By Makenzie Winkler
Joe Skinner, ’11, joined the workforce immediately after graduation, starting in an information technology leadership program through Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati. In this program, Skinner had the opportunity to work in different positions every six months for two years. After completing the program, he received a job placement as a database administrator for the company and remained in that position for two years.
“Then I thought I’d give Amazon a try,” Skinner said. “I applied for the same role that I did at the bank—database administrator. I've been with Amazon for eight years now. I was promoted to senior database administrator before moving to assistant systems development engineer for the information security portion of Amazon.com. For the last year-and-a-half, I have been with Amazon Web Services and became a senior systems development engineer.”
Skinner enjoys the perks that come with his job, including opportunities to travel and learn about and develop new technologies.
“I'm always working on new things, and I’m never told no when I want to explore new technologies. If there's something new, we’re the first to explore it and we’re probably the ones making that technology for others,” Skinner explained. “Plus, I work on such a large scale. You would never see anything being processed at such a high volume anywhere else—thousands of orders per minute during the holiday season is significant.”
Skinner says the skills and knowledge he gained from EKU has set him apart from other engineers.
“EKU gave me the toolset to become a lifelong learner. I seek out new certifications and training opportunities to further enhance my knowledge of the industry,” said Skinner.
In EKU’s new Management Information Systems (MIS) degree program, students will learn business programming, database systems, project management, analysis and design, as well as computer networking. The MIS courses can be paired with any minor, providing a highly competitive degree program that prepares students for career paths at a wide range of companies and organizations. Positions that would utilize MIS skills and knowledge were among several included in an Emeritus article of the 10 Best Jobs to Move Into in 2023: No. 1 Data Scientist, No. 4 Marketing Analyst, No. 5 Network Security, No. 6 Project Manager and No. 9 Digital Marketer. EKU’s MIS degree program starts Fall 2023. Learn more at go.eku.edu/MIS.