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Load Up: Top IT Perks

It takes a lot of PCs, servers, storage, and systems to support the University’s teaching, learning, and research mission. But it’s hard to think of all that technology as a perk. It’s Pitt IT’s job to think about the computing infrastructure that is the backbone of so much that happens on our five campuses. But there are other IT benefits that are provided specifically to you. Make sure you get everything you’re entitled to, including these awesome IT perks.

1.  High-speed Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is available in every building on campus, plus a bunch of outdoor locations, and even on campus shuttles. In the residence halls, Pitt has partnered with MyResNet to provide broadband connectivity at speeds of 80 Mbps down/20 Mbps up per device, for up to ten devices per person. That’s a total of 800 Mbps per account and enough to stream a movie or play a game, participate in a Zoom event, and use all the online services you can find. (BTW—students living in the residence halls also get free cable service, for those who still enjoy a traditional TV show.)

VALUE: $160/semester*

2.  70+ software apps, including Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud

Pitt offers almost $2,500 worth of software titles at no additional cost to students. So load up at the Software Download Service for productivity, engineering, math, statistics, and other apps. (If you don’t want to fill up your hard drive, just use them for free through the Virtual Computing Lab!) You can also use the Pitt App Center to get tons of University-specific mobile apps for your phone or tablet.

Then, log into your Pitt Microsoft 365 account, which gives you all the basic Office productivity apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and OneNote), plus apps you can’t get from a personal subscription, like Forms, Sway, and Stream. Use the online versions or download the desktop version while you’re here, and then get a free copy of Office 2019 to keep after you graduate! In addition, Pitt IT provides the entire Adobe Create Cloud suite to students who need those apps, including Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere Pro.

VALUE:  $2,500 for all programs*
(includes $70/year for Office 365 and up to $360/year for Adobe Creative Cloud for students)

3.  B&W and color printing

So much of today’s work and entertainment has moved online, and there’s no reason to abandon your good digital habits—it’s great for the earth and your wallet. But when you really do need a hard copy, Pitt IT has you covered. There’s no need to buy your own inkjet printer when there are laser printers in every major academic, administrative and residence hall building on campus, including color printers at the labs (IT Services map). Just send your print job to Pitt Print from any location using any device. Then, go to any printer whenever it’s convenient and either swipe your ID card or use the Pharos Print app for touchless printing. Not only are you saving on the cost of the printer itself, but on paper and ink too.

VALUE: $63/semester*

4.  5 TB of cloud storage

Free cloud services provide just a few GB of storage, but your OneDrive cloud account through Pitt gives you 5 TB … TERABYTES. That’s 5X what you get even from a paid Microsoft 365 plan. You can save all of your files for your entire academic career, including large images, video files, and big data sets for your coursework, research projects, extracurricular activities, student jobs … the whole kit and caboodle. (When you leave Pitt, you lose access to your Pitt cloud account, so be sure to make a copy of those files before you graduate.)

VALUE: $40/semester*

5.  Unlimited on-demand LinkedIn Learning courses

LinkedIn Learning gives you access to over 16,000 online courses so you can learn whatever you want, whenever it’s convenient, wherever you are—from interviewing and resume writing, to tech skills and communication techniques. Even better, you can list all your courses and certificate on your LinkedIn profile to bolster your resume, which can help you stand out to potential employers.

VALUE: Up to $29.99/month*

6.  Premium online services, like Zoom and LastPass

There are lots of free services available online, but the free versions are often subpar. Besides the constant ads, they also have significant feature limitations, like a 40-minute limit on Zoom or only being able to use LastPass on one device. When you get those services through Pitt IT’s enterprise license, you get all the capabilities of the paid account without any additional cost. (You even get to keep your LastPass account after you graduate, so you’ll never have to pay for a password manager!)

VALUE: $150/year for Zoom; $36/year for LastPass*

Bonus Perk: Free 24/7 Support

Phone. Email. Chat. Web ticket. In person. The 24/7 IT Help Desk is like having your own live tech consultant on call at all times. You can even drop off your device at the Drop-In Support Desk. (You still need to contact the device manufacturer for hardware repairs, though.) Even if you’re pretty tech savvy, it’s always nice to have a local IT pro at your beck and call.

-- By Karen Beaudway, Pitt IT Blogger

* Value statements are based on published retail prices for comparable services from leading vendors.

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