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.
- Organizational Behavior (7 Days)
- Business Law (8 Days)
- Business Ethics (2 Days)
- Principles of Management (4 Days)
- Information Systems Management (6 Days)
- Human Resource Management (4 Days)
- Project Management (5 Days)
- Marketing Fundamentals (6 Days)
- Marketing Applications (5 Days)
- Managerial Accounting (7 Days)
- Microeconomics (4 Days)
- Macroeconomics (5 Days)
- Global Business (6 Days)
- Change Management (3 Days)
- Principles of Finance (22 Days)
- Workforce Planning (4 Days)
- Portfolio (2 Days)
- IT Management Capstone Project (5 Days)
This is updated periodically
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.