John Fite, Web Application Developer, UnitedHealth Group

John Fite photo

It is a great time to be in IT. As more and more people's lives go digital, there are an increasing number of ways to make a positive impact on the world and lead a satisfying life in the process. Thanks to this expansion, there's room in the technology arena for many more and different kinds of people. If you want to sit in an office alone and build solutions with code, somebody will pay you quite well to do that. If you prefer to help people with their tech issues, make presentations, evangelize in front of a large number of people, or design and implement an optimal system for a corporation, there's a place for you, too.

The universe of IT offers something for everyone, and the University of Minnesota's IT Infrastructure program prepares students for any number of jobs by providing a balanced, timely foundation of coursework. The skills that tech workers need today may include knowing how to read a balance sheet, a contract, or a piece of legislation, as well as the ability to sell their ideas and solicit requirements from customers who might not be sure of what they need. These are all skills you can get a solid introduction to, in addition to core computer science courses, by studying IT Infrastructure.

What this means for us is options. There are many interesting career paths you can take, and often we have to get a taste of something through experience before we know whether or not it is really right for us. Additionally, we can’t plan for opportunities: we’re either ready when they come or we’re not.

The IT Infrastructure curriculum gave me a broad knowledge base to take on a variety of opportunities when they arose with the confidence that I would be successful. One of those opportunities was an exciting position at UnitedHealth Group in their Technology Development Program. I’m currently in my first six-month rotation working as a developer making applications for state health agencies.

I’ve been able to learn and contribute not only with front- and back-end app building, but also in-process diagramming, needs elicitation, and helping our architects select the best components. 

Would I have had the ability to move into these roles without my experience in IT Infrastructure? I doubt it. If you feel passionate about using technology to do great things, I encourage you to consider the IT Infrastructure program.