In terms of tuition cost, location, and class size, Winona State University was the perfect fit for James Armstead.

“Having a smaller class size was by far my favorite thing,” said Armstead. “It makes introducing, getting to know and getting help from professors much more approachable.”

For Armstead, the Individualized Studies major was the best fit for completing his degree in a timely manner while working full time. Since this major requires a minor, he chose to fulfill the Computer Science minor requirements, which would allow him to improve his technical skills and boost his resume.

While completing Computer Science classes, Armstead came to understand the importance of learning a number of different coding languages.

“That itself is very valuable but it also shows a willingness to take on new projects,” he said. “Technology is always changing and because of this, learning new software, programs, and languages is vital to staying relevant in today’s workforce.”

Along with the importance of keeping up with technology, Armstead realized the value of working with others. Throughout a variety of classes, he had the opportunity to work in groups, which helped him practice several other skills, such as communication, leadership, documentation, and presenting.

“Working with people is a valuable and necessary part of taking skills and bringing them to a team or job,” said Armstead.

Armstead is currently working in the Radiology department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. By receiving more advanced technical skills, completing his degree, and networking through Winona State University, it will help him take a step further into his career. In the future, he hopes to pursue a role as an IT analyst.

This education helped me learn programming languages and software applications, and a liberal arts degree supports a variety of learning, communication and implementation. These are all marketable skills and finishing my degree proves that I am a willing learner and can show up and complete projects dependably.

James Armstead

Winona State University