Alumni of UNCG’s BSIS are applying their education in ways that fit their varied interests.
One of UNCG’s newest undergraduate degree programs is the Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS). Offered at only one other North Carolina public university, the program’s multidisciplinary curriculum prepares students to organize and analyze complex data, making it accessible for decision-making.
The degree is proving to be widely versatile, as evidenced by early graduates’ career choices.
Brandon Mitchell, BS ’21, is an information technology analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Originally an English major, he was drawn to para data and metadata, “all the things that surround a piece of literature that’s not actually on the page.” When his advisor pointed out the IS program, Mitchell found that “the concepts most interesting to me in English had a mirror image in IS.” He decided to switch majors.
Today he performs analyses and audits on cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, and information technology infrastructure for various agencies to see how they could more closely adhere to industry best practices and compliance requirements.
Thanks to UNCG, he feels well grounded. “The program did a good job of showing us how IS can be applied within most disciplines,” he says. “I am well-prepared not only in the knowledge area, but I also appreciate that we had to write self-assessments, which I have to do on the job.”
Meanwhile, Luke Weaver, who graduated in 2022, enjoyed IT but didn’t want to be limited to coding. “It wasn’t as much fun as applying IT principles to practical applications,” he says. He is now an intern with the City of Greensboro Water Resources Department.
He spends a lot of time in the field, in residential areas and around commercial buildings, warehouses, and highways. He uses a GPS unit to gather location data for water, sewer, and drain systems. He puts the information into a database that the city can use in troubleshooting. When a problem arises, work crews rely on the data and avoid having to search for the location of sewers and water pipes.
He’s “having a blast continuing to learn” and hopes to remain with the department after the internship. He finds that so much of what he learned in class is becoming even more clear as he puts it into practice.
Jessica Jessups, BS ’21, uses her IS skills in yet another way. She works in data manipulation for Labcorp, a global life sciences and healthcare company. “I take billing information, clean it up, and create visuals allowing managers to see how the company is doing,” she says. “Pulling things together in an organized way to answer questions is satisfying.”
Jessups didn’t realize she would enjoy working with data until she discovered a fascination with it at UNCG. She hopes to pursue a master’s in library and information science when her children are older. Currently she’s participating in a mentorship program at Labcorp, where she shadows project managers, with an eye toward career advancement.
Story by Mary Daily for Manning Words, Inc.
Photography courtesy of UNCG School of Education
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