind for computer-assisted design, digital fabrication is an excellent degree choice. Fortunately, the potential for new opportunities is significant.

    In the next five years, digital fabrication and manufacturing is expected to reach a value of over $700 billion globally across multiple industries. Not only does this mean that more jobs will become available, but it also means that getting a foot in the door now is a smart move.

    More businesses and cultural leaders are recognizing and leveraging the benefits of digital fabrication. 

    Some of these advantages include:

    • Time savings
    • Reduced processing costs
    • Increased automation
    • Digital growth based on analysis and data

    An education in digital fabrication can establish you as a trailblazer in a career field with untapped potential and limitless innovation.

    Digital Maker Degree at University of Advancing Technology

    Earn a Digital Maker and Fabrication Degree at UAT

    UAT offers a Bachelor's Degree in Digital Maker and Fabrication. Our degree program is the nation’s first fully-accredited Bachelor of Science Degree in Digital Maker and Fabrication and it falls in line with our leadership in advanced computer technology education.

    If you think a digital maker or fabrication degree is the best fit for your goals and skills, request more information about our degree programs. At University of Advancing Technology, we look forward to providing hands-on, practical STEM experience from the very first day in class, all the way through graduation.

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    Why Get A Game Design Degree? Find Out Why and How to Get a Gaming Degree.


    Why Get A Game Design Degree? If you often find yourself daydreaming about fantasy worlds, diving into the digital depths of mystical lands, or engineering complex landscapes in your favorite games, then game design may be the career for you. Video Game Design and Animation allows you to explore a...

    Why Get A Game Design Degree?

    If you often find yourself daydreaming about fantasy worlds, diving into the digital depths of mystical lands, or engineering complex landscapes in your favorite games, then game design may be the career for you.

    Video Game Design and Animation allows you to explore a limitless world of possibilities – both in terms of career potential and in exploring what’s possible in today’s digital frontier. You are able to explore your own creative potential and cultivate a lucrative, fulfilling career. At University of Advancing Technology (UAT), we open the door to gaming and design aficionados alike.

    What is Game Design and Animation?

    Video game design exists within the realm of computer animation, but focuses primarily on game design and creative interactive worlds, characters, and features. Game designers combine creativity, art, technology and computer science to design unique environments and games for people to enjoy. 

    Animation uses art and technology to create moving figures and images. Traditionally, these images were drawn or painted by hand, but today, most animators use computer animation – i.e. CGI technology.

    Is Game Design a Good Career?

    Game design is one of the most rewarding careers out there. While it can be challenging, the career outlook for game designers is looking good, with the job market expected to grow by 8% between 2016 and 2026.

    Why is game design such a good career? Well, the gaming industry as a whole has seen massive growth with no signs of slowing down. In fact, the games market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2024.

    There are a few more reasons why gaming is a great career:

    • Great creative outlet
    • High work satisfaction
    • Full-time and freelance potential
    • Vast job prospects

    What Jobs Can You Get with a Gaming Degree?

    When most people imagine a “gaming career”, they likely picture someone sitting at their computer or TV playing games all day. And while you CAN get paid to do this, a Gaming Degree is far more applicable to game design, development, testing and production.

    Top 5 Gaming Careers:

    1. Games Designer – Average Salary: $66,282 per year
    2. Software Developer and Game Programmer – Average Salary: $72,000 per year
    3. Special Effects Animator – Average Salary: $77,700 per year
    4. Games Artist – Average Salary: $60,213 per year
    5. Game Play Tester – Average Salary: $53,030 per year

    UAT for Game Studies

    UAT is known for innovation and we encourage our students to explore all areas of interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Our games studies degrees empower students to learn more about video game design, animation, game development and testing and much more. In fact, UAT’s Synchronic Learning Model promotes cross-collaboration across all other UAT game studies degrees, including Game Design, Game Programming, Virtual Reality and Game Production and Management.

    UAT is an intimate, fully accredited University that focuses on educating students in advancing technology. Our goal is to encourage students to innovate, develop new ways of learning and enter their career field of choice with confidence.

    Types of Gaming Degrees at UAT

    There are many types of gaming degrees you can choose from, depending on your interests and career goals. Some tap into your creative skills, while others are heavy in computer science and programming. Gaming offers opportunities for both “right brain” and “left brain” students – the creative types and those who want to get their hands into computer technology.

    Game Art & Animation

    Students in our computer animation degree program get started with game development, 3D design and creating digital worlds for multiple video game platforms. Students learn to combine artistic principles (such as color theory, lighting, shading, anatomy and life drawing) with a mastery of today’s top software tools.

    Game Design

    UAT’s game design program has been named one of the top gaming programs in the world since its start in 1995. Game Design students focus on the design principles and game documentation and prototyping to create innovative game projects. Our program emphasizes skills such as systems design, game balancing, play-testing and interactive storytelling so students get a holistic, hands-on education.

    Game Production (MS)

    We also offer a Master’s level Game Production degree for those looking to hone their skills and prepare for a successful career in game production. This coursework covers in-depth game production principles, as well as the Business of Gaming and Marketing. Each program is designed to meet your needs, improve your individual skills, collaborate on community projects and learn real-world applications.

    Game Programming

    Our Game Programming degree (a.k.a. Game Coder degree) helps students develop a broad coding skill set and prepare for a career in game programming. In this program, Game students master coding and programming principles, video game programming disciplines, C++ programming, data handling, game engine architecture, artificial intelligence and more. The result is a well-rounded, highly-applicable education that can be carried over into a rewarding career.

    Where to Get a Game Studies Degree

    So, you’ve decided to pursue a gaming degree – where do you start? Fortunately, you have many options available to you. We strongly encourage you to get a degree in your field, as this will help set you up for success and equip you with the skills needed to land a job after graduation.

    Technical College

    Technical colleges are career-specific and focus on the skills you need for your chosen career and less on general education courses. Technical college programs tend to be fewer than 4 years in total and graduate students with a degree, diploma, or certificate.

    University Program

    Another option is to earn a Bachelors or Masters degree at a 4-year university. This is a common path for those looking to get the full university experience and obtain a holistic education. At UAT, we offer a year-round game degree program that allows students to graduate in 3 years or fewer. Less time in school means you can enter the workforce and start earning a salary sooner than traditional 4-year schools.

    Online Degree

    There are a variety of online programs where you can learn more about video game design and programming or animation. Some examples include full-time or part-time courses, online bootcamp, or rudimentary courses. At UAT, we offer both online and flexible options for students wanting to learn remotely and on their time.

    How to Become a Game Designer

    Becoming a game designer is made easier when you have a game design degree under your belt. Today’s employers are looking for applicants with experience who both have a love of gaming and who have mastered the fundamentals of game design.

    Here are the basic steps to becoming a game designer:

    Step 1: Apply to a Game Design Program

    Choose from a variety of game design program options (university, technical college, online, etc.) to acquire a game design degree. This program could be close to home or in another city, state, or country – whatever works for you! You can even tailor many programs to suit your schedule.

    Step 2: Take Relevant Coursework

    Be sure to review the course curriculum for your program to see what you will be learning and in what timeframe. Hands-on experience, technical skill development and group projects are the norm in a gaming degree program. The more you absorb, the better prepared you will be to graduate on time and enter the job market.

    Step 3: Get Started with an Internship

    UAT has found that the key to most students’ success is gaining relevant experience while they are still in their degree program. An internship gives you the chance to practice your skills and network with other professionals in your industry. This can help you enter the job search with confidence and hands-on experience.

    Step 4: Apply for Game Design Jobs

    Once you’ve graduated from your program, it’s time to fine-tune that resume and apply for game design jobs. At UAT, we provide career counseling to help students prepare for this process. We also have a job board and host job fairs to help students find opportunities.

    Some other places to search for game design jobs include:

      • Google
      • LinkedIn
      • Glassdoor
      • ZipRecruiter
      • Indeed

    What Gaming Students Are Saying About UAT

    It’s one thing to rattle off job prospects and salaries associated with a career in gaming, but another to hear directly from students what their experience has been in a game design program.

    At UAT, we care about our students – from when they first begin their program until they land a job in their field. We do our part to set students up for success and this is evident in the reviews we get from our graduates.

    Read testimonials from past and current Game Studies students:

    “I've always loved video games and decided I wanted to study Game Art and Animation. When I found out that UAT was huge in game studies, I decided it was the right place for me. I love learning about my passion knowing that I'm starting my dream career now! The professors are so awesome and will make time to answer questions, give feedback and helping students whenever they can.” - Tina G

    “The school computers have the entire Adobe suite, editing software, 3DS Max, and Maya installed on them. Not only that, if you get to know people, then you'll realize that they have connections like crazy and there are always networking events going on. I already have an internship and I'm only on my second semester!” - Andrew V

    “When I finished my undergraduate program, I left UAT with a solid knowledge and understanding of what it took to make games and how to get that career path started.” - Joshua M

    Get A Gaming Degree at UAT

    UAT offers four game study majors - Game Art & Animation, Game Design, Game Programming and a Master’s in Game Production. If you have an interest in designing virtual worlds, creating unique characters and bringing animations to life, attending UAT may be right for you.

    Video Game Design Studies at University of Advancing Technology

    Request more information to learn more about our programs and apply when you are ready. We’ll be happy to have you!

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    What is a Robotics and Embedded Systems Degree?


    What Can You Do with a Robotics and Embedded Systems Degree? Robots may not be taking over the...

    What Can You Do with a Robotics and Embedded Systems Degree?

    Robots may not be taking over the world (yet), but the field of robotics does present an exciting opportunity to learn more about robots, AI and their application to our human world.

    As a technology-heavy degree, Robotics and Embedded Systems focuses on how robots work, how to build them and how to use them to improve our everyday lives. And the projected salary for Robotics majors isn’t bad either!

    In this guide, we are covering what Robotics and Embedded Systems is, why a degree might be worth it and how to get started in the field of Robotics.

    What are "Robotics and Embedded Systems"?

    A Robotics and Embedded Systems degree prepares students to work with systems that combine hardware and software to perform functions or tasks. “Robots” are mainly mechanical devices and hardware, whereas “embedded systems” usually serve a specific functionality and are embedded into an existing device.

    Robots and embedded systems often work together as well as independently. In either case, highly skilled professionals are needed to make these devices and systems work effectively.

     Is Robotics a Good Career?

    According to a study conducted by RoboticsTomorrow.com, robotics engineers are not only highly compensated, but they are also some of the happiest professionals in the STEM fields. When surveyed, robotics engineers rated their field an average of 4.2 out of 5, which puts them in the top 4% of all careers!

    There are a few reasons why robotics is a great career:

    • High salary
    • Great utilization of skills
    • High work satisfaction
    • Vast job prospects
    • 9% job growth (2016-2026)

    What Jobs Can You Get with a Robotics Degree?

    There are a wide variety of jobs you can get with a robotics degree or STEM degree with a robotics focus. Your opportunities are not limited to full-time employment, either; many robotics engineers go on to work for themselves as freelance researchers or inventors.

    Top 5 Robotics Careers:

    1. Mechanical Engineer – Average Salary: $90,160 per year
    2. Software Engineer – Average Salary: $110,140 per year
    3. Computer Hardware Engineer – Average Salary: $119,560 per year 
    4. User Experience (UX) Designer - Average Salary: $85,490 per year
    5. Data Scientist – Average Salary: $103,930 per year

    Job Marketing For Robotics Engineers

    The demand for robotics engineers is growing – and it pays well! 

    According to Sokanu, the job market is expected to increase by 6.4 percent between 2016 and 2026. 

    Plus, over the next 10 years, the United States will need over 12,500 new roboticists in the field.

    “The demand for automation and robotics will continue to fuel these high paying jobs, and we expect this to continue for the next 20 years.” Dr. Jill Coddington, Program Champion of Robotics & Embedded Systems

    University of Advancing Technology Bachelor's of Robotics and Embedded Systems

    Robotics Related Degrees in STEM

    While a degree in Robotics and Embedded Systems is certainly interesting and worthwhile, it’s important to know that there are related degrees one can pursue if they are interested in creation and simulation technology. At University of Advancing Technology (UAT), we offer several degrees for those looking to learn more about robotics, digital maker and fabrication, human computer interaction (HCI) and virtual reality.

    Digital Maker and Fabrication

    A Digital Maker and Fabrication degree prepares students to design, build and apply new technological devices. It combines user-centric design theory with a variety of skills, including programming, parametric modeling, kinematics, 3D manufacturing and more.

    Human Computer Interaction

    The Human Computer Interaction Degree involves the real world application of computer technologies, intelligent interfaces, virtual and augmented reality and new I/O devices. Students in this program develop use cases for software and devices, create virtual environments and develop integrated digital assets.

    Virtual Reality

    A Virtual Reality Degree applies the design principles of gaming to real-life applications. This may include use cases for corporate training, medical and therapy, military and education and more. Students are exposed to all the tools of the games profession and will develop programming and asset creation skill sets.

    How to Become a Robotics Engineer

    Becoming a roboticist follows a similar path as most other STEM fields: application, education, experience and job searching. 

    Here is the general process for how to become a robotics engineer:

    Step 1 - Apply to a robotics program

    Search for a reliable and accredited robotics program to learn the fundamentals of robotics engineering. 

    A holistic, thorough education is your best bet for obtaining the skills you need to become a marketable robots expert. You can apply for a program during high school, after undergrad, or at any stage of your life.

    Step 2 - Graduate from robotics program

    Once you’ve completed your degree, you should have a thorough understanding of how robots work, how to design devices, how to create systems and how to apply them to real-world scenarios. The fundamentals will get you far, but honing your skills and gaining hands-on experience will take you to that next level.

    Step 3 - Obtain hands-on experience

    UAT offers a variety of apprenticeship and internship opportunities to help students gain hands-on experience. This is where you can apply what you’ve learned.

    Step 4 - Apply for robotics jobs

    There are a wealth of job opportunities for robotics majors. 

    To help in your search, most colleges and universities provide career counseling, host job fairs and have job boards that list job openings. 

    Some other places to look for robotics jobs include:

        • Google
        • Indeed
        • LinkedIn
        • Local career fairs
        • ZipRecruiter
        • Glassdoor

    Get a Robotics and Embedded Systems Degree at UAT

    UAT offers a complete Robotics and Embedded Systems degree to prepare students to enter the field of robotics. Students will learn to use robotics technology, design digital hardware, learn software programming and more.

    Our students will have the ability to build, develop, implement and analyze advanced robotics technologies. This prepares them for a successful career in the electronic and robotics industry.

    Learn more about our programs and apply today to get started!

    Robotics Student at University of Advancing Technology

     

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    Need Work? Job Opportunities Available Now for Students


    Hey students… Looking for a job? Check out the following roundup of local opportunities! The city of Tempe is planning a citywide job fair on July 21 and 28. Participating businesses will take applications and interview on the spot. ...

    Hey students…

    Looking for a job? Check out the following roundup of local opportunities!

    The city of Tempe is planning a citywide job fair on July 21 and 28. Participating businesses will take applications and interview on the spot. Find the list of businesses and more details hereNames and addresses of the companies are included, as well as their benefits and business perks. 

    Temple Job Monsoon Citywide Job Fair

    On July 20, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., Professor Aaron Jones and his FLOSS group (the Phoenix Linux Users Group) will hold their quarterly career night at Boulders on Southern, 1010 W Southern Ave in Mesa. They'll be offering resume reviews, so students can bring their resumes and questions for assessment by tech industry veterans. They will help with content, display and editing. Find out more here. The group will also share job and networking opportunities, specifically including a hardware tech/windows admin position.

    Resume

    Or—find a job right on the University of Advancing Technology Campus! Thursday, July 22, come to the UAT Café from 12:00–2:00 p.m. for the Student Worker Job Fair. From jobs in the bindery to the dorm, there are many positions available to work without leaving the school grounds. Come looking sharp and interview ready!

    UAT Student Job Fair

    If you can’t make it, check out the UAT Discord/Geek Rho channels where openings are posted, email careerservices@uat.edu for job support and opportunities, or visit https://learn.uat.edu/uat-student-jobs. Members of our Career Services team regularly post jobs from game programming to data science. The team is committed to helping UAT students and alumni find success both in class and in the industry. 

    Good luck, and go get that job!

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    What is a WAF?


    A Defense Against Common Cyber Threats   A web application firewall, or WAF, is a filtering and monitoring tool that can function in the space between a website or application and the internet. A WAF is used to defend against numerous common threats and can be combined with other tools to...
    A Defense Against Common Cyber Threats
     
    A web application firewall, or WAF, is a filtering and monitoring tool that can function in the space between a website or application and the internet. A WAF is used to defend against numerous common threats and can be combined with other tools to create a layered approach to security that enhances your protection tremendously.
     
    The WAF can look and potentially defend against cross-site forgery, SQL injection, cross-site-scripting or XSS, and other forms of attack. If someone decides to execute a distributed denial of service attack against your server, you can quickly implement policies that will assist in mitigating the attack. This can be done in combination with other tools to help counter act malicious traffic.
     
    There exist three typical types of WAF and each has positives as well as negatives when deployed in your stack. You can deploy a standalone box that functions as a WAF for your network. It may cost a large amount of cash and often requires a dedicated team to provide care and maintenance for. You could also deploy a software based WAF like a plugin for a WordPress site. This type of WAF is typically localized and focused on protecting one asset. Prices vary but are often less expensive but provide less features as well.
     
    The final type of WAF would be a cloud-based solution provided by a company who handles your DNS. Cloudflare provides a WAF to their customers and this solution can vary wildly in price. A major issue with a cloud-based solution is that you are completely at the mercy of your provided and rarely have insight into their methodology, so you must have a high level of trust with said provided.
     
    Choosing a WAF is an important decision that will be dictated by your budget, skill level, and functional need. You should also spend time monitoring the current traffic of your site while reviewing what attacks are being deployed against you to best choose what tool to deploy. You should weigh each option carefully and then commit to implementing the tool that you are interested in as part of a greater security plan.
     
    Cyber Security Laptop  

    Find out more about the Cyber Security Degrees offered at UAT! 

    Leading cyber security education in the southwest, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) has surpassed 20 successful years since the inception of its elite Network Security degree program. As one of the longest-running cyber security degrees in the southwest, our complete continuum of undergraduate and graduate cyber security degrees have prepared thousands of ethical hacking, network security, and cyber security graduates. The NSA has designated UAT as a CAE training center in cyber defense.

    Visit University of Advancing Technology for more information on all our cyber security majors.

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    Is a College Degree Worth It? [2021 Guide] - University of Advancing Technology


    Is a College Degree Worth It? Enrollment in postsecondary institutions is projected to increase steadily well into 2028, with more individuals seeking the benefits of having a college degree. ...

    Is a College Degree Worth It?

    Enrollment in postsecondary institutions is projected to increase steadily well into 2028, with more individuals seeking the benefits of having a college degree. 

    But these projections don’t always mean earning a college degree is the right path for everyone. There are many factors to consider – such as cost and earning potential – when deciding whether going to college is worth it.

    In this guide, we contrast college degree costs with starting salaries, job prospects, and more to help you decide whether a college degree is worth it to YOU.

     

    What is a College Degree Worth in 2021?

    When most people ask the question “Is a college degree worth it?”, what they really want to know is if the payoff is worth incurring student loan debt and/or the costs associated with going to college. In other words, will there be a tangible return on investment?

    For many, earning a college degree is a requirement for entering their chosen field and is, therefore, a no-brainer. For others, it might be possible to obtain experience for free or at a lower cost (internship, apprenticeship, etc.) and still start off with a great salary.

    Below, we cover the many factors you will need to consider and walk you through how to decide what’s best for you.

    Average College Degree Costs 

    The average cost of college in the United States is $35,720 per student, per year. This cost has tripled in the past 20 years and has been on a steady incline. 

    For in-state students, the average annual cost for a 4-year public university is $25,615. The average cost for a 4-year private university is even higher, at $53,949 per year.

    If you are gawking at these costs, just know that there may be alternatives available. An associate’s (2-year) degree costs about $3,570 on average, and there are countless internships, online courses, and trade schools that may prepare you for your career (depending on the field).

    College Affordability Calculation

    NerdWallet – an online resource for money management and all things student loans – recommends that students do not take on student loans that consume more than 10% of their take-home pay. 

    This affordability formula is based on:

    • Your expected first year salary
    • The loan interest rate
    • The loan term


    You can use NerdWallet’s Student Loan Affordability Calculator to determine whether the cost of going to college will be worth it based on your projected starting salary.

    Top College Degrees in the US

    University of Advancing Technology recently compiled a list of best college majors based on each field’s job prospects, alumni salaries, and popularity.

    This list is not exhaustive, but the top college degrees in the US include:

    While earning potential is an important consideration in deciding whether college is right for you, we also encourage you to pursue a subject that’s of interest to you, as passion can often be a significant driver of success.

    Job Prospects for College Graduates

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently reported that post-college hiring is projected to rise 7.2% for the class of 2021 (compared to the class of 2020). This rebound suggests new-found optimism on the part of employers post COVID-19, as companies are desperate for qualified candidates and those eager to work.

    2021 job outlook chart

     

    Average Earning Potential

    Nearly 1 in 5 college graduates expect to earn a salary of $85,000 at their first job, post-college. And this expectation isn’t far from the reality for most STEM majors, averaging $72,173 per year at the first job.

    Of course, average starting salaries vary widely depending on the field and level of college degree. Go to ZipRecruiter.com as a great resource where you can look up the average starting salary for your desired field in your state.

    Pros vs Cons of Earning a College Degree

    There are costs and benefits to earning a college degree. These vary widely depending on the degree, the field, and the job prospects for that field. 

    It’s important to discuss these pros and cons with an academic advisor so you have all of the relevant information for your chosen major.

    Here are the pros and cons of earning a general college degree:

    Pros of Earning a Degree:

    • Higher earning potential
    • Live the college experience
    • Network with other students, teachers, and professionals
    • Tap into the college’s resources
    • Train for a specialized career
    • Increase marketability
    • Qualify for internships
    • Prepare for employer-offered benefits
    • Increased job security

    Cons of Earning a Degree:

    • High-paying jobs aren't guaranteed
    • Potential of graduating with student loan debt
    • It may take 4+ years to graduate

    Earn a College Degree in 3 Years or Less

    One of the biggest downsides of most college degrees is that they take 4 years (or more) to complete. This means 4 years of paying out of pocket, applying for grants, or taking out student loans. Fortunately, there may be a better solution.

    At UAT, we offer a year-round program that allows students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to complete a degree in 3 years or less. Fewer years in college means less student loan debt, which then means a higher return on your investment.

    5 Reasons Why a College Degree is Worth It

    In summary, there are 5 primary reasons why earning a college degree is worth it. 

    These are the key benefits we’ve identified after years of working with students, providing degrees for the most competitive of STEM fields, and helping college grads with job placement.

    The top 5 reasons you should get a college degree include:

    1. Higher Earning Potential

    College graduates earn more, on average, than those who do not have a college degree. In fact, the median salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree is more than twice as high as for someone with only a high school diploma or GED. It is also 45% higher compared to those with an associate degree.

    2. Many Jobs REQUIRE a College Degree

    Thirty-five percent of job openings require at least a bachelor’s degree and 30% require at least some college or an associate’s degree. If you are wanting to land a job in a competitive field, obtaining a college degree may be a necessity.

    3. Open the Door to Networking and Job Opportunities

    College is not simply a place for institutions to churn out diplomas. The great ones mold you into being a more well-rounded individual, prepare you to enter the workforce, and set you up with career skills and confidence. Most colleges provide career counseling, campus jobs, internships, job fairs, and more to help set you up for success.

    4. Learn a Marketable Skill

    Just like college is an investment, hiring managers are investing in YOU to generate a return for their company. That means having a marketable skill is especially attractive to today’s employers. A college degree could put you ahead of the pack while equipping you with a range of skills that make you appealing to top-tier companies.

    5. Expand Your Interests

    College also presents many opportunities to try new things, expand your horizons, and acquire diverse experience. You can try different electives, join clubs, drop into lectures, and more until you are super confident in what area you want to pursue. Plus, you will be learning from some of the brightest minds in the field!

    Earn a Marketable College Degree at UAT

    UAT offers a range of degree options for those interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Our Computer Science program is highly sought after and helps prepare our students to enter the workforce with confidence. 

    University of Advancing Technology students have access to many career resources including internships, networking and mentorships, access to professional organizations and interview coaching. Because we believe in life-long learning.

    Students learn more efficiently in smaller classes with professors who know each student’s strengths and nurture their development. They often graduate earlier and earn their way sooner. Because we believe in life-long learning, alumni are welcome to audit classes online or on campus for life. Your investment in an education at UAT is an investment in a lifetime of education.


    Is a college degree right for you? Request More Information today.

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    The Benefits of Attending a Virtual Open House and 6 Important Tips to Remember


    Attending a college's virtual open house is a great way to learn more about the school, it's programs, and college life. As an attendee, you'll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear from Professors whose classes you may be taking. So what are virtual open houses like? Let's cover the basics first... What is a Virtual Open House?...

    Attending a college's virtual open house is a great way to learn more about the school, it's programs, and college life. As an attendee, you'll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear from Professors whose classes you may be taking. So what are virtual open houses like? Let's cover the basics first...

    What is a Virtual Open House?

    It is a live video presentation lead by school staff that can be attended virtually from anywhere you have access to a computer, tablet, or mobile phone with internet connectivity. A virtual open house is an opportunity to learn about a university, its academic programs, admissions, financial aid, campus life, and more. Think of it as a way to check out a college you’re considering attending.

    Why Do Universities Have Virtual Open Houses?

    Not all students are able to visit a college in person. Universities understand this so they host virtual open houses to give out-of-state students an opportunity to experience the college remotely. As online and distance learning becomes more popular, colleges want to provide these students a way to connect with the university community, professors, and support services.

    What Happens at a Virtual Open House?

    After registering for the event, you’ll likely get an email from the university with instructions on how to join the virtual open house. Most virtual open houses are hour-long, live events though portions may be pre-recorded. On the day of the event, you’ll join the virtual session and will be able to see and hear the presenters, and maybe even other attendees. The host will tell you about the university, its academic programs, admission requirements, financial aid, and other support services. If you’re attending a degree-specific virtual open house, then you’ll learn more about that major and its requirements. Also joining the host will be professors and possibly some current students. After hearing about the university, the host will open the session to address attendee questions. This is when you’ll get a chance to ask your specific questions. After the Q&A session, you maybe see a pre-recorded campus tour. Before the session ends, you’ll be given instructions on next steps if you’re interested in learning more or applying to the school. A few days after the virtual open house, you may get an email with access to a recording of the session you attended.

    How Do You Find Out If a School Has Virtual Open Houses?

    Look at the school’s website, usually in the events section or under admissions, to see if they virtual open houses scheduled. The easiest way to find out about an open house is to do an online search for the college’s name and ‘virtual open house’. Find a convenient date and time and then register for the event. 

    If you can’t visit a university in-person or you’re going to be an online student, attending a virtual open house is a great way to learn more about the school, its academic programs, student support services, financial aid, admissions information, and the campus and community. 

    Benefits of Attending a Virtual Open House

    Attend From Anywhere You Are

    As long as you have an internet connection and a phone, computer, or tablet, you can attend a virtual open house. Flexibility is a key benefit to virtual open houses. Many are available at various times of day and days of the week. If you’re a working professional, you may find availability after work hours or on weekends. For high school students, you’ll find schedules are conveniently set for after your school day ends. The event is usually an hour long so the investment in time is well worth the information you’ll get. 

    Meet Your Professors and Talk to Current Students 

    Wouldn’t it be great to meet your professor before the first day of class? Or ask a student at a college you’re considering what their experience has been? At a virtual open house, you can do just that! If you’re attending a degree specific virtual open house, it’s likely you’ll speak to professors whose classes you will be attending. Now is your chance to ask them about the program, what types of classes you’ll take and how they fit into your major, ask questions about prerequisites, and anything else you want to know about. If you’re attending a more general virtual open house about the university, listen to the way the professors talk about the academic programs. What type of experience in teaching do they have, how long have they been at the university, is there a generally accepted teaching style that most professors use? Make sure to have some questions prepared for current students. Ask them about their academic experience and don’t forget to ask about campus life, extracurricular activities, and the community outside of campus. 

    Make Connections With Academic Advisors and Enrollment Counselors 

    Whether you’ve been doing lots of college research or you’re just starting the journey, knowing who to speak with is extremely important. Picking a college and a major can seem overwhelming but with the right assistance from the right people, it doesn’t have to be. Virtual open houses will give you a chance to hear from knowledgeable academic advisors who can provide guidance on the admission process, requirements, and information you’ll need for the application process. If you’ve already been accepted to the university, you’ll be interested in hearing about the enrollment process, guidelines, and procedures. Being able to connect with Enrollment Counselors on a virtual open house can help make the enrollment process much easier. 

    Learn About Financial Aid Options 

    Maybe the most daunting part of preparing for college is going through the financial aid process. No doubt you have a lot of questions. At a virtual open house, you can listen to and speak with financial aid experts who can help answer these questions. Hear directly form Financial Aid Officers about the type of aid available, scholarships, loans, grants, and more. Make sure to ask about important dates and deadlines. The FAFSA is a very important part of the financial aid process so you will want to specifically ask about those deadlines. If you don’t already know, find out about tuition costs, fees, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. If you’re interested in a work-study program, now is the time to ask about that. 

    See The Campus, Classrooms, Common Areas And Dorms 

    Most virtual open houses will include images or video of the campus, classrooms and student housing. This may be a pre-recorded session that is shown after the live portion of the event. This is a great way to get a ‘feel’ for the campus on which you’ll be living and the classrooms where you’ll be learning. Take a moment to notice the size of the classrooms and the features of the campus. If you’re going to live in the dorms, pay attention the size of the rooms and the facilities and features of the building. Does it look like somewhere you can live, study, and have fun? Even if you plan to live off-campus, you’re going to spend a lot of time on-campus and in common areas so make sure it’s a place where you can see yourself thriving. 

    Virtual Open Houses For Online Students 

    If you’re an online student, joining a virtual open house is a great way to feel connected to the university and learn valuable information. You may not be going to classes on-campus, but no doubt you have the same questions about academic programs, student services, and financial ad. Some could argue that attending a virtual open house is even more important for online students. Because you won’t meet face-to-face, a virtual open house will give you the opportunity to hear from Professors, students and university staff before deciding to apply. You’ll be able to see the campus and feel like you’re a part of the community. You can get the college experience even if you never plan to step foot on campus! 

    6 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of A College’s Virtual Open House: 

    1. Register early as space may be limited. While colleges accommodate a variety of schedules, virtual open houses usually have an attendee limit to ensure plenty of time for Q&A.

    2. Prepare your questions ahead of time. Make sure to have a list of the most important questions you want answered so you know who to ask and when to ask them.

    3. Take notes! You’ll hear a lot of great information at a virtual open house so be prepared to take notes when something that interests you is mentioned. Most schools record these events so if you do miss something, follow up with the host to see if the recording is available. 

    4. Listen to the questions other’s ask. You may hear a question you didn’t think of but want to know about. You’ll also get a chance to follow up on a question if it is something you want to know too.
       
    5. Before the virtual open house ends, make sure you know what the next steps are if you want to apply or enroll in the college. Find out what information is needed or what department you should speak with next.

    6. Attend more than one virtual open house. Universities will often have several types of virtual open houses. Some will be a general overview of the college; some will be degree-specific and there may be some that are topic specific like financial aid. Use these events to get as much information about the university you’re interested in and degrees you’re considering. 

    7. Bonus Tip! Have fun! Attending a virtual open house is a fun, interesting and effective way to learn about a college and the programs you’re considering. Take this opportunity meet new people, make connections, and enjoy preparing for college! 

    Choosing a college is an important decision that takes some preparation and planning. If you can’t visit a college in-person or you’re an online student, attending a virtual open house will give you an opportunity to gain insights about a college and its programs. These events are more than just virtual tours, they’re a way to learn more, get connected, and enjoy the college experience! 

     


    university-of-advancing-technology-open-house

    Are you interested in attending an open house for University of Advancing Technology? We have open houses every month and would love to see you there! For dates, times and topics, please visit our events page. 

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    Ke'Ondrae Mell: From Student to Success


    Ke'Ondrae Mell was a very busy student and a familiar face for most at University of Advancing Technology (UAT). In fact, no one could understand how he even had time to sleep, as often as he was working on projects. And although he’s missed by both ...

    Ke'Ondrae Mell was a very busy student and a familiar face for most at University of Advancing Technology (UAT). In fact, no one could understand how he even had time to sleep, as often as he was working on projects. And although he’s missed by both staff and faculty, he is already a great success in the tech world. Ke’Ondre shared his thoughts about his education and how it helped him prepare for his current position.

    tech student Ke'Ondrae Mell 

    When did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

    I graduated in August of 2020, with 5 degrees: Bachelors in Robotics and Embedded Systems, and Digital Maker and Fabrication; and Associates in Advancing Computer ScienceArtificial Intelligence, and Enterprise Software Development.

    As a recent grad, how has a technology degree made a difference?

    A tech degree made a big difference because I was able to be exposed to new and up-to-date technology that is used in the industry. Being on par with the tech that is used in industry led me to interview with a number of big name companies.

    Where are you working and what is your position now?

    Currently I am working at Oryx as an Electrical Engineer. 

    Do you feel you could have gotten this job without a degree?

    Without my degrees I feel like I would not have been able to get this job, just because of how much I learned in school. UAT brought me up to speed on technology really quickly and also introduced me to topics that I didn't know and explored myself.  

    In your opinion, why is a college degree important?

    Having a college degree is important because it shows that you were able to apply yourself to a goal. The GPA of that degree is a reflection of the quality of which you achieved that goal. This is important to an employer. It's also important because of the knowledge that you gain from a higher education degree.

    The technology degree taught me more than just theories of a task. The real-world labs and projects made me feel at home when starting a new engineering job. 

    What specifically made your education at UAT worth the cost?

    What made UAT worth the cost was the amazing staff, and the freedom to express my creative ideas


    A technology education is worth it!

    If you’re interested in a career in technology, don’t wait. Start the process by filing out our fast app at uatfastapp.com. In just a few minutes, you can begin planning for your future.

    UAT offers a variety of degree paths, including associate, bachelor and master’s degrees.

    robotics student

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    Creative Artificial Intelligence


    Most people would think that a program, even artificial intelligence, could not do something creative such as create art or compose music. Those kinds of skills are reserved for humans who innately possess creative qualities. But what would you think if I told you that AI has already learned how to draw, how to compose music, how to carry a conversation, and so much more? For example, here is...

    Most people would think that a program, even artificial intelligence, could not do something creative such as create art or compose music. Those kinds of skills are reserved for humans who innately possess creative qualities. But what would you think if I told you that AI has already learned how to draw, how to compose music, how to carry a conversation, and so much more? For example, here is the picture of a person: 


    Here's the fun part: This person does not exist. A computer made up this image at thispersondoesnotexist.com. Refresh this page or go to the website and the program will dream up a new image of a person that has never been born. Of the many times I have visited that website, only a few of the images it created have contained something that made it easy to see the image was fake. 

    This project and many others are the fruits of artificial intelligence. Specifically deep neural networks. Neural networks are programs that are created to mimic how the neurons in our own brains function so that they can learn what to do with the information they have been provided. Each 'neuron' within the network is connected to neighboring neurons and is linked in ways that are useful for the task at hand.

    For this website a very specific kind of network was used, a Generative Adversarial Network, or GAN. A GAN is actually made of two neural network that are in competition with one another. One network is assigned to be the generator whose sole purpose is to take a series of random inputs and generate an image (or anything else it is programmed to). The image is then fed to the other neural network which is called the discriminator. The discriminator is fed both real images of people and the image from the generator and decides if each image is either real or fake. The discriminator is rewarded when it correctly identifies the fake images, but the generator is rewarded when the discriminator cannot tell the difference between reality and fiction. 

    Using Generative Adversarial Networks to Create Data from Noise | Toptal

    This kind of network is very good at emulating what we humans would classify as creativity, but there are many more types of networks that are each good at learning different kinds of tasks. Facial recognition for the police, object detection for self-driving cars, strategy for game like Chess or Go, and many more. 

    Learn how to create artificial intelligence with UAT's AI program, and you could teach computers how to draw a person, compose music, or anything else you can dream of!

    Artificial Intelligence

    -Kody Mitchell

    keywords: artificial intelligence, AI, neural network, deep neural network, deep learning, machine learning, generative adversarial network, GAN, programming

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    Brandon Michelsen: Robotics Alumni


    Brandon Michelsen is an alumni of University of Advancing Technology (UAT) most known for two things... his love of space, and Loomo. (What's Loomo you ask? That's a whole story of it's own...) Brandon was a student that hardly ever wasn't working on a project or assignment, and...

    Brandon Michelsen is an alumni of University of Advancing Technology (UAT) most known for two things... his love of space, and Loomo. (What's Loomo you ask? That's a whole story of it's own...)

    Brandon was a student that hardly ever wasn't working on a project or assignment, and consequently, now works in a great position that's very impressive for a recent college grad. He exemplified what it means to be a technology student, and his future looks so bright, it's blinding.

    Read on to find out why he chose to pursue a technology, and why he felt it was worth it. 

    When did you graduate, and what degree did you receive?

    IMG_7477I graduated in May of 2020 and got my Bachelor of Science in Robotics and Embedded Systems, along with two Associates degrees: one in Computer Science and the other in Artificial Intelligence. 

    Where are you working and what is your position now?

    I work at a company called Plug Power as an Embedded Software Engineer. 

    Do you feel you could have gotten this job without a technology degree?

    I don't think I could have gotten this job without a degree. It was something that definitely helped me stand out on my application.

    In your opinion, why is a degree important?

    I feel like a degree is important depending on the job you are looking for. In the more engineering-focused disciplines (robotics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.), it is definitely something that employers look for, mostly because an engineering degree shows that you have learned the more theoretical aspects of engineering that are hard to learn on your own.

    How did a technology degree set you apart and/or help you feel more ready for your job?

    I feel the project-focused aspect of my degree set me apart. It helped give me some more technical talking points during my interviews, and it gave material for my employer to look over to see how well my skills matched what they were looking for. Not to mention, projects are a great way to help build your problem-solving and troubleshooting skills for your career.

    What specifically made your education at UAT worth the cost?

    I would say the community was what made UAT worth it. If you're an individual who is excited about technology, UAT is filled with like-minded people, all learning from and encouraging each other. Without my peers in the robotics degree, I don't think I would have been as prepared for my career as I am now.


    Interested in a career in technology?

    Start the process by filing out our fast app at uatfastapp.com. In just a few minutes, you can begin planning for your future.

    UAT offers a variety of degree paths, including associate, bachelor and master’s degrees.

    IMG_0416

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    UAT to Celebrate Grads from 2019 to 2021


    University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ, is excited to announce plans for in-person commencement. The 2021 Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Mesa Arts Center on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 1:00 p.m. ...

    University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, AZ, is excited to announce plans for in-person commencement. The 2021 Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Mesa Arts Center on Friday, October 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

    University of Advancing Technology Graduates University of Advancing Technology Commencement

    The ceremony will include 2021 and 2020 grads, as well as those who graduated in 2019 but had planned to commence in 2020. Families are invited to attend, but reservations are required for all attendees. Event reservations can be made online.

    “We are beyond thrilled to finally be able to host our commencement ceremony this fall,” said Valerie Cimarossa, UAT Vice President of Marketing & Technology. “It’s easily our favorite event of the year, and it’s been heartbreaking having to cancel and delay. We are endlessly proud of these graduates and everything they’ve accomplished, and we are looking forward to this long awaited celebration.”

    Visit UAT's commencement page for updates and more information.

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    Is a Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Degree Worth It? - 2021 Guide


    Human Computer Interaction (HCI): Is a Degree Worth It? People are fascinated by the connection between humans and computers. Today, several fields of study are now dedicated to developing new algorithms and technology that help computers improve our everyday lives, especially as the Internet...

    Human Computer Interaction (HCI): Is a Degree Worth It?

    People are fascinated by the connection between humans and computers. Today, several fields of study are now dedicated to developing new algorithms and technology that help computers improve our everyday lives, especially as the Internet of Things, (IoT) continues to grow.

    With these advancements, more and more individuals are considering a career in Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

     Question is: Is a degree in HCI necessary to land a job in this field? And what are the costs and benefits of studying HCI?

    In this guide, we compare college costs to earning potential, college alternatives, and other factors to determine whether an HCI degree is worth it.

    What is Human Computer Interaction (HCI)?

    Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an area of study that involves better understanding the connections and interfaces between humans and computers. HCI professionals research how users interact with computers and then design programs and technologies that help users use computers to their full potential.

    What Can You Do with a Degree in Human Computer Interaction?

    In today’s technologically enhanced landscape, we humans rely on computers to communicate, complete tasks, and make our lives easier. So, a degree in HCI can be highly useful to any individual wanting to pursue a career in computer science and technology.

    A degree in HCI allows you to understand how to improve the human computer interaction experience. This is a valuable skill to the end users, as well as the companies that serve them.

    Types of HCI Jobs:

      • HCI Research Scientist
      • User Experience (UX) Consultant
      • UX Designer
      • Product Designer
      • User Interaction (UI) Designer
      • Information Architect
      • Software Engineer
      • Systems Engineer
      • Project Manager
      • Computer Programmer
      • Tech Startup Founder
      • Freelancer

    Is HCI a Good Major?

    HCI is a great major in that it gives you a wide range of career options and equips you with many of the skills you need to enter a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

    At University of Advancing Technology, for example, a HCI degree accomplishes several objectives, including:

    • Gaining an understanding of fundamental computer design concepts and practices associated with human computer interactions.
    • Evaluating the impact of security, authentication, identification and automation on the design of UX and human computer interaction.
    • Analyzing human behavior factors such as cognition and how they impact UX and relate to the development of HCIs.

    Why Study Human Computer Interaction?

    You might want a degree in HCI if you:

    • Want to understand how people depend on and interact with computers
    • Want to learn more about human behavior
    • Love solving complex problems
    • Enjoy working with computers
    • Are interested in designing human-focused systems, networks, or software
    • Are looking for a field that is challenging yet fulfilling
    • Are searching for a field with endless job opportunities
    • Want to make an investment in your future by entering a potentially lucrative field

    Is It Worth It Getting a Degree in HCI?

     When considering whether any college degree is worth it , you should weigh the costs of the degree versus the earning potential in your chosen field.

    Fortunately, when it comes to HCI, the projected earnings far outweigh the costs of earning your degree – particularly if you attend a technology-focused university like UAT.

    What You’ll Learn in an HCI Degree Program

    Human Computer Interaction majors are immersed in a holistic, hands-on course program that not only gives them fundamental HCI skills but also in-depth experience to prepare them for a career in HCI.

    In most HCI programs, you’ll learn to:

    • Synthesize the human elements of technology
    • Create new user interfaces
    • Produce your own innovative methods
    • Drive fusion with UX, AI, and IoT
    • Develop and manage digital assets
    • Develop use cases with devices and software
    • Create virtual environments

    Beyond these skills, you’ll have access to a range of resources to help you prepare for and advance your career. These resources might include career counseling, internships, advanced degrees, study groups, and more.

    Skills to Find Success in HCI

     A college degree will teach you the ins and outs of HCI, but there are other intrapersonal skills you’ll want to develop to see real success in your career. This is why UAT students are required to participate in individual and group projects that solve real-world problems. This requires innovation and creativity, as well as communication skills and critical thinking.

    At UAT, we help students reach their full potential. Most students go on to complete internships, community projects, and apprenticeships to better cultivate their ability to succeed in the workplace.

    How Much Do HCI Jobs Pay?

    A degree in Human Computer Interaction opens many doors to a variety of technology-focused careers. HCI experts transform the way humans interact with technology, not just computers. Jobs require real-world skills to tackle the evolution of IoT and UX infused hardware, software, mobile and more.

    The highest paying careers in human computer interaction as listed by bls.gov are:

    How to Get a Job in Human Computer Interaction

    Earning a Human Computer Interaction Degree is one of the best first steps you can take to set yourself up for a successful career in HCI. Not only will you acquire the skills you need to prepare you for an HCI job, but you’ll have a marketable degree that makes you attractive to employers.

    A bachelor’s degree in HCI studies remains the industry standard for entering the field of HCI and landing a lucrative job. Plus, at institutions like UAT, you’ll gain valuable career counseling to help you ace interviews, fine-tune your resume, land an internship, and more.

    Applying for HCI Jobs

     Once you’ve earned your HCI degree or have otherwise gained experience in the field, you can begin applying for more advanced HCI jobs.

     Your best bet is to check your college job board, attend career fairs, search for “HCI jobs” online, and check online job boards like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter.com, or Indeed.com.

    Here are some tips for applying to HCI jobs:

    • Read job descriptions thoroughly and write your cover letter to match the requirements the company is looking for.
    • Have a friend or advisor review your resume, checking for errors, and providing tips on how to make it more appealing to hiring managers.
    • Look into additional certifications to improve your skills and appeal to employers.
    • Practice your job interviewing skills to master your interviews.
    • Follow up with employers via email to keep your name top of mind and thank them for their consideration in interviewing you.

    HCI - Human Computer Interaction Degree at University of Advancing Technology
    Where Can I Study Human Computer Interaction?

    At University of Advancing Technology, we offer an HCI degree that incorporates real world applications and a deep understanding of human-computer interactions. This includes the study and development of novel uses of computer technologies, intelligent interfaces, augmented reality environments, new I/O devices, and more.

    “UAT Students in the HCI Degree program will develop use cases with software and devices, create virtual environments, develop digital assets, and synthesize the human elements of technology.”

    If you believe a career in Human Computer Interaction may be right for you, request more information. We’re passionate about helping students enter STEM fields and acquire the skills they need to land a lucrative and rewarding career in HCI.

     

    Other STEM Degrees at UAT:

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    Is a Degree in Cyber Security Worth it? – Facts & Job Prospects


    Cyber Security: Is a Degree Worth It? It seems you can hardly go a week without reading about a security or ...

    Cyber Security: Is a Degree Worth It?

    It seems you can hardly go a week without reading about a security or data breach. With cyber security on the mind, it’s no wonder that people are turning to this field as a possible career choice.

    In fact, there has been a notable shortage of cyber security professionals, making this field appear even more lucrative and enticing. And with that, more individuals are going to college to earn a degree in cyber security.

    But is a college degree in cyber security really worth it? Do you need one in order to be successful?

    In this guide, we are answering these questions and more so you can make the best, most financially sound decision for yourself.

    What is Cyber Security?

    The field of cyber security (also written as “cybersecurity”) focuses on securing computer systems, servers, networks, mobile devices, and more against malicious attacks and intruders.

    Hackers often launch attacks against digital devices in order to access private data; cyber security professionals protect individuals and businesses from these threats.

    What is a Cyber Security Degree?

    A cyber security degree will give you the foundation, skills, and coursework to help you pursue a career in cyber security. At most institutions, this comes in the form of a bachelor’s or master’s degree with an emphasis on information security.

    This degree tends to be more rigorous and challenging than many other degrees but can lead to a very fulfilling and lucrative career.

    Popular Areas of Cyber Security

    The field of cyber security is broad and far-reaching, but most individuals tend to focus on a few key areas of computer science. These are the areas that are in the highest demand, but you can always specialize according to your own unique interests and skillset.

    Network Security

    Network security professionals work to help individuals and businesses better protect the integrity of their network and data access. They defend networks against data breaches and other security threats – often using antivirus software, firewalls, VPNs, network analytics, and more.

    Technology Forensics

    Also known as “digital forensics”, technology forensics involves the investigation and recovery of information and data found in digital devices. These professionals help individuals and businesses recover “lost” data, defend against cybercrime, and report on their computer system’s performance.

    Network Engineering

    Network engineers design, construct, and manage networks to ensure they are functioning at optimal performance. Individuals and organizations need optimized and secure networks in order to maintain uptime, keep their data secure, and stay connected across devices.

    Why Study Cyber Security?

    If recent news stories are any indication, it’s becoming increasingly more dangerous for businesses and individuals to ignore digital security threats. With more touchpoints for hackers to take advantage of, we see an increasing need for cyber security professionals to come to the defense.

    You might want a degree in cyber security if you:

    • Love solving complex problems
    • Enjoy working with computers and systems
    • Are interested in designing and building networks
    • Are looking for a field that is challenging yet fulfilling
    • Want to enter a field with massive job opportunities and growth
    • Want a high salary and unending earning potential
    • Want a Recession-proof industry/job
    • Corporate and government job opportunities
    • Want to make an investment in your future by entering a lucrative field

    Is It Worth Getting an Undergraduate Cyber Degree?

    We can say outright that Yes, getting a degree in cyber security is definitely worth it. While the benefits of entering the field of cyber security are limitless, earning a degree is the best way to set you up for success from the get-go.

    Here are some reasons why earning an undergraduate degree in cyber studies is the best path:

    A degree is more applicable than free resources.

    Many aspiring cyber security professionals turn to free resources in order to obtain their skills and experience on a budget. But these free resources can only take you so far.

    For one, you risk learning outdated or inaccurate information. Second, this “unofficial” education very rarely translates well (in the eyes of hiring managers) when it’s time to apply for cyber security jobs. For these reasons and others, it’s best to take the traditional path and earn a degree from an accredited institution.

    You gain access to a wide range of resources.

    Colleges not only provide degrees but help set students up for success by providing access to a wide range of resources, events, skill-building sessions and more.

    Most colleges offer internship opportunities, networking events, career counseling, and other services to help students not only gain more skills in their field but be better prepared to land a job after graduation.

    A degree lands you a higher starting salary and better job prospects.

    The reality is that earning a degree in cyber security opens the door to a higher starting salary and better job prospects compared to jumping straight into the field with no education or experience.

    In fact, recent studies show that a degree in cyber security can boost a job applicant’s “appeal factor” and lead to a higher salary. Also, keep in mind that many companies actually require applicants to have a degree in order to land the job.

    Is a Master's Degree in Cyber Security Worth It?

    A master’s degree in cyber security can also help you appear more attractive to hiring managers and present an opportunity to improve your skills, specialize in a specific area, and/or pivot to a different area of focus.

    The average starting salary of someone with a Master’s of Science in cyber security is higher than that of someone with a bachelor’s degree.

    And with online learning options available, plus on-campus and hybrid options, getting a master’s degree is more accessible than ever.

    Can I Land a Cyber Security Job with No Experience?

    In short, yes, it is possible to land a cyber security job with no experience. But is it easy? Not necessarily.

     In one of our recent posts, UAT professor Aaron Jones shared his thoughts on getting a cyber security job right out the gate:

    “Information technology is hyper-competitive and the level of success you attain will often directly correlate with the amount of effort you are willing to put into it…

    The degree is part of the equation… If the job does not require one but favors that degree, I have put myself above all other seekers lacking that degree.”

     In other words, a degree may not be required in order to land a cyber security position, but it definitely helps. For your best chance of landing a high salary, we recommend earning at least a bachelor’s degree and attending an accredited college that can set you up for success.

    Career Outlook

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an Information Security Analyst in the United States is $103,590 per year. The career outlook for cyber security analysts is 31%, which is much faster than the national average. Recent projections anticipate the field of cyber security adding over 40,000 new jobs between 2021 and 2029.

    “Demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.” – bls.gov

    How to Get a Job in Cyber Security

    One of the best ways to prepare you for a career in cyber security is to attend a college that offers internships, networking opportunities, and access to career services. These resources will help you prepare for job interviews, gain hands-on experience, and find job opportunities through your college’s exciting connections.

    Plus, earning an advanced degree in cyber science is a great way to land an even better position and increase your earnings.

    Applying for Cyber Security Jobs

    Here are some tips for applying to cyber security jobs:

    • Read job descriptions thoroughly and write your cover letter to match the requirements the company is looking for.
    • Have a friend or advisor review your resume, checking for errors and providing tips on how to make it more appealing to hiring managers.
    • Look into additional certifications to improve your skills and appeal to employers.
    • Practice your job interviewing skills to master your interviews.
    • Follow up with employers via email to keep your name top of mind and thank them for their consideration in interviewing you.

    Earn a Degree In Cyber Security at UAT

    UAT offers a Master’s of Science in Cyber Security, as well as bachelor’s degrees in Network Engineering, Network Security, and Technology Forensics. Our Cyber Security Degree for Ethical Hackers and Network Security Curriculum has been certified through the NSA/DHS National Information Assurance Training Program in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense.

    Designated as a Center of Academic Excellence by the National Centers of Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE), UAT’s Network Security Bachelor’s of Science degree prepares students to take on the ever-evolving world of information security.

    If you believe a career in cyber security may be right for you, request information about our degree programs. At the University of Advancing Technology, we’re passionate about helping students enter STEM fields and acquire the skills they need to land a rewarding career in cyber security and beyond.

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    AI: Pixels faces into Photos


    Do you ever wonder how much AI can be modified and turned into something else? Something cool or innovative that could help someone or society in any way. I wondered that too as I am studying Artificial Intelligence at the University of Advancing Technology. Looking into articles on how AI can be innovated or changed for the better or maybe the worse. During my Research, I found something cool...

    Do you ever wonder how much AI can be modified and turned into something else? Something cool or innovative that could help someone or society in any way. I wondered that too as I am studying Artificial Intelligence at the University of Advancing Technology. Looking into articles on how AI can be innovated or changed for the better or maybe the worse. During my Research, I found something cool I have not seen before that had to do with the future of AI.

    AI & Copyright: What is Old is New Again? - Copyright Clearance Center

    I found an invention of a program, called Face Depixelizer, which is an app with AI that can take ultra-low res pixelated photos of a face and turn it back into a realistic portrait photo. This app was made by a Russian developer named Denis Malimonov, the app that he created utilizes the power of another app called, StyleGAN. When using the application, the input faces do not need to be real people. You could potentially use the tool to see what video game characters may look like in real life. You could also use this type of tool to identify faces that have been purposely pixelated for privacy or safety reasons. The application does not show what the person per say looks likes, it finds any face that fits. The Face Depixelizer is available to use at Google Colab. The input photo does need to be square and you can use it by pressing the button indicated by the red arrow along with scrolling down to where you can input your file. The application helps with the identification of certain facial features instead of restoring the original face.

    How do you think this application will be used? Will it be modified for it to recognize people who are pixelated and want to stay anonymous? Do you think this is a great application or not a great application and cause problems in society? Do you think this would be beneficial in the long run of this application being public?

     

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    Can you get a job without a college degree?


    Can a person get a job without a degree? Sure. When it comes to a career; however, having a degree is critical. A degree tells an employer more than just the courses a person has completed, and...

    Can a person get a job without a degree?

    Sure. When it comes to a career; however, having a degree is critical.

    A degree tells an employer more than just the courses a person has completed, and the skills that a person has acquired. A college degree shows that a person can accomplish their goals, can overcome hard times and has had to learn time management, balance, and tenacity. These aren’t always quantifiable skills, but they are vital to any career in any industry. College is an experience, and the degree earned is a culmination of that experience.

    Can a person do their own research and learn how to code, animate and design online? Sure. But where do they start? How do they know that what they find online is credible, reliable? College provides pointed guidance to the right resources, as well as access to industry professionals as teachers, mentors and support. Learning how to research correctly is also an important skill that college teaches students and that is invaluable to an employer.

    So, in response to the question, “Can you get a job without a college degree?” the answer is, sure, most likely, but that degree and the college experience that helped to earn it will help both the employer and the candidate feel that much more confident that they are making the right choice and investing in the right candidate for their organization.

    Bottom line? It's worth it. 


    Ready to get started? Don't wait!

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    A Proud Voice: Cyn and the GSA


    For Pride month, we set out to talk to students who wanted to use our platform to share their thoughts. It became much more than that. Cyn, a Game Design student from Chandler, AZ, came in with seemingly one thing on their mind—find more individuals with similar interests and lifestyles to connect with. The more we talked, the more we both realized how that needed to...

    For Pride month, we set out to talk to students who wanted to use our platform to share their thoughts. It became much more than that.

    Cyn, a Game Design student from Chandler, AZ, came in with seemingly one thing on their mind—find more individuals with similar interests and lifestyles to connect with. The more we talked, the more we both realized how that needed to happen sooner rather than later, and thus the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) was established.  

    “I’ve been here about 6 months. I’m nonbinary and I haven’t found many other people who are,” they said. “It’s important to me to be able to actually find other people to talk to about what’s wrong in the community right now, discuss the issues, and actually show their pride.”

    Although Cyn hasn’t met a ton of people with the same lifestyle, they have still felt welcome at UAT. “I call it a community, but it’s more like a family,” they said. “I found the right group of people from the start.”

    And now, the Student Club is off and running! The students held their first meeting and set up a booth at UAT’s Pride event on campus. This event is just one of many ways the students can show their pride and support of each other, and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s to come.

    The Club is also excited to welcome new members. “I’d probably throw a big coming out party for every one that comes out when they’re here,” said Cyn. “I would go to Fry’s and get a cake with frosting that said, “Congrats, you’re… whatever you are… in the colors of that flag.”

    Thank you Cyn, we at UAT love your pride.


    Check out some photos from our Pride Celebration!

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    Brett Chapman: Filmmaker and UAT Alumni


    Brett Chapman is a film maker, director, cinematographer, videographer, video editor, content creator, and SFX makeup artist. He is also a UAT grad!  Brett has been doing great things over the past few years, and he took the time to catch us up on his creative adventures. Tell me...

    Brett Chapman is a film maker, director, cinematographer, videographer, video editor, content creator, and SFX makeup artist. He is also a UAT grad! 

    Brett has been doing great things over the past few years, and he took the time to catch us up on his creative adventures.

    Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from, etc.?

    My name is Brett Chapman. I’m 25 years old. I am from a small town nestled away in Northeast Arizona called Snowflake. I grew up there in the 90s in a very large Mormon family. We had to get creative as kids and make our own entertainment as we had limited technology and large amounts of outdoor space to roam around in. I grew up racing quads off road and was an honors student from kindergarten through college. My passions in life include action sports, art, cinema, music, the outdoors, skydiving, tech, fitness and learning new skills or hobbies.

    When did you attend UAT and what did you study?

    September 2014­–August 2016. I completed my four-year degree in two years. I studied digital video and graduated with Cum Laude distinction. While at UAT, I competed in and won several film festival awards and accolades alongside my production peers. My senior short film, Loyalty Lies with the Dead, won the 2016 Spring SIP Fair “Best in Show” award.

    Why did you choose this field?

    I originally got into film through my grandpa and high school. My grandpa had a large collection of movies and would let me borrow them to watch. I started digging through classic blockbusters somewhere around Jr. High. I’ve always been a very creative narrative writer and enjoyed storytelling growing up. I always excelled in my English classes that involved narrative writing. In high school, I had an empty elective space I needed to occupy, and so I took an interactive digital media class that revolved around video creation. I quickly fell in love with creative really cheesy dumb videos with friends I made in the class. I continued taking the more and more advanced versions of the class throughout the rest of high school. During my senior year, UAT recruiters came to the school and showed us all about UAT. I was in awe of the level of video production the school was creating and teaching, as well as all the very nerdy, cool programs the school offered. I applied and ended up being awarded nearly 75% of my schooling costs through scholarships. That was the deciding factor for me, and so I went to UAT. Once there and after fully diving into film, creating projects and watching things with concepts I had never been introduced to before, I instantly fell in love with the industry and film creation as a whole.

    What has your career path been since graduation?

    FB_IMG_1531182133272Since I left UAT, I have done a vast amount of various work in the video production industry. I’ve freelanced for production companies in the valley, filmed weddings, advertisements, corporate marketing, events, festivals, films and basically everything under the sun that can be captured on film. In 2016, I got back into racing through film and started filming professional off road race events in the world of action sports. That led to working for Jax Redline, a professional trophy truck driver who at the time was only 14. I moved to Texas and began managing the race team's brand, social media and creating video content. I traveled with the team all across the United States and Mexico on a private jet. I filmed and documented all the race events and racing updates for the team. In one year, I took almost 30 separate private flights. I got to film the infamous Score International Baja 1000 and NORRA Mexican Rally. I traveled and filmed races in Baja, California and Mexico, all the way from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. I got to chase and film the race car out of a helicopter. I did collaborations for the team with celebrities on the Hoonigan team and Blake Wilkey. After I parted ways with that team, I continued filming action sports as a freelancer and moved back to Arizona. My action sports footage has been featured on brands, sponsors and networks such as: World of Xgames, Redbull, Monster Energy, Pagid Racing, Honda Factory Racing, Polaris RZR, Tuba Art Films, Best in the Desert, the Mint 400, King of the Hammers, ESPN and many more.

    Since then, I have gotten back into working on short films and doing high end production work for luxury brands and corporate clients. There are two separate short films I worked on that are currently being featured at film festivals across the world. I also contract as a freelance video editor at a marketing company in downtown Scottsdale. There I edit dealership commercials for all major OEMs from GMC to Jeep to Mercedes-Benz that are aired on things like the Amazon streaming platform.

    What projects are you most proud of?

    I hate favorites, and I’m constantly looking to improve on the work I do. I’m proud of the work and progress I’ve made but there isn’t one thing that highlights the years of deviation it takes in this industry. I’m usually most proud of the most current project I just created or the new one I’m working on. I bask in that project's success for a while and then move onto bigger and better ones.

    Do you feel UAT prepared you?

    What I did learn was significant in that I got to learn different production roles, I learned a lot of industry terms, had to cultivate making creative solutions to problems, got to work on sets with my student peers and most importantly, learned how to operate as a professional in the production industry. That definitely put me one step ahead of people that didn’t attend school.

    FB_IMG_1608856786731What’s the best advice you received to help with your education and/or career?

    Don’t think that Hollywood has all the answers. The video production industry is huge and there are several career opportunities outside of slaving away in California. Curve your expectations and keep cinema and filmmaking as a passion-based thing, rather than trying to make it your career. Almost like a hobby. There’s much more money and experience to be had in different arenas. Become a swiss army knife of video production and don’t limit yourself to one production role. Never stop learning and use the resources available to you to grow. You can learn a lot on YouTube these days.

    What advice would you give future and current students?

    Work your ass off but remember to work on yourself. You cannot make a successful career if you’re not a whole person to begin with. Eat healthy, address your mental and physical health and don’t burn yourself out too much.

    What’s important for these students to know when they’re looking for job opportunities?

    Again, don’t limit yourself to only making films in Hollywood. Branch out and find work in the thousands of niche video industries, and don’t limit yourself to taking on work for one role. Do it all and be it all. Most importantly, NETWORK! Ninety percent of the jobs I’ve gotten have not been from my portfolio or resume. They come from meeting people, forming connections with them, working together and then result in getting tossed work from those people later on down the road. Stay connected with people on social media and follow production groups. Remember this. The production industry is like a VIP-only world. Find some other VIPs, friend them and get into the party.

    What’s next in your life/career?

    Currently I’ve been building out my arsenal of production skills and equipment for my own production company. I plan on continuing to do that. I’m hoping to be brought on as a permanent team member at Digital Air Strike. I’m continuing to book freelance video production jobs for huge corporate and luxury clients. I’ve also started back up on working on film. I am currently writing a feature film and working on any short film sets I can get on. Check out my website: chapmandigitalcinema.com

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    DIGITAL VIDEO DEGREE  

    UAT’s digital video courses combine the fundamentals of digital filmmaking technologies with artistic production to create an advanced degree for students wanting to launch a career in digital filmmaking and video production.

    Digital filmmaking students will plan, design, and assemble pre-production materials to create digital video projects including screenplays, character building, storyboards, and shot lists. They will develop, write, and create digital films including fictional films, documentaries, music videos, commercials, animations, visual effects, and short films. Film production skills and techniques for professional camerawork, film composition, and film lighting will be explored. Digital Video Bachelor of Art Degree graduates will be prepared for careers in digital filmmaking, digital film editing, digital animation, and motion picture production.

    Interested? Apply now! Fill out UAT's fast application.

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    Remembering Juneteenth


    Juneteenth commemorates a crucial moment in the long and furious struggle to abolish slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number...

    Juneteenth commemorates a crucial moment in the long and furious struggle to abolish slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, effectively freeing hundreds of thousands of enslaved people in Texas. Rather than being one of the first acts of emancipation during the war, Granger’s order was one of the last. Indeed, by June 1865, the Civil War was essentially over in the eastern theater. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia formally surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9, soon followed by Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender to General Sherman on April 26. Texas was a different story, however. Compared with the rest of the Confederacy, Texas had suffered significantly less destruction, witnessing fewer major battles throughout the war. As a result, many enslavers had fled to Texas to escape Union forces, making it one of the last holdouts of the largely defeated Confederacy. By the time Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, approximately 250,000 enslaved people remained in bondage in Texas when the order was delivered:

    “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

    The issuance of this order was a tremendous victory for the centuries-long struggle of anti-slavery, but it would have never happened without the extraordinary courage of formerly enslaved men and women. During the two and a half years leading up to Granger’s order, hundreds of thousands of enslaved people saw a chance to achieve freedom like never before—and took it. When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the order declared that “all persons held as slaves” within Confederate territory “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The impact of this proclamation is difficult to overstate. While Lincoln technically held no executive power over the states in rebellion, his decisive order meant that enslaved people living in the Confederacy had a path to freedom—by escaping to Union lines. Amazingly, about 500,000 people did. Moreover, this decisive turning point in the war granted another radical opportunity: former slaves could take up arms for the Union and join the fight against the Confederacy. Ultimately, no fewer than 100,000 formerly enslaved people joined the Union ranks, risking their lives so that future generations would not have to experience the dehumanizing brutalities of slavery. Former slaves, for the first time in American history, could legally take up arms against those who wanted to keep them in bondage. Their incalculable contributions to fighting slavery and joining the Union war effort made Granger’s orders and June 19th celebrations today possible.

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    Group on Emancipation Day, circa 1880s, in Houston's Emancipation Park. — Source

    By celebrating Juneteenth and commemorating the anti-slavery struggle, we have the opportunity to acknowledge and learn from this powerfully instructive history. While formerly enslaved people spent the ensuing decades tracking down loved ones and family members who had been sold and separated during slavery, they also spent it fighting for education, voting rights, and economic opportunities. They helped to establish a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), fought for the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments, and continued to develop cultural expressions that have revolutionized music, literature, and art around the world. This original Juneteenth generation also went on to fight against domestic terrorism, lynching, horribly oppressive black codes, incarceration, and Jim Crow laws. In other words, the struggle for freedom was actually only beginning. The same individuals that celebrated the first Juneteenth teach us that freedom is not an isolated triumph or a legal status we achieve one day, but a continual struggle to ensure that all Americans, regardless of the systems of oppression they are born into, have access to the same freedoms and rights— freedom to an education, economic independence, cultural and religious expression, and the freedom to vote and hold office without facing violence or political obstructionism. Today, we still need to listen to their wisdom. 

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    Group posing in front of a shop at E. Main Street near 21st Street in Richmond, Virginia on Juneteenth, ca. 1900 — Source

    (Header image: Detail from a photograph of celebrations in Richmond, Virginia, ca. 1905 — Source)

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    A Conversation with Alayna


    June is Pride Month! If you’re not sure of the origins of this celebration, here’s a quick history lesson from the Library of Congress: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated...

    June is Pride Month!

    If you’re not sure of the origins of this celebration, here’s a quick history lesson from the Library of Congress:

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States…Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events that attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

    At UAT, we want to support our student population, giving them an outlet and a platform to voice their thoughts. Through our student-led Culture Committee, they are using their influence to share new and different ways of life with each other.

    One of those students is Alayna Lecrone, an online student majoring in Game Design. We asked Alayna about her experience at UAT. Read on to hear her opinions about being a member of the LGBTQ+ community and UAT student.

    AlaynaHow do you feel about how UAT supports and welcomes the LGBTQ+ community?

    From the very beginning, even before I enrolled, I had attended some open house live streams and kind of made it known I was transgender. In those events, I was able to gauge the reaction to see what the environment would be like. I am happy to say even then as a person not yet enrolled, it was nothing but positive and supportive! This made my decision to come here way easier, and now being enrolled students and staff alike have been amazing! I even got to educate a few people, and I feel like a pioneer of sorts moving in this industry, though many have come before me.

    How has your personal experience been at UAT as a member of the LGBTQ+ community? How have you felt supported and welcomed?

    ​As I kind of touched on before, the students and staff have been nothing short of amazing! Even though I'm an online only student I have never felt excluded or left out, which is really rare. I have heard from people on campus that the environment there is amazing as well.

    If a young person who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community was thinking about coming to UAT, what would you want them to know?

    UAT is a great place, welcoming accepting and safe. The staff goes above and beyond to help you feel included. I will take credit for some changes that happened recently that were prompted by my persistent asking, such as allowing preferred pronouns to be shown on Microsoft Teams and Canvas portal we use at school, and you are also able to go by your preferred name on almost anything unless required by law to be legal name. They really do their best to make you feel safe, accepted and welcome at the school. You will make so many friends and grow exponentially as a student and individual here. I have been dreaming of coming to UAT since I was in 11th grade. I'm 34 now, so it took a while but I finally made it and for good reason. There is no place like UAT.

    Do you have any final thoughts or advice for those that are discovering more about themselves while in college?

    Ironically I came out officially in college. So, my only advice would be to breathe. Realize that you are who you are. It’s scary at first coming to terms with it. People are going to disagree; some maybe even will walk away. I would love to say everyone will always be so happy and accepting but that's not the reality. The main thing is to keep your head straight. Seek help if you need it; there is a thousand resources and discreet counseling available to you. Coming out in 2021 is A LOT different than coming out in the early 2000s. Be happy, be strong, be brave, but most importantly BE YOU. No matter what. Life is full of regrets, don't make denying who you truly are one of them. 

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    Scholarship Opportunity 

    The Linux Foundation and Transtech are providing scholarships for LGBTQ+ students looking to get started working with open source software. TransTech will award 50 scholarships per quarter! For information about other scholarships for the LGBTQ+ community, search the database at CampusPride.org.

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