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The Intersection of Business & Technology

The grass can be greener on both sides of the fence.

A mentor of mine told me, “The hottest skillset in the market right now is found at the intersection of people management and IT. Someone who can do both is the glue that holds everything together—they’re able to communicate with software developers and IT engineers, but also manage employees and define business strategy. That’s rare and companies are always searching for people to fill those roles!”

My name is Jeff Braswell and I have just completed my MBA/MSIS dual degree program. Several job and an internship offers later, I’ve found my mentor’s words hold true. My new job is on the people side, but also includes an information systems component: I’ll be working with teams on IT compliance and auditing for a government contractor. When I was job hunting, it was amazing to feel wanted by the companies I was interviewing with! People with an education in both management and IT are still hard to come by and many companies are desperately looking to find someone with both skillsets—it’s a simple function of supply and demand. With just an extra semester of classes and a few additional hours, the additional education you can pick up is so incredibly worth it for your career.

By the end of my time here, I was a graduate assistant for both the Java and Python programming languages. Baylor does an amazing job of helping you learn more quickly than you ever could on your own!

During my time at Baylor, I’ve learned through the MBA program about economics and how it affects decision-making. I also studied corporate strategy and how it defines spending, business communication, and so much more. At the same time, through the MSIS program, I’ve been coding in Python, creating applications in mobile app development classes, and crunching real customer analytics with regression, clustering, and more. The MBA program provided a conceptual framework for business and leadership skills while the MSIS provided a more technical understanding of the technology infrastructure that businesses are increasingly relying upon.

Jeff with several of his classmates from the MSIS program

I’ve found that Baylor’s MBA and MSIS programs complement each other really well. I’m graduating with confidence in my own leadership ability, presentation skills, and understanding of what it is that makes a business operate. I’m also graduating with a much better understanding of IT cybersecurity, experience in new coding languages and digital environments, and I’m able to use “the lingo” when I talk to full-time developers or IT specialists.

While the education I’ve gotten is amazing, every job offer I received was through some sort of connection to Baylor’s business program. The Baylor Career Center (there is a team who works specifically with graduate business students) stresses the importance of networking early on. There were a few different major pieces to that puzzle:

  • The networking opportunities through information sessions, where employers come to campus, give out free pizza, meet students, and schedule interviews.
  • Career fairs where dozens of employers come to campus at once and interview on the spot.
  • Guest speakers from across many industries, who share experience in leadership and love networking with students.
  • Real clients that the Baylor MBA program works with through Focus Firm (my cohort had a healthcare services client and a multinational convenience store client).
Jeff and his MBA cohort at a Christmas event

Finally, there is my cohort. Baylor’s classes are intentionally kept smaller (around 20 people per class) so that everyone really does get to know each other. I was so happy to get past the days of intro-level classes in undergrad, where there were 500 people in the same room. I’ve made professional and personal connections that I’ll keep long into the future.

If you’re not sure if both degrees sound too technical or challenging for you, I came into the program as someone who hadn’t taken a math class in 6 years. By the end of my time here, I was a graduate assistant for both the Java and Python programming languages. Baylor does an amazing job of helping you learn more quickly than you ever could on your own! The fact that I’m now graduating versed in so many new technical concepts, as well as development in soft skills really is a testament to how great Baylor’s programs are. I’m not an outlier: every single MBA/MSIS student I’ve known has graduated with multiple job offers.

If you had to pick just one program between the MBA and MSIS opportunities, I would say wait until you don’t have to pick just one.

Baylor offers several Joint Degrees which allow students to combine the business acumen of an MBA degree with the specialized skill set of an additional master’s program. Check out the Joint Degrees page to learn more about the dual programs offered in conjunction with the Baylor MBA.

Baylor’s Master of Science in Information Systems can lead to careers in areas such as systems and data analysis, systems design, business analytics, client/server applications development, system implementation, systems integration, IT consulting, GIS, cyber security, or business process re-engineering. Click here to learn more about Baylor’s MSIS.

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