December 18, 2020
There were times James Kirkland wasn’t sure he’d graduate. A move out of state and subsequent transfer to Mizzou, work obligations and medical emergencies in his family caused a few bumps in the road along the way. But today, Kirkland receives a bachelor’s in information technology, thanks to the program’s 100% online option.
Kirkland is the first to have completed the BS in IT in the online format. He enrolled after moving to Iowa and transferring from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“I prefer the online approach,” he said. “I feel like I work better on my own time, so having the flexibility to get things done when I’m able to get them done is better for me, personally. I’ve also had to work all throughout college except freshman year, so transferring to Mizzou online was the most convenient option for me.”
And while COVID-19 disrupted everyone’s life, its impact on Kirkland’s education was minimal.
“For a lot of people, it was difficult to adapt to learning at home,” he said. “My girlfriend started law school in seat, so the transition was harder for her. I was already used to being home and going to school online, so it was a smooth transition for me.”
Job at Microsoft
Kirkland credits his online experience—coupled with his coursework—for helping him snag a job as a data center technician at Microsoft.
“I definitely think the IT program helped,” he said. “And especially the online program with core skills like time management. That is huge. In online classes, your time management skills definitely develop quickly.”
During his time at Mizzou, Kirkland mostly focused on the software side of IT. He said he especially enjoyed web development courses with Nick Wergeles. He also attended the “Developer Nights” Wergeles has hosted virtually this semester.
Overall, he recommends the online IT Program to others who want the convenience of learning on their own schedules.
“Mizzou does have a really good online program,” he said. “There were a lot of supportive people and aspects that made it easy for me to succeed.”