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MSITM degree creates IT management opportunities for graduates

Monday, February 15, 2010
MSITM degree creates IT management opportunities for graduates
 Pete Pfeiffer
Some people spend years climbing the corporate ladder. Not Pete Pfeiffer (CAS '98, MSITM '09), who quickly rose through the ranks while simultaneously earning his Master of Science in Information Technology Management (MSITM) degree at OU's School of Business Administration.

"I was literally applying what I learned in class on Tuesday night to my job on Wednesday morning," says Pfeiffer. "It wasn't just theoretical knowledge that I was getting, but real-world instruction that was directly relevant to what I was doing every day."

While working in sales, Pfeiffer enrolled in the SBA's MSITM program as a way to transition into the information technology field. Bolstered by the knowledge he gained in the program, he was promoted at Gale(R), a part of Cengage Learning, moving from systems analyst, to team leader, to manager of operations analysis, all within 18 months.

"Initially, the IT core classes -- Systems Analysis, Systems Design and IT Project Management -- gave me what I needed to get out of sales and into a systems analysis job," says Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer relies on his OU business education to help navigate both the business and technical aspects of his job. Under his leadership, his team procures, processes and analyzes data related to Gale's online products, and turns that raw data into information that can ultimately improve organizational knowledge of its products, customers and markets.

"It takes a lot of creativity, business domain knowledge, technical skill and finesse to provide value to decision makers," Pfeiffer says. "The holistic approach of the SBA's MSITM program, putting technology into a business context, gave me the tools to operate at a high level in each of those areas."

He was impressed with the caliber of professors in the SBA, and their rapport with students.

"Professor Rajagopalan is always really engaged with his classes," says Pfeiffer. "Not only does he offer help with class work, but also with finding jobs or making connections to people he knows. He takes a real interest in his students, and it really comes out in the way he teaches.”

"My favorite class was MIS 646 Business Analysis and Modeling with Professor Isken. I was already a spreadsheet geek, but this course took that to a level I didn't even know existed," Pfeiffer adds.

As he looks to future career opportunities, Pfeiffer believes his advanced degree will make him even more marketable.

"The degree itself makes me much more qualified for a lot of management positions I wouldn't otherwise have had a shot at," he says. "What I learned earning the degree, though, positioned me to not only begin a career in IT, but also succeed and advance more quickly."

For more information about the MSITM program web site or call (248) 370-3287.