Luljan Bacaj Computer Science
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Luljan Bacaj

In the summer of 2012 I made the decision to pursue my graduate education in Computer Science at Iona. At the time, I was employed as a junior software engineer by a small company called Knighted, that made software which managed supply chain logistics for many well-known brands. I made the decision to further pursue my education because I wanted to propel my career forward.  With the advent of mobile computing and the rise of cyber security threats, it was obvious that technology was moving at a blistering pace.  This made me want to solidify the fundamentals and gain the knowledge I felt was missing from my skill set.

After joining the program I found a plethora of options in terms of courses that were of great interest to me. I also realized that the Iona Computer Science department was aggressively moving to cover areas such as Data Mining, Big Data, Mobile Applications, and Cyber Security, offering many courses that are very well aligned with what industry is looking for, including one of my personal favorites mobile application security.  Other favorites, such as Advanced Databases, touched on many core fundamental needs by big business today, such as database efficiency and being able to handle and parse extremely large sets of data.
Immediately after enrolling in the program I started seeing its benefits. I was able to obtain a client facing software engineering position at SunGard, which is a company that provides software solutions for big banks and other financial institutions. During my time at SunGard, I worked on building some very complex Financial Market and Credit Risk solutions and helped banks in integrating those with core and legacy systems on the banking side. It was very much a hands-on role and the skills I was obtaining in school complemented the work I was doing very nicely. Furthermore, the combination of school and work was extremely helpful in solidifying the knowledge I was seeking prior to enrollment.

Today I am an Assistant Vice President, Senior Software Engineer, at Bank of America, architecting and building middleware services. I am building middleware services that are critical to helping the bank scale out its Global Operations. Having recently graduated from the program at Iona, I must say that I will absolutely miss the friends I was able to make due to small class sizes, the hands on work and interaction that its world class professors  provided. I also wholeheartedly recommend the program to anyone looking to gain real world skills that are very much in demand in today’s economy.