Working as a collection representative, MieNa Beard felt stuck in her career.
“I was barely making $30,000 working strict and long hours,” Beard said. “It wasn’t a good work-life balance, and I was unhappy.”
After being laid off from Ford, Beard decided to make a career change and enrolled in Trevecca’s computer information technology program. Students in the bachelor’s program hone skills in programming, networking, database development, web design and cyber security.
According to Josh Lomelino, an associate professor of IT and digital design, Trevecca’s CIT program helps graduates become the technological leaders today’s businesses need.
“We’re not just developing someone who can code; we are developing technical business partners,” Lomelino said. “From day one, students learn how to think critically and solve problems for businesses.”
With little IT experience except for basic computer skills, Beard says she knew she would find stability in the growing, versatile field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects computer and information technology employment to grow by 12 percent in the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding an estimated 546,200 jobs.
Since completing her bachelor’s degree in computer information technology, Beard has worked in the IT field for two multinational companies. Finishing her degree was the first step toward a better work-life balance, Beard says.
“This program has transformed my life,” Beard said. “Now that I work in IT, it’s night and day. I make three times more, I can work from home, and I have the flexibility to direct my career the way that I want to.”
After graduating, Beard secured an entry-level job at Asurion as a software configuration engineer, where she stayed for six years moving up the ranks in the IT field. But knowing that keeping up-to-date with technology is a lifelong process, Beard recognized the need to continue growing her skills.
While working at Asurion, Beard enrolled in graduate school at Trevecca. She earned a master’s degree in information technology in 2015.
“When I first started the [bachelor’s] program, I hadn’t thought about grad school, but by the time I finished, I knew I was capable and was in the rhythm,” she said.
Now armed with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in information technology, Beard serves as a technical architect at Deloitte, working specifically in cloud application development.
“IT experience is so large, and Trevecca opened my eyes to all the possibilities that I could have,” Beard said. “[These programs showed me] how to achieve career advancement and reach my goals.”
Lomelino says with the IT degree from Trevecca, it’s no surprise that students like Beard are seeing success in the field.
“I think [MieNa’s] success is a demonstration that our program is helping in the development of a full person,” he said. “We are building in the students the tools they need to be successful and have developed a much more robust thinker that will excel in the workforce.”