IST Graduate Testimonials - In their own words.....
Robert Vaverchak, Software Engineer I, Department of Defense, Software Engineering Center, Dover, NJ
"I chose Penn State Scranton because I knew a Penn State degree was highly regarded by employers but I wanted to stay local. I was specifically attracted to the IST program and since it was offered locally it was the perfect fit for me.
A career in IT is not something I always dreamed of. Up until this point I had worked in mostly administrative positions. I came into the IST program with very little technical skills and did not even own my own computer when I first started. But I was attracted to the seeming blend of business and IT aspects in addition to the career tracks (and starting salary!) discussed as possible opportunities upon graduation.
The Penn State Scranton experience was one I'll never forget. I loved the individual attention I was able to receive from instructors as a result of small class sizes. The IST program had several adult students enrolled which was a great opportunity to work in teams with individuals already employed in the industry; it enabled me to learn to appreciate and understand diverse perspectives. I recall long hours and late nights spent in the computer lab working on individual and team assignments. Today I still keep in touch with some of my instructors and many of the friends I made while attending Penn State Scranton.
I attribute much of my career success to the instructors who both taught me and provided guidance along the way. The focus on projects, collaboration, and team dynamics prepared me for working in an Enterprise wide IT organization where not only my coworkers but also my customers are geographically dispersed.
The program covered a broad spectrum of technical areas which equipped me with the technical foundation to begin a career in IT. Since technology is ever changing, continuous learning and development are essential in this field. And since business needs are the drivers for new and innovative technologies, it is the individual with a strong combination of both technical and professional skills (such as effective communication, time management, team participation, and task leadership) whom corporations seek.
The IST program at Penn State Scranton equipped me with both. I began my IT career at Lockheed Martin in 2002 and completed their Information Systems Leadership Development Program and received a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems in 2004. Today I support SAP software and hold 2 SAP Certifications. I continue to seek learning and training opportunities and thus continue to reach higher levels within the organization."