Illinois Tech Launches Innovative Discover+ Program for Students Exploring Academic and Career Pathways

Illinois Institute of Technology launches Discover+ program to allow students to explore their interests and passions before committing to a specific academic discipline.


Illinois Tech Launches Innovative Discover+ Program for Students Exploring Academic and Career Pathways

CHICAGO—April 5, 2023—Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) announced the launch of its new Discover+ program. Designed to offer students flexibility, adaptability, and career readiness, Discover+ will enable students to explore their interests, connect with peers and faculty from various disciplines, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and preparation before declaring a major.

Discover+ recognizes that many students enter university with many talents and interests, and enables them to explore multiple disciplines before choosing a specialization. It’s particularly important for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) universities like Illinois Tech to provide flexibility in choosing a major, as STEM undergraduates are significantly more likely to change majors than students in non-STEM fields. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 35 percent of students who had originally declared a STEM major had changed their field of study within 3 years, and about half of students whose original  declared major was mathematics switched majors within 3 years. 

This program is designed to address the growing need for personalized education and to provide time, exposure, and preparation to help students make informed decisions about their future academic and career paths. 

Regardless of the major they eventually choose, students in the Discover+ program will benefit from Illinois Tech's comprehensive, technology-focused education. All programs at the university—including engineering, computing, science, humanities and social sciences, business, architecture, design, and law—incorporate technology, ensuring students are prepared for success in the rapidly evolving, technology-embedded workplace of the future.

The Discover+ program comes with significant advantages, including personalized guidance from a team of professional academic advisers, the flexibility to explore different majors while completing general education requirements, and a seamless transition into a chosen major—all while staying on track to graduate in four years. Discover+ is not affiliated with any specific college at Illinois Tech, ensuring exposure to a wide variety of course and degree options, which in turn assists students in selecting the perfect major for their interests and goals. 

“Discover+ at Illinois Tech is a direct response to the evolving landscape of higher education and the diverse needs of our students,” said Illinois Institute of Technology President Raj Echambadi. “We believe that providing students with the opportunity to explore various disciplines and develop a well-rounded skill set will better prepare them for success in an ever-changing world.”

By participating in Discover+, students will receive guidance and support from experienced professional advisers throughout their first two years at Illinois Tech. This personalized approach will help them navigate various opportunities and select the courses that best align with their interests and goals. By the end of their second year, Discover+ students will be ready to confidently declare a major that suits their passions and aspirations.

“We are thrilled to offer these new academic pathways that reflect the dynamic, interdisciplinary nature of the modern workforce,” said Illinois Tech provost Kenneth T. Christensen. “Our students will have the opportunity to develop a unique skill set that combines technology, critical thinking, and creativity, making them highly sought-after candidates in their respective fields.”

The Discover+ program will also integrate Illinois Tech's one-of-a-kind Elevate program, which guarantees hands-on experiences such as internships, research, competitions, study away, and more opportunities that give students twenty-first century skills that employers seek. These opportunities also will help students discover the subjects they are most passionate about, ultimately guiding them to the right degree program.

The value of the Elevate program, open to all students at Illinois Tech, and the  exceptional preparation offered by Illinois Tech is evident in the outcomes of its graduates: the mean starting salary of 2022 graduates was $75,352 (well above the national average), and the 2022 mean job placement rate was an impressive 90%.

“We all know that learning doesn’t begin at convocation and end at commencement,” says Mallik Sundharam, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. “We have looked deeply at the students of today and the market demands of tomorrow, and are tailoring our academic offerings by focusing on student success before, during, and after their time at Illinois Tech. We’re working to shift the definition of what it means to truly bring value to our students  throughout their careers.”

The Discover+ program demonstrates Illinois Tech's commitment to providing students with a flexible, adaptable, and career-focused educational experience. By embracing the innovative spirit of the Discover+ program, Illinois Tech continues to shape future leaders who are well-equipped to excel in their chosen professions and make a lasting impact on the world.

For more information about the Discover+ program, visit

Illinois Institute of Technology

Based in the global metropolis of Chicago, Illinois Tech was born to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all. It is the only tech-focused university in the city, and it stands at the crossroads of exploration and invention, advancing the future of Chicago and the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, computing, architecture, business, design, science and human sciences, and law. Illinois Tech students are guaranteed hands-on experiences, personalized mentorship, and job readiness through the university's one-of-a-kind Elevate program. Its graduates lead the state and much of the nation in economic prosperity. Its faculty and alumni built the Chicago skyline. And every day in the living lab of the city, Illinois Tech fuels breakthroughs that change lives. Visit

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Kevin Dollear
Communications Manager
Illinois Institute of Technology
Cell: 773.860.5712