A growing industry for quite some time, information technology (IT) can involve anything from developing digital apps and designing websites to keeping sensitive data secure through a variety of cybersecurity efforts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030.”
Of course, this is exciting news for tech enthusiasts considering a career in IT. However, the broad scope and ample opportunities of the IT sector can also be quite overwhelming for people new to IT or looking to enter the profession. Endless options are great for people who know exactly what they want. But if you are struggling to make up your mind, those options can stop being a blessing and transform into a curse. After all, the wide career flexibility that an IT degree offers can make it extremely difficult to visualize exactly what will happen after you earn that degree.
What IT Degree Program is Right for You?
At the undergraduate level, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology can impart the knowledge and skills needed to secure an entry-level IT job in virtually any corner of the IT sector. Its specific areas of study range from information systems and operations to system analysis, cybersecurity, and business processes. The University of Phoenix offers several degree programs in the IT field.
University students can also choose from two different Master of Information Systems (MIS) programs. These build on undergraduate studies and professional experience to help prepare students to tackle significantly bigger IT problems. Students who already hold a bachelor’s degree of any kind can pursue a traditional MIS degree at the University of Phoenix. The University also offers a Competency-Based (CB) MIS program for students who have a bachelor’s degree in business or management and have worked for at least three years in the corporate setting.
Where Can an MIS Degree Take You?
While everyone’s personal path and experience with a degree program and a career is unique to them, it can be helpful to learn what others have gone through on their way to achieving their professional goals. With this in mind, two University of Phoenix alumni recently agreed to share their experiences and where their IT training has taken them.
Diego Rene Arriola: Cybersecurity Operations Supervisor
Unlike many IT professionals who are perfectly happy programming in a room alone for hours and days on end, Diego Rene Arriola has always been a people person at heart. He secured his Master of Information Systems from the University of Phoenix in 2014 while he was both actively parenting and working full time.
His core skills may revolve around human interaction, but Arriola found deep professional and personal satisfaction in a career field that is more commonly associated with computer interfaces. “IT is a great career,” said Arriola. “I never planned to work in IT or even owned a computer before starting my career. But now, being in this field for more than nine years, I can say it has been the best choice I have ever made. I truly love it.”
As a Cybersecurity Operations Supervisor with TEP/UNS, Arriola concentrates on teamwork as much as tech. In fact, his favorite thing about his job is working with his team of educated, committed, and caring professionals.
Arriola’s supervisory role places him in charge of 11 employees who work together to handle cybersecurity duties that range from vulnerability management and threat intelligence to incident response, digital forensics, systems monitoring, and regulatory compliance. Although he loves the technical elements of his work, Arriola particularly appreciates the opportunities his position gives him to mentor and collaborate with others.
Dustin D. Cloos: IT Growth Officer
Since earning his MIS degree in 2015, Dustin D. Cloos has served as a top administrator with several different technology companies. “The University of Phoenix MIS degree provided me with a phenomenal foundation [for] cybersecurity, business analytics and leadership to build my career and future upon,” Cloos said. “Many of the senior positions I’ve filled over the years would not have even considered me a valid candidate to interview without my degree.”
Cloos currently serves as Chief Growth Officer for Vision IT, a role that involves expanding company operations by embracing new ventures. “In business development, one of my main roles is designing, developing, and recommending IT solutions to the U.S. government,” said Cloos. “As the executive over our corporate IT department, I utilize knowledge gained in my MIS degree to recommend and implement various cybersecurity, collaboration, and productivity platforms.”
About University of Phoenix
A leader in higher education and a pioneering force in distance learning, the University of Phoenix has been preparing students for a brighter future since 1976. Over the years, the University has embraced technology, both in its operational models and in its academic programs.
Current IT degree programs at the University of Phoenix include a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, a Master of Information Systems, and a Competency-Based Master of Information Systems degree program. Students can pursue all of these programs online with courses that are designed to fit into even the very busiest of schedules. To learn more, visit www.phoenix.edu.