Bachelor of Science: Business – IT Management

This is the concluding blog post in a series where I chronicled my advancement through WGU’s Bachelor of Science, Business – Information Technology Management degree. It includes detailed reports on my study methods and strategies as well as occasional tips and tricks. To see all entries in this series, click the “WGU” link under “Categories” on the left sidebar (bottom of the page if viewing on mobile)

The last 6 months have been pretty grueling. In addition to completing the 62 CUs needed to complete this Bachelors program, I also studied for, and passed, the Professional Scrum Master I exam, taught myself to program with Django, and read an average of 2-3 books a week.

I’m not trying to impress you, but I do want you to see that it’s possible to complete this program in whatever time frame you desire. It does require effort, and dedication, but as long as you’re willing to commit, you should be able to make it through.

The Goods

On Studying

Class-Specific Notes

Topical Posts

This is updated periodically

Distilled Advice

  1. Work with your Student Mentor –Make sure that you two are on the same page about your goals, progress, inertia, etc. My SM, Thomas, was fantastic. He never slowed me down arbitrarily. We emailed almost daily throughout this process, and without his support I simply wouldn’t have been able to do this as efficiently as I did.
  2. Take Advantage of the Provided Resources – Often times, the first thing I did when starting a new course would be to check out the Course Tips and take note of all the resources that were available to me. I would use as many as I felt like I needed. Those resources are custom-tailored for the course content, so would be asinine not to take advantage of them.
  3. Don’t rush it – You might think I’m a hypocrite for this one considering that I finished the average class in under 5 days. Maybe I am, but take a look at how long it took me to complete Principles of Finance (22 days) versus all the other classes. If you need to slow down, slow down and make sure that you’re learning the material that you need to learn. I read the Principles of Finance textbook twice, and did a whole lot of other stuff, before I felt comfortable taking that OA. If I had rushed, I would have failed, and that would have set me back even further
  4. Stick to a Schedule – I’m a hypocrite for this one as well since, about half-way through the course, my schedule got thrown out the window. Even so, I suggest sticking to a schedule that is comfortable yet productive.
  5. Find a system that works  – For me, that system was (1) Listen to cohorts, (2) Take PA, (3) Study weak areas via the text, (4) Create and study flashcards, (5) Retake PA, (6) Take OA. It doesn’t matter what your system is as long as it works and your comfortable with it.
  6. Abandon your system if it doesn’t work – Reading through my notes, you’ll find places where the prescribed system simply didn’t apply (like when the cohorts were non-existent or just bad, or like in Principles of Finance, where the course material didn’t actually cover everything I needed to know). In those cases you need to be flexible and adaptable.

The Value of Pre-Existing Knowledge and Experience

School has never been very difficult for me. When I was 16 years old I dropped out of High School. I had a lot of complicated reasons for doing that, but one of them was that I simply didn’t understand (despite the insistence of school counselors) how something so mundane and underwhelming could have any significant real-world value.

When I received notice that I’d passed the Capstone, I reflectively wondered if I had actually learned anything from this experience. Maegen gave me a look that only a wife can give, and pointed out that with my experiences, interests, the fact that I’m an avid reader, etc. I was already well prepared for this degree. She pointed out that, for me, the degree was more a “confirmation” of what I’d already known, than an opportunity to learn something new.

I suppose that she’s right. Business Law was new as was Principles of Finance. Some of the Economics stuff was new (actually the Economics stuff revealed a whole new interest, and I’ve been regularly listening to some economics podcasts ever since), but besides that a lot of it was either refreshing what I already knew, or expounding on it.

I’m not sure what the purpose of this exposition is except to demonstrate that if you have some prior knowledge of these subjects, you’ll have so much more the advantage when you get into it.

Going Forward

I’ve already began the process of enrolling in an MBA program. I will probably continue to maintain this blog, but I probably wont document my journey through the MBA program with the same level of detail as I have for this degree. I’m making the assumption that it will be more difficult and that my past experience and knowledge wont be as helpful as it was for the BS. With that assumption, my intention is to take the MBA quite a bit slower. I’d like to really dig into and feel out the nuances and subtleties of the subjects in a way that just didn’t seem necessary, or practical, in the BS.

After the MBA, I may take a break, or I might continue directly into a PhD program. Despite my silence on the subject, I do quite a bit of volunteer work and through that work I’ve learned that I really enjoy teaching. Earning a PhD will qualify me for teaching positions, should I choose to pursue that route. If I don’t, then the PhD will allow me to learn even more about these Business-and-Technology related topics that I find so interesting and engaging.

Tutoring

I’ve been asked if I’d be willing to do some tutoring. To be honest, I don’t think it should be necessary. WGU has more than enough resources to help the average student achieve their goals. However, if you truly feel like my experience and knowledge can help you, then my hesitant answer to the tutoring question is Yes.

I have a very limited number of spots available, so if you’re interested, go ahead and contact me and we can talk in more detail.

13 thoughts on “Bachelor of Science: Business – IT Management”

  1. This is awesome, I am considering going for this same degree, however I cannot decide between it and the BS in Software Development. The main reason being is I am already a web developer without a degree but the courses would be basically pointless whereas I feel I would lear/benifit more from the business degree and I feel it would open more doors…Any feedback would be great and thank you for making this page..

    Reply
    • Hey Tom,

      That’s a good question. I’m certainly not an expert, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. But I personally think that if you want to go into management then the BS-ITM degree would be better. A LOT of management positions require development experience, but you already have that, so the BS-ITM will give you the knowledge and skills on the business side to help you move up.

      My situation was the opposite. I had a lot of IT and Management experience and then got the BS-ITM. I’m *really* glad that I did, but it didn’t give me the same benefits that, say the BS in Software Development would have, because of the development skills required for managerial positions. Does that make sense?

      So my recommendation would be to go with the BS-ITM if you want to get into management. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to get into more technical “individual contributor” role., with no desire to move into management, then the BS in Software Development *might* be better, but not necessarily. You already have those skills, but the degree will back that up and the courses might fill in any gaps that you have.

      So, basically, it just depends on your career path. You can talk to the enrollment counselors about this too. They’re generally very helpful and knowledgeable.

      I hope this helps! Write again and let me know what you decide to do! Remember, if you do the BS-ITM, I chronicled my entire degree experience on this blog, so you can always use this as a resource.

      Thanks,
      Chad

      Reply
    • Hi Rob,

      It varied between 2 – 6 hours per day, depending on a few variables: (1) The difficulty of the class, (2) My pre-existing knowledge of the topic, and (3) how aggressively I was trying to get through.

      Thanks
      Chad

      Reply
  2. HI Chad!
    Thanks for the detailed list of your courses. I am currently working on my Bachelors in Business Management through WGU so I have bookmarked your blog for the classes I currently have left to do. Your time frame on Principles of Finance is discouraging since you blew through all the others so quickly and I average 3-4 weeks per class already! I see above you mentioned 2-6 hours spent each day on a class and I wondered if you worked while getting your degree? I work in an office setting full-time so looking at my computer for 6 additional hours a day seems impossible. I want to find motivation to get to your average course time. I am 12 classes away from being done! Congratulations on your achievements! I know dropping out of high-school can cause preconceived opinions from others but your blog is well written and enjoyable to read so let that boost your ego as well!

    Reply
    • Hi Makenzie,

      Thanks for your patience. Yes, I also worked full time in an office setting, and I certainly understand how daunting it is to consider even MORE time in front of a computer. Principles of Finance was difficult for me because I’m not good at math. If you have a bit more of a proficiency for it, you can probably make it through much quicker.

      I appreciate your kind words, and I’m very happy that the blog has been useful for you!

      Thanks
      Chad

      Reply
  3. Hello I am interested in taking this program. I currently work in a Desktop support roll at the high school i went to and have about 4 years of IT experience but want to move more into a management director roll. Do you think i should go directly into a management degree like this one or go for my b.s in Networking to get more real world IT experience and get my masters in IT management or go straight to the B.s in IT management?

    Reply
    • Hi Nathan,

      Honestly, it’s up to you. You should do whatever path will serve you best. That being said, if *I* were in your situation, here is what I’d do:

      1. Get a few certifications in your area of choice. For example, Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, CISSP, PMP, etc.
      2. Get your Bachelor’s in IT Management
      3. Get a promotion/job in your area of choice (ex. Network Administrator, System Administrator, Project Manager, etc.)
      4. (Optional) Get your Masters in IT Management
      5. Transition into IT Management

      The reason I have #3 in there is because I think it’s difficult to transition from Help Desk into Management *unless* you go the Help Desk Manager route.

      Again, this is just my two cents, and may not apply to you at all. But that’s what I would do.

      I hope this is helpful!

      Thanks
      Chad

      Reply
  4. I Chad,

    My name is Victor Marquez and I just wanted to thank you for your encouragement to all of us that are getting our education in pace. I am currently working with my enrolment counselor to finalize my starting day at WGU for the BSCSIA Program that I’m scheduled to start this coming October, but my actual question for you is that if I’m transferred about 64 college credit due to my Associate of Science in Cybersecurity leaving me with about 58% of my BS program. how long do you think that I may be able to complete my degree if I’m just an average working student?

    Reply
    • Hey Victor,

      I was in almost the exact same situation. It took me 6 mo. Now, that’s not typical. Since writing the blog, I’ve spoken to a LOT of people, and knocking ~50% of a BS out in 6 months is pretty rare. So it really will vary. I had the advantage of almost 8 years’ experience in the field, and so a lot of the classes were extremely easy for me. If I didn’t have that experience, and I was starting from scratch, then I’m pretty sure it would have taken much longer.

      I recommend working with your Mentor (which you’ll get once you’re fully enrolled). They will help you set (and meet) realistic goals for your progression. If you have any other questions though, especially once you get started, let me know. I’m always eager to help in any way I can.

      Good luck!
      Chad

      Reply
  5. Hi Chad,

    Thank you so much for your quick response. Well since your situation was similar almost as mine and then you finished your program in 6 months, I think there should be no excuse for me in not to completed my program in 1 year (2 WGU terms) at the least. Of course with your previous experience in the field and your dedication made a huge difference fir you. I’m proud of people like you that are in ways to guide some others to keep furthering their educational goals. Thank you once again for all the motivation that is in you for the whole world out there. I’ll keep you informed as things progress about my program. and who knows maybe I’ll surprise you with my graduation day.

    Sincerely,

    Victor Marquez

    Reply

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