Broadening My Horizons: Putting IT to Work for the Community
A career shift led Alexander Boamah to serve students and parents in Dallas
It may seem like a purely technical endeavor to many people, but implementing business processing and automation software and data and business intelligence tools is something Alexander Boamah ’15, ’12 views very broadly.
“I don’t look at it in a vacuum,” says Boamah, a business intelligence analyst for the Dallas Independent School District. “I look at how what I contribute can help ensure that a child is able to enroll in a school in his or her community and get an education.”
That wider perspective comes naturally to Boamah, whose first Walden degree was a Master of Public Administration (MPA). After a career in law enforcement in his native Ghana, he wanted to continue working in the public sector when he moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2004. Boamah earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and economics and then spent several years working in banking as a business technical analyst, where he spent most of his time on administrative tasks. He was also active in his community, volunteering as an algebra tutor for adults working to earn their GED through Read Chattanooga, now known as Re:Start - The Center for Adult Education.
Boamah hoped his MPA would allow him to use his work in the public sector to help the community, but he found most employers wanted him to be a management analyst and focus more on numbers-driven tasks. When his wife lost her job, they moved to Dallas, and Boamah decided he wanted to take his career down a different path.
“I wanted to evolve,” he says. “I returned to Walden to earn my MS in Information Technology (MSIT) and start a new page in my career.”
Boamah took a contracting position with the Dallas Independent School District and immediately started applying his new coursework. “I like to bring what I learn to work, and I was able to do that with my MSIT,” he says. After completing his second master’s degree, he was hired full time as a business intelligence analyst, a position where he uses the skills and knowledge he gained from both of his Walden degrees.
“I am an advocate for the public and work to keep bureaucracy and budgets on track,” he says. “I like being able to make small changes and provide the information that decision-makers need.”
It’s because he made a change that he’s able to do that. “My second degree kept me from being stuck in a box, dealing only with data and the compliance aspect of change,” Boamah says. “Now, I can be an agent of change and serve the taxpayers in my community.”