Students who want to continue beyond Rose State can seek a bachelor's degree at Oklahoma State University. The University of Tulsa has a master's program in the field.
“One thing about our program is it's always changing,” Dewey said. “We're getting into mobile device security, cloud computing. There are always changes, which is good.”
But even though the program deals with an ever-changing industry, Schwartz said it doesn't take a computer expert to excel at Rose State. Professors start at the beginning, she said, and work with students through the more complicated classes.
“You don't have to have prior knowledge,” she said. “You can do it even if you know only basic programs.”
Schwartz said her image of the classes being filled with young male computer geeks was shattered the first day.
“It's a very diverse group,” she said. “A lot of people who are my age and are working in the field are coming back for more education; learning more for their jobs. And there are more women now. I thought this was a man's world.”
Schwartz has passed four levels of certification and will be getting her last two before she graduates in the spring.
Dewey said with the way the industry is progressing, it's likely the program will continue to get bigger in coming years.
“The demand is there to keep growing,” he said.