A concentration and a minor in Music Industry Studies highlight some added opportunities this academic year at Louisiana Tech, including several undergraduate certificates designed to increase job opportunities for current students, prospective students, and non-traditional students.
Each of the certificates can be added to a student’s current academic program. New Tech students as well as students at other universities can also pursue them as individual offerings. Many of the classes involved can be taken online, and students can pursue them – even while staying close to home.
These Undergraduate Certificates address skill areas that are in high demand and provide depth and perspective to other academic programs. Offering these topics and skills as a cohesive and intentional focus provides motivation to new, continuing, and returning students to achieve meaningful progress toward their academic goals and future careers.Provost Dr. Terry McConathy
Music Industry Studies students take many of the same courses that a music major would take — such as music theory and history — and learn how to play an instrument.
“Students pursuing a minor in Music Industry Studies primarily take the core music industry courses, although they do make a little music, too,” said Dr. Michael Austin, Founding Director of the School of Music at Tech.
Both the concentration and the minor complete a practicum course, which is essentially an on-campus internship. They might work with University Communications and help Research Communications Specialist Amy Bell with the Beyond 1894 podcast, assist Light and Sound Technician Doug Emory set up equipment for University events, or help with KLPI, the University radio station.
“There are lots of opportunities for students to get music industry-related experience right here on campus,” Austin said. “Students in the concentration go on to complete an off-campus internship in the music industry and complete a major capstone project their senior year. As a couple of examples, singer/songwriters might present a 30-minute set of music they’ve written throughout their time in the program, or an aspiring audio engineer might produce a demo album for a local band.”
Since the entertainment industry is one of the main economic drivers in Louisiana, it makes a lot of sense for Louisiana Tech to become a leading center for professional training in that industry.
“I was hired in 2019 to help get the program started, and we’ve already begun to think about expanding the scope of the program to include music and audio for film, TV, video games, and other interactive and emerging media,” Austin said. “This spring, we’re offering an audio course that’s part of the new video Game Design program, which is a minor.”
The University is working on making Game Design a certificate program as well to draw more non-traditional students.
“I think there are lots of students who would benefit from our program,” Austin said. “Not only is a Music Industry Studies degree ideal for students drawn to the creative side of the industry who want to be music producers, artists and repertoire (A&R) representatives who scout for new talent, or the next Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, but students who are interested in becoming music business moguls, entertainment attorneys, or music marketing executives could benefit from the program, too. We also hope the program serves as an entry point for more students who are interested in music, but who may have more interest in hip hop, country, K-pop, or electronic dance music (EDM) than they do with Western European ‘classical’ art music.”
The University is also offering undergraduate certificates in Audiology, Criminal Psychology, Geographic Information Science, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management, and Lean Six Sigma.
The certificate in Audiology provides undergraduates who are considering applying to graduate programs in audiology (AuD or PhD) specialized courses to help them prepare for future study. The Louisiana Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology is currently forming rules and regulations for the licensing of audiology assistants, and the certificate program will help prepare students to complete the licensing process when it is approved. This 20-hour certificate can be completed in nine months.
The undergraduate certificate in Criminal Psychology is designed for students who are interested in the intersection of psychology and criminal justice principles. The program allows students in any major to complete targeted coursework in sociology and psychology so they are better prepared for work in the field of law enforcement. In addition to serving as a stand-alone offering, the certificate can be added to the curriculum for a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies—with minors in criminal justice and psychology—to prepare students to pursue careers in law enforcement. Most courses in the nine-month-long program are available online and are also offered in Ruston and at Tech Barksdale.
The Geographic Information Science (GIS) certificate provides a pathway for students to complete significant coursework in spatial technologies. The program allows students to develop skills and document training that can be used in multiple fields of interest, including land assessment and surveying, the management and assessment of natural resources, energy production and transportation, and crime analysis and epidemiology. GIS skills should enhance career opportunities in natural resource management, as well as other spatially-related fields.
The 18-hour undergraduate certificate in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel in positions in information systems and network security—one of the fastest growing industries in Louisiana. Students will learn to protect systems and information assets, and to detect, report, and resolve cyber security threats. Additionally, coursework will prepare students to perform information systems risk analysis, along with information systems disaster recovery and business continuity.
The Lean Six Sigma certificate teaches students the skills needed to solve complex problems encountered in their jobs. Lean Six Sigma is a method that relies on a collaborative effort to improve performance by removing waste and reducing variation. Lean Six Sigma not only reduces process defects and waste but also provides a framework for overall organizational culture change. This 18-hour certificate program allows learners from diverse technical backgrounds to prepare for high-demand jobs as Lean Engineers, Lean Six Sigma Process Engineers, Quality Managers, and Operational Excellence Engineers.
“In creating these undergraduate certificates, our academic leaders found ways to combine portions of established and successful programs to benefit current and future Tech students,” said Louisiana Tech President Dr. Les Guice. “We look forward to continuing work with our industry partners in order to create programs that will respond to their needs and the needs of our state’s economy.”
In order to enroll in any of these undergraduate certificate programs, new and visiting students should apply for admission to Louisiana Tech. Current students should work with their academic advisors to add these programs to their course planning.