Information Technology Degree Program Prepares Graduates for Success

May 15, 2020

Students graduating with an Information Technology degree this weekend say the program has prepared them not only for their first job out of college but also for future opportunities.

Portrait Austin Brown who is completing the Information Technology degree program

Austin Brown

“I think the program did a good job of bringing diverse skills together so I can get any job within the field because I’ve done a little of everything,” said Austin Brown, who will be working as a technology consultant for RSM, a business consulting firm in Clayton, Mo., after graduation. “If you’re in software development, you also need to know the digital media side. User interface is a big part of it. The IT program did a great job of teaching you both sides.”

Portrait of Dalton Burge

Dalton Burge

Mizzou Engineering’s IT program offers emphasis areas in software development, digital media and computing management. While students can opt to focus on one area, they also get exposure to all sides of information technology. And it’s worth it to explore the various aspects of the industry, Dalton Burge said.

“It’s nice to get a well-rounded view of everything,” he said. “I know now that I want to work with cloud computing because I’ve been able to have experiences with different kinds of IT, different software systems and different languages. I know what I like and what I don’t, and what I’m good at. It’s been a really good overview of what’s out there.”

Nearly 400 students are graduating from Mizzou Engineering this weekend. The College will participate in a campus-wide virtual ceremony celebrating the Class of 2020 with plans for an in-person event at a later date.

In the meantime, IT graduates say they’re eager to apply what they’ve learned to the workplace.

“I can’t wait to finish up here and get started,” said Patrick Rottman, who has accepted a job as a software engineering senior analyst at Express Scripts in St. Louis.

Rottman conducted six internships for Express Scripts, a Cigna company, the first of which came after taking a programming course his freshman year.

Portrait of Patrick Rottman

Patrick Rottman

“The foundation for good coding my freshman year set me up for the internship,” he said.

In his new position, Rottman will design software to help clients more efficiently complete day-to-day tasks.

Burge also used a summer internship as a springboard for his job. He will join the cloud platform site reliability engineering team at Trimble, Inc., in Denver.

“I think the program has really prepared me, and it prepared me to make a decision about where I want to work,” he said. “It definitely gives you a lot of flexibility. It’s been really cool to be able to have all of these programming classes, and I really love the faculty here. Faculty members have been super knowledgeable on all of the topics they teach. They’ve been great.”

Erika Eckfeld decided to pursue Mizzou’s Information Technology degree program because of employment opportunities.  “My brother-in-law was pursuing a dual computer science and information technology degree and getting a lot of job offers, so he recommended it,” she said.

She snagged an internship at Target and now joins the retailer full time working on front-end web development. Her IT coursework provided a good segue into the workplace.

Portrait of Erika Eckfeld

Erika Eckfeld

“The development classes were really helpful, it instilled in me principles for coding, and it was nice to learn a little about media,”

Eckfeld said. “I would recommend the IT program now for sure. It obviously gave me some great opportunities.”

Connor Fitzmaurice also credits his coursework for preparing him for the industry. He’ll put his IT degree to use working for Cerner in Kansas City.

“The thing I liked best about it was the versatility of taking both computer science and information technology and having them both count toward my degree,” Fitzmaurice said. “The programming classes they offered and different types of class you can take give you a wide array of skills employers are looking for.”

Portrait of Connor Fitzmaurice

Connor Fitzmaurice

Like his fellow graduates, Rottman recommends the program for its diverse programming.

“You’ll definitely be prepared to do whatever you want with it,” he said. “You’ve got the cyber security aspect, you’ve got the software engineering side, you’ve got the multimedia side, and you know how it all works together. You definitely have a good foundation when you’re ready to really choose whatever avenue you want to pursue.”

Want to learn more about the Information Technology degree program? Explore the major, common career paths and more here.