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It Pays to Be a Pitt IT Fan

Attending Pitt gives you many advantages: a world-class education, exceptional research opportunities, a supportive environment, and a global network of Panther alumni. Pitt IT is here to support that mission with some great benefits of their own. Get all these awesome IT perks to enhance your Pitt experience.

1.  High-speed Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is available in every building on campus, plus a bunch of outdoor locations, and even campus shuttles. In the residence halls, Pitt has partnered with MyResNet to provide broadband connectivity for up to ten devices per person to stream a movie, 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 traditional TV.) At over $35 for most commercial internet services, that’s a value of about $150 per semester!

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

Pitt offers over 70 software titles to students through the labs and Software Download Service. That’s over $2,500 worth of productivity, engineering, math, statistics, and other apps. Use them for free through the Virtual Computing Lab or download them if you have the hard drive space! You can also use the Pitt App Center to get tons of University-specific mobile apps for your smart phone or tablet.

Pitt IT also has institutional licenses that provide Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and more), plus the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite (Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro). You can even download a free copy of Office 2019 to keep after you graduate!

A personal Microsoft 365 account would otherwise cost $70 a year (with limited cloud storage), while Adobe Creative Cloud would cost $360 a year for students. That’s $430 in your pocket just from those two suites alone!

3.  B&W and color printing

Much of today’s work and entertainment takes place online. Good digital habits are great for your productivity, the earth, and your wallet. But let’s face it — sometimes you still need to print stuff out! There’s no need to buy your own printer when Pitt IT maintains laser printers in nearly every major academic, administrative, and residence hall building, including several locations with color printers and scanners (IT Services map). Just send your print job to Pitt Print, then go to any printer that’s convenient, and swipe your ID or use the Pharos Print app to print it out. Students get $63 of printing per semester. With double-sided printing on a black-and-white printer, that’s 900 sheets — way more than most students use!

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. That’s about 333 times as much storage as you get from a free Google account, which is capped at just 15 GB. Heck – you can save a single 15 GB file to your OneDrive, and still have 4.85 TB left! So go ahead and keep that Google drive for your fun, personal files (like spring break pics), but save all your academic and extracurricular files to OneDrive! You’ll need to make a copy of anything you want to save before you graduate, but for now, save yourself the $40 or more it would cost to get a 5 TB cloud account.

5.  Free Certifications and Learning

Landing that first professional position can be challenging. Having extra skills on your resume can really help differentiate you as a job candidate. Pitt IT offers several avenues for you to amass training that will help your resume stand out.

LinkedIn Learning offers over 16,000 online tech, business, and design courses so you can learn whatever you want, whenever it’s convenient — from interviewing and graduate school exam prep, to tech skills and communication techniques. There is also a wide variety of certificate options when you complete a series of courses. Then, list all your courses and certificates on your LinkedIn profile to help you stand out to potential employers. LinkedIn Learning would cost $27 a month for a personal account (or included in the LinkedIn Premier account), saving a minimum of $240 a year

Official Microsoft Certification is a must if you’re pursuing an IT or tech-adjacent career. Pitt IT’s institutional license entitles all students to create a free Microsoft Learn account, select the desired certifications, proceed through self-paced online learning and practice, and take the official Microsoft Certification exam. These programs will develop your data, AI, security, and cloud technology skills. MS Certification exams typically cost $100-200 each, not including the study materials, so take advantage of this free opportunity to invest in your own future.

6.  Premium Online Services

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 the added cost. That’s almost $190 of free service upgrades with just Zoom and LastPass alone, let alone Qualtrics, Docusign, Panopto, LabArchives, BioRender and the other services you might not yet have heard of that are the standard in the field you are pursuing.

7.  Free IT Support

Phone. Email. Chat. In person. The Technology Help Desk is like having your own live tech consultant who is specifically trained on the Pitt computing environment on call at all times. For hands-on help with device setup, software installation and repair, and virus removal, bring your device into Drop-In Support at the University Store on Fifth or in the G-62 Cathedral of Learning location. Or schedule a personal virtual appointment where a consultant can share your screen and take remote control to solve an issue.  Even if you’re pretty tech savvy, it’s always nice to have a local IT pro at your beck and call.

Not sure which Pitt IT services are available, how they can benefit you, or how to get started with them. Look for a Student Tech Ambassador on the Pittsburgh campus this fall. These students are big IT fans, and are here to help you get the good (aka, free) stuff!

-- By Karen Beaudway, Pitt IT Blogger