Campus: CSU, Northridge -- January 22, 2001

Class to Give CSUN Students Skills to Compete in an E-Commerce World

As the dot-com industry continues to grow, Cal State Northridge expects its students to be at the forefront, and is offering an e-commerce technology class this spring just to make sure.

The class, "E-Commerce Technologies COMP 496 ECT", will give students the skills needed to create and maintain a successful Internet business, said computer science professor Shan Barkataki, who will be teaching the class

"We've had a lot of dot-com businesses go out of business the past few months," Barkataki said. "For some of them, it was bad business planning. But a lot of the others went out of business for technical reasons. One of the problems with dot-com industries is that they grow like wildfire, but a lot of them do not follow sound engineering principles. There is a shortage of properly trained engineers and programmers. We're trying to fill that need."

The class will provide upper-division computer science students training in the fundamental technologies needed to successfully maintain an e-commerce site, whether it performs business-to-consumer or business-to-business transactions. The course also will include such essential topics as integrating service providers for credit card processing, shipping and order fulfillment. Establishing privacy and security using encryption technologies, authentication protocols and firewalls also will be studied.

Barkataki hopes the class will be the first in a series that will cover all aspects of e-commerce, from technology to marketing and managing a dot-com business.

"I want to give our students the skills to go out there and successfully create and maintain an e-commerce business," he said.

Barkataki said at the start of the dot-com revolution, many people did not realize what went in to making a successful e-commerce business.

"A lot of people started a business with a great idea, but were not prepared when their business took off," he said. "They didn't understand how much it would cost to maintain their software or what they needed to accommodate their growth and everything else. That's one of the main problems facing e-commerce right now."

Barkataki said students in his class will learn the hardware and software needed to sustain enterprise-level e-commerce systems. The coursework will involve a good deal of programming and setting up actual e-commerce stores and web site administration.

"Despite the temporary downturn, e-commerce is growing at a phenomenal rate," he said. "We're in an era of very healthy growth, and our students will be a part of that."

California State University, Northridge has more than 29,000 full- and part-time students and offers 48 bachelor's and 39 master's degrees. Founded in 1958, it is the only four-year university in the San Fernando Valley.

CSUN's College of Engineering and Computer Science is nationally recognized. A recent National Science Foundation survey of 529 universities ranked CSUN among the top 12 in the number of graduates who go on to earn doctorates in the computer sciences and engineering. It is also ranked 14th in the nation in the number of bachelor degrees awarded to Hispanic students, qualifying the campus to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

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