Matthew Sprague - MS Computer Science

Why Computer Science?

I started my career in Telecom when I was 18 years old. I had already completed 2 Associate's degrees, one in Electronics, and the other in Industrial Maintenance. I had planned on finishing my Bachelor's degree, but landed a great position with the phone company instead. My job was to maintain all of the telephone equipment in the Central Office. It was a good paying job, with medical benefits, 401k, pension, and paid vacation. Hardware skills were in large demand at that time, and I spent the next 15 years working in that role.

At some point along the way, processes began moving to the cloud. What once required proprietary hardware, was now being emulated remotely with software. I saw this as a direct threat to my employment. So, I went back to school, and completed my Bachelor's degree in Information Technology - Software. I knew AT&T had some great opportunities for software developers and I wanted to advance in my career. Since I had the required degree, getting the position would be simple, right? Not exactly. Granted, I was very particular in the position I was seeking, but the process took much longer that I had expected. It all worked out for me, in the end, and I accepted a new role as an Applications Developer within the Construction & Engineering department.

My new work group deals mainly with databases, writing SQL, and optimizing queries, but I also get to work with front end stuff as well. I work with a very talented group of developers, and I'm challenged every day in new and exciting ways. I still get everything I earned from my old position, such as pension, and 401k, plus I get a new pension and 401k in my new role as well. The company is also paying for me to finish my Master's degree. The advancement opportunities are huge, for those who further their education. The best part of my new position is the great sense of job security I now have. Software is so important in my organization, and every organization that exists today. I couldn't be more pleased with my decision to make this career change. If anyone is considering Computer Science as a field of study, I highly recommend it. The pay is excellent, the job security is outstanding, and the sense of job satisfaction is amazing.