Shortly after graduating from Penn State University with a degree in psychology, she packed her bag, bought a bus ticket and left for the District of Columbia with $35 in her pocket.
“I figured I’d find a job,” she said.
After working as a consultant, though, she realized she needed to know more about project management, so she earned an MBA. Next, she knew that she needed to be familiar with computer systems.
So without any programming background, she enrolled in a dual master’s program for health care management and information technology at Marymount University.
Her IT classes got off to a rocky start. “Let’s not sugar-coat it. It was horrible,” she said.
She survived slews of query errors and emerged all the stronger. “It’s made me sharper about the detail work, and that carries over everywhere,” Moody said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job growth in IT over the next decade of around 15 percent, faster than the average for all occupations. The median pay is nearly $121,000 a year.
Though the programming was foreign to Moody, curiosity powered her through.
“I’ve always loved to figure out how things worked, even as a kid,” she said. “I’m not sure my parents appreciated that. They were always asking, ‘who took the remote apart’ or ‘why are you messing with the printer again’.”
Moody believes that knowing how computer systems work, as well as being familiar with the accompanying regulatory and policy issues, gives her a professional edge.
“A person with an IT background can understand a lot of different roles at a company,” she said.
JENYL WYRE MOODY
HOMETOWN: New York City
DEGREES: Will graduate in May with dual master’s degrees in health care management and health care information technology from Marymount University; MBA in human resource management, University of Phoenix; bachelor’s in psychology, Pennsylvania State University
QUOTE: The career importance of learning information technology is “like learning to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Sure, you could go to Starbucks every day and buy one. But if you never learn to make it, you’ll never understand it, and you’ll never be able to explain its importance to anyone else.”
CAREER GOAL: Works for Accenture, a management consulting and technology firm. She plans to continue working as a strategy consultant.