Austin Brees, a Master in Computer Science & Business Technology student, shares how IE University provided the ideal launchpad for a career that builds upon his well-honed business acumen with new tech skills geared for the future.

4 min read

The ongoing and increasing globalization and digitalization of modern society have fundamentally changed the business world as we know it. Today’s market calls for innovative ideas and disruptive technologies to hold the attention of savvy buyers. As undergraduate Austin Brees puts it, “Technology is business.”

A unique journey to biztech

Austin’s journey to IE University started years ago in North Carolina, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in international business at Appalachian State University. He then moved to Denver and fully immersed himself in the world of recruiting and HR, working for a series of leading companies including DISH Network and Vail Resorts.

During this time, he sharpened his expertise as a business analyst and started dipping his toes into the dynamic fields of IT and business technology.

Full speed toward the future with the Master in Computer Science & Business Technology

His go-getter personality fully developed in this period too, specifically when he took the opportunity to work remotely. His decision gave him the chance to travel extensively. In fact, Austin converted an old ambulance into a camper van to see the sights around the US and Latin America while he worked.

Something clicked during his travels and he started looking for a tech program to further his education. He discovered the Master in Computer Science & Business Technology and it stood out from the rest. “I really appreciated how IE University embraced that they’re a new, hybrid program and that they’re going full speed ahead,” he says. And so Austin gave up van life to embark on a new, exciting adventure in Spain.

The best of both worlds

Like many other students in this disruptive program, Austin didn’t come into it with any formal technology training. However, his passion was a driving factor: “I’ve always liked to play with tech—that’s how I got into the IT side of things when I was working.” But the program’s comprehensive curriculum is tailored to provide all its students a strong foundation in both tech and computer science, making it the ideal choice for individuals from a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds.

“It’s definitely intimidating at first,” he admits, “But once you get the gist of things, it gets better.” Despite the challenge, Austin sees this program as a key step in his professional development. This is especially true in the rapidly evolving tech space which is, now more than ever, critical to business success. A good example of this is the rapid emergence and adoption of new AI innovations, “If you had said three months ago that there would be a chatbot that could pass the Bar Exam, no one would have believed you.”

And he’s right! This dynamism is one of the reasons why Austin was so determined to get into the field. After all, “Technology is the future,” he notes. As a future-forward professional, he understands that new disruptions will keep transforming the face of global business. “It’s amazing the number of tasks we can automate, letting people be creative and not get bogged down with monotonous tasks.” In fact, he predicts such innovations will change the very way companies do business, pointing out, “It used to take a lot of money for a startup to hire a team of coders, but now you can replace many of those basic programming functions. You can have a low-cost startup, just with the tools that are out there.”

Building future-proof skills

Austin is focusing all his energy on developing the knowledge and hands-on expertise to play his part in shaping business strategies of the future—and it all starts with gaining a thorough grounding in computer science and biztech. However, the program goes one step further, equipping him with the skill set to thrive in today’s increasingly global workplaces. “We get to hang out and work with people from all over the world.”

For him, this diversity is actually one of the program’s strengths. Not only does the multicultural nature of its classroom help “break down a lot of barriers,” but it also boosts the program’s value overall by bringing in a variety of ideas, perspectives and points of view.

His favorite class to date has been Data Structures and Algorithms because it drove home the fundamental concept of computing: the quality of your output depends solely on the quality of your input. “Learning how to do it in an optimal way and understanding the data structures and algorithms of how these applications work was really cool and will be valuable going forward,” he says. In the third term, he also got the chance to complement his learnings with various electives.

Full speed toward the future with the Master in Computer Science & Business Technology

Apart from in-depth cloud computing classes in Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, Austin intends to pursue various AI classes.

A lifelong passion for learning

Austin advises students interested in the program to learn as much as possible before classes begin. “Do some pre-work so that when you come in you’re not bogged down by minutia and can focus on learning the overarching concepts and theories behind it,” he encourages.

According to Austin, the only prerequisites to succeed in this program are curiosity and an openness to trying new things. You don’t necessarily need to be a hacker or experienced coder to grasp the tech side of things. “Being open-minded and willing to put yourself out there, knowing you’re going to be a little out of your depth, is a good trait to have,” he says.

This ethos has gotten him through the bulk of the Master in Computer Science & Business Technology. As for now, he’s looking to the future. “The program has given me a lot of tools and opened me up to things that I never thought I’d be interested in doing in my professional journey,” he explains. This includes his new interest in cybersecurity, programming and language models, which he intends to pursue more fully. Whichever career path he takes, his ultimate goal is to work in an international environment—one that would allow him to keep learning, traveling and exploring the world.