With the current rapid pace of technology advancement, there is an increasing need for tech-savvy business leaders who understand the ins and outs of IT topics such as information systems design, cybersecurity, and software development.

Branco Garcia recognized the importance of IT knowledge and skills among executive leaders, leading him to pursue a dual MBA-Master of IT (MIT) degree at Virginia Tech.

"I don’t think it’s possible for professionals to take steps toward furthering their careers without having a thorough understanding of information technology-related topics," Garcia said.

Virginia Tech's dual degree MBA + MIT program equips professionals with the business and technology skills needed to take their careers to the next level. Upon completion of the Master of Business Administration program, students are guaranteed admission into the Master of Information Technology program.

When asked why he decided to enroll in the dual degree program, Garcia explained, “The main factor was the option to transfer many of my MBA electives (ACIS and BIT courses) that qualified for the MIT program degree.”

New skills and a path to executive roles

Garcia shared that the program curriculum and classroom topics were immediately applicable in his day-to-day work.

"I have been able to think more strategically and clearer in approaching organizational topics," he said. "In turn, the leadership team has viewed my contributions as valuable input."

His dual degree has also earned him an exciting advancement opportunity — a succession plan for the chief information security officer (CISO) position at the federal agency where he's currently employed in a senior manager role.

"This career path would not be available if I had not pursued the MBA — and now MIT — degree," he explained. Starting in a well-ranked and competitively priced program like the Evening MBA program was just the beginning for Garcia.

The Virginia Tech difference

Garcia was enrolled in an MBA program at another university before transferring to Virginia Tech.

"When I transferred to the Virginia Tech Evening MBA program, I was immersed in courses and the teamwork right off the bat," he said. "The program pace felt right for me."

Both the MBA and MIT programs are flexible and allow students to determine their course load each semester. Because some elective courses can count towards both degrees, MBA graduates can earn a Master of Information Technology by taking as few as six additional classes.

Garcia is grateful for the opportunities he's had while pursuing his dual degree, including networking opportunities with fellow classmates and professors. When reflecting on his decision to transfer to the Virginia Tech MBA program, Garcia shared, "I am glad that I call myself a Hokie!"

Learn more about the dual MBA and Master of IT degree at Virginia Tech.