Since 2021, Texas A&M University (TAMU) has included ITIL 4 Foundation training and certification alongside its technology degree programme – creating better employment opportunities for graduating students.


Now, the university is thought to be the first to embed ITIL 4 learning directly in a new degree programme – Information Technology Service Management – to launch in 2024. For the first time anywhere in the world, this will enable undergraduates to achieve the ITIL 4 Managing Professional designation while obtaining a degree.


Program Co-ordinator, Dr. David Sweeney, explains what this means to graduate jobseekers in US technology:



We’ve tracked the students who went through ITIL training and certification at TAMU since 2021 and – anecdotally – they’ve had better outcomes than those who didn’t take the ITIL path: gaining employment faster and internships more easily.


ITIL became the basis for all the improvement projects students undertook within the TAMU system. These were structured around ITIL practice areas and the framework which meant IT teams across TAMU welcomed the students helping them in different areas.


For example, we have focused a lot on relationship management and engagement, but also managing sponsors, small teams, subject matter experts, and collecting data about problems. In this way, the ITIL framework, and IT service management as a discipline, become part of a larger system of thinking about IT.


This has led to an industry advisory council for enterprises beyond TAMU, which opens up potential projects with IT companies such as Dell, HP, and other technical groups in Texas.


Seeking a new direction in IT service management learning at TAMU


We believe, as much as our industry partners do, that the ITIL framework and certification scheme is valuable: helping students get gainful employment with major companies and understanding what they value.


Today, it’s not enough to have technical knowledge alone. IT is really about customer service and the technical aspects are more incidental. IT functions are looking for graduates with the characteristics ITIL 4 brings and, for this reason, we’ve designed the new BA in Information Technology Service Management.

To do this, we spoke to our students at length about what they wanted. They recognized a need to understand customers along with the ability to manage processes, projects, and teams in addition to having technical knowledge. And we got feedback from industry while creating the degree.


With the faculty on board – persuaded that ITIL 4 was the missing piece – we now have a degree program with the “special sauce” for delivering excellent service management.


What’s involved in the new degree program?


Now within the College of Engineering, the Information Technology Service Management BA

incorporates ITIL 4 Foundation from the first semester of freshman year and actually frames the entire program.


This continues in the second year with Foundations of Information Technology Management and then ramps up in years three and four, with courses that take from ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support and High-velocity IT. This knowledge will enable the students to take ITIL exams and achieve a Managing Professional level.


While there are required courses, we also want students to focus on a specialty – getting minors alongside the service management foundation – for what they want to do when they graduate.


We recently unveiled the new program to our current students, and they were floored! So much so that even many juniors and seniors will switch to the new degree.


Shifting service management in US higher education and business


What we’re doing with this degree program is so new that nobody else to our knowledge is doing it.


This includes working with PeopleCert to create an American Society of ITSM Educators; getting professors together to create a “tribe” and discussing how to train students and give graduates a leg up when going for jobs.


And this approach will help companies that, when recruiting, must plan continuing education such as ITIL for new entrants. Instead, we can save them time and money and deliver more valuable employees from day one.


As others hear about our program – and several other peer universities are interested – – we will be able to help build out their programs and keep them at the cutting edge.