Web Technologies Manager
Jason Craft
Employer: University of Texas at Austin

Position description:
I work in the central information technology group at UT, where I lead the team that is responsible for the University of Texas at Austin home page, the UT Direct framework, and a number of other Web development systems and services for campus.

Photo: Jason Craft
How They Got There
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Undergrad degree:  English

Favorite class in college:  Genre Films Seminar

Changing majors:  In graduate school, I focused on the Digital Literacies and Literatures area in the English department. But I was English all the way.

Graduate degree:  Ph.D. in Digital Literacies and Literatures

College to career:  My first jobs after graduation were waiting tables and working for a popular mail-order clothing company, and it was tough at that time to understand how my degree might pay off for me. Over time, though, I learned that the skills I developed in understanding novels, theatre and poetry could be translated to understanding lots of other things: films, video games, business software, even culture. In addition, I had developed the ability to clearly and skillfully communicate in writing, which is a big plus in any job.

Career influences:  I moved into information technology in the 1990s at the same time I was in graduate school, mostly because I thought computing was fun and I was excited by the growth at that time of the World Wide Web. Some close colleagues and friends were very important in helping me grow from a graduate student in English to a software developer.

The Ups and Downs
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I love my job! I'm constantly learning new skills and information, and information technology is a great blend of conceptual, abstract ideas and the nuts and bolts of getting things done. Any minuses? Well, sometimes it's hard to "unplug" from a job in information technology, because work is often going on around the clock. It's important to keep a balance between your work and your life.

Recommendations
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Choose a field of study because you love it; don't suffer through something you aren't thrilled about, just because you think it's practical. Whether it's art or science or sales, if you study what you love it will pay off.

Interested in This Career?
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