Posted by raherschbach on 5 Nov 2015

Capitol Technology University has been singled out by The Economist as an example of an engineering-centered school whose graduates go on to earn high salaries. The mention came as the global news magazine released its first ever college rankings, at the end  of October.

Field of study is a key predictor of success, the magazine found -- the second most important factor after SAT scores.  Within STEM fields, computer science and engineering deliver the biggest bang for a student's educational buck.

But while many such schools are hard to get into, "a handful, such as Capitol Technology University outside Washington, DC, accept a majority of applicants while still delivering top-decile salaries," the article said.

The magazine also highlighted the importance of geographical location; if a school is located in a job-rich area and has strong ties to local employers, its graduates can be expected to earn tens of thousands more. Maryland schools in general benefit from proximity to Washington D.C.; Capitol has leveraged that advantage even further through ongoing partnerships with NASA and the National Security Agency as well as private sector giants such as Lockheed Martin.

Concern over the value of higher education has spiked in recent years as the US economy faces an apparent structural problem: growth in job vacancies is higher than the rate of actual new hires.

Employers are unable to find qualified personnel for open positions, while many college graduates do not have the skills that would qualify them for those jobs -- even as institutions of higher education are "churning out more degrees than ever," The Economist said.

The gap has led to calls for more accountabiity in the form of data-driven results that can help students make better choices. In September, the Obama administration launched a College Scorecard website that attempts to provide such data.

Matching expectatons to reality

The Economist's ranking is based on the Scorecard but adds an extra element: through multiple regression analysis, it seeks to estimate the gap between alumni expectations and actual median salaries -- that is, "the gap between how much money [a given college or university's] students subsequently earn, and how much they might have made if they had studied elsewhere."

Among Maryland schools, Capitol is notable both for comparatively high median earnings post-graduation, and for an almost non-existent gap between earnings and expectations. According to The Economist, Capitol graduates earn a median salary of $58,900 -- or $586 higher than the expected figure of $58,314.

By contrast, graduates of many other Maryland institutions either can expect significantly lower median earnings, or face a significantly higher gap between earnings and expectations.

Nationwide, the data challenges some commonly held views, The Economist noted. One is that studying the humanities is a ticket to job woes. In fact, the magazine noted, graduates from schools with high concentrations of English majors do not fare poorly in the economic marketplace. In terms of job prospects after graduation, the worst performers are religious and art schools, which "dominate the bottom rung of the earnings table," it found.

Another is that STEM education -- broadly defined -- is a panacea for hireability problems. In fact, only select STEM fields, notably computer science and engineering, provide a competitve edge, and that edge is significant. 

For the complete Economist rankings, click here.


Posted by raherschbach on 30 Oct 2015

Superhero names often allude to the type of power that hero holds. Spiderman shoots webs and can climb walls and Aquaman utilizes marine life to accomplish his tasks. Having a name that accurately reflects who you are and what you do can have a serious impact on how that brand is seen in the marketplace.

Part of the motivation surrounding our change from Capitol College to Capitol Technology University last year was that by becoming a university we will better represent “who we already are,” as our president, Dr. Michael T. Wood, suggested in 2014. More information about why we changed the institution name can be found here:

From the standpoint of graduating student, the name change is a bonus. The perception of prestige and heightened expectations associated with the designation of "university" works in your favor.

Current students and recent graduates (Fall 2014 or later) should make sure to check that you have changed your résumé and application documentation to reflect the new name change. Remember to change the education section and any work experiences at Capitol.

For Alumni:

When an employer searches for Capitol College on Google, it will re-route to the website. Also, if you request any formal documentation of proof of attendance, such as an official transcript, the company will receive documentation with the Capitol Technology University name and/or letterhead.

I recommend, on your résumé, listing your education the following way:

Obviously, you will need to update the name of the degree and the graduation date to reflect your own credentials.

The most important part of this process is continuity. You want to avoid confusion or the risk of being mistakenly accused of misleading the hiring manager. So, if you make the change in one place, make sure to do so everywhere (in cover letters and on applications). 

As always, I am happy to assist you with the creation or editing of application materials. Please email to set up an appointment.


Posted by raherschbach on 24 Oct 2015

You've heard the horror stories, These days, it's not uncommon for college graduates to find themselves struggling in the job market. Many end up moving back in with their parents, with the entire family pondering the return on their college investment.

Graduate from Capitol Technology University, however, and you won't find yourself riding back home in the family minivan, senior director of admissions George Walls tells prospective students during Open House events at the uinversity. That's because Capitol specializes in high-demand fields such as engineering, computer science and cybersecurity, where employer need outpaces the supply of job candidates.

It's also because of Capitol's close relationships to agencies such as NASA and NSA, as well as companies such as Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. Capitol's location, Walls notes, is in a hotbed of innovation and technlogy that could well be dubbed the "East Coast's Silicon Valley."

Companies are "ready to hire you, in many cases before you're in your senior year at Captech," Walls says. "This neighborhood is going to give you the opportunity to explore your major on a professional level."

Capitol's track record when it comes to post-graduate employment is so strong that the university is even willing to guarantee it. Under the Capitol Technology University Committment, bachelor's degree gradiates are guaranteed a job in their field, at a competitive salary, within 90 days of graduation -- or the university will foot the bill for additional training.

That's a pledge few other academic insitutions are willing or able to take, Walls notes.

Walls's presentation is one of several events on the schedule during Open House events, which also include campus tours conducted by student ambassadors.

During the tours, the students and their parents have the opportunity to visit some of the university's key facilties, including the Cyber Lab, which offers a venue for real-time training and practice, and the Fusion Lab, where student teams from across disciplines collaborate on systems engineerng projects.

Student organisations such as the Capitol IEEE branch are on hand to give prospective students an insight into campus life, and faculty members such as Dr. Charles Conner were available to answer questions about curriculum and coursework.

Open houses have proven to be highly popular among prospective students, with some attending the event multiple times. said Justin Zickar, associate director of undergraduate recruitment.

"They're able to talk to the professors and department chairs with regard to the programs and they're able to find out exactly what Capitol's about,' Zickar said. "And they love the campus. It's small and close-knit, with a good student-to-teacher ratio. They appreciate the one-on-one."

The next Open House is scheduled for

Photos: 1) Student Ambassador Indya Dodson leads a tour group during Open House; 2) Danielle Wojeski demonstrates a Raspberry Pi project, controllable via mobile phone.




Posted by raherschbach on 22 Oct 2015

Celebrating the achievements of scholarship recipients and honoring the generosity of the benefactors who make such support possible, Capitol Technology University held its annual Scholarship Appreciation Breakfast on Wednesday (October 21). Sandra English delivered the keynote address.

English, a member of Capitol’s Board of Trustees since 1995, is passionate about supporting students at the university and helping to provide them with resources and opportunities. Together with her late husband, Carl English, she established an endowed scholarship at the university in 1983, supporting African-American students who have outstanding academic and financial needs. The English family continues to support the college’s mission through the endowment and other avenues.

In her address, English took note of ongoing changes at Capitol, including the transition from college to university status. “I am inspired continually by our progress and how we are moving forward,” she told attendees.

She also shared reminiscences about Carl English, who was vice-chairman of Capitol’s board during the 1980s and played a pivotal role during a time of rapid development. English, born to a farming family in Virginia, grew up to become a successful business leader and served as president of several companies, including MA/Com Information Systems. He provided invaluable support to students through mentoring and providing summer internships, and later through the endowed scholarship.

“His heart was always with Capitol and with assisting students,” English said of her husband.

Also addressing the event was Carl Hansen, recipient of the Avrum Gudelsky Memorial Scholarship. Hansen has been active in the student-led HERMES project, which is working to develop a new mode of mobile satellite communications, and has also served as president of the university’s amateur radio club, in addition to other endeavors.

He expressed his deep gratitude to the Gudelsky family and to all Capitol’s benefactors, noting that their support allows students to focus on academic accomplishment.

 “For me, the Avram Gudelsky Memorial Scholarship was a perfect capstone to make things easier financially, so I could worry more about my education and less about my student debt,” Hansen said. “The scholarship has afforded me the best education possible. There’s truly no other school that teaches with so much hands-on material on industry-relevant topics.”

Capitol’s president, Michael T. Wood, also delivered remarks at the event, updating attendees on recent developments with the HERMES and TRAPsat projects, as well as on expansion plans for the university. Harvey Weiss, chairman of the Board of Trustees, introduced English.

More than 35 scholarships are available to Capitol students. For additional information, contact the Financial Aid office at

Photos: 1) Trustee Sandra English; 2) Carl Hansen (center) with his parents; 3) attendees are seated as the event begins.  


Posted by raherschbach on 21 Oct 2015

With drones being used for a widening array of purposes, the level of public interest is high. Relatively little attention, however, is being paid to the cybersecurity implications, said Dr. Vincent Nestler during a Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) Tech Talk hosted by Capitol Technology University on Thursday (October 15).

Nestler, a California State University San Bernadino faculty member who also teaches in Capitol's cybersecurity program, joined Dr. Matt Miller, assistant professor of computer science and information technology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, in a CAE “double-header.” The event, conducted online via Capitol’s distance learning platform, drew attendees from across the country. For recordings of their presentations, click here.

Nestler’s talk started with the question “what do drones have to do with cybersecurity?” While people don't always see the connection, he said, this is because many think of drones primarily in terms of being aerial vehicles.

Think of them as being complex computer-driven systems, and perceptions quickly change. In fact, Nestler said, “drones are all about cybersecurity.” Those who succeed in hacking into them may find themselves with powerful, lethal tools at their disposal.

As an example, he pointed to Iran’s capture of a US stealth drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel. The Iranians are widely thought to have pulled off this exploit by jamming the GPS signals that the drone was supposed to receive, and then feeding it new GPS signals that guided it into their possession.

Increased military applications of drones and robots present a dizzying array of potential hazards, and the security challenge is complicated even further when Artificial Intelligence (AI) is added to the mix.

“If AI becomes the disease, guns and ammo will not be the cure,” Nestler said. Rather, cybersecurity professionals will be called on to help.

Preceding Nestler, Miller kicked off the event with an introduction to reverse engineering, which he describes as “taking something and breaking it down in order to understand it, build a copy or improve it.” The process is important to cybersecurity analysts, who can use it to determine the functionality of malware and how best to respond to it.

His talk provided an overview of tools and techniques, including the use of “disassemblers” to translate machine code into assembly code. Miller also guided his students through examples of malicious code, drawing attention to the “tricks” used to circumvent detection or worm their way into a system.

It is a challenging and crucial line of work, he indicated.

“Understanding code can be difficult. If you have ever programmed code, you know that trying to write code is hard, and trying to understand somebody else’s code is really hard. Trying to reverse engineer code is even harder,” he told attendees.

The talks were hosted in real time over the internet using the Capitol Live platform. Access was free. The event drew a wide array of participants, including students and faculty from East Stroudsburg University, Kansas State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Mexico Tech, Purdue University Calumet, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Dallas, University of South Alabama, Virginia Tech and other institutions.