When we talk about business buzz, the first place that jumps to most people’s mind isn’t usually Dallas. But the truth is that the Big D and the surrounding metroplex are home to many exciting and fast growing companies, from the IT whizzes at DXC Technology to the VR wunderkinds at Oculus. The area is abuzz with business optimism, and with that growth has come a demand for more skilled workers. In fact, Dallas area powerhouses like AT&T have taken serious steps to prepare their workforces for the coming decades. In a world where, according to CNBC, “90 percent of maturing companies expect digital disruption, but only 44 percent are adequately prepared for it,” people with the skills to navigate that digital disruption have become hot commodities.
The opportunities in Dallas offer you the chance to take your career to the next level — so what should you be looking at, and how do you make the most of your chance to upskill in Dallas?
Advance your business skills
If you are interested in upping your business skills, the traditional path is to get a masters in business administration. The University of Texas, Dallas has an MBA program through the Naveen Jindal School of Management. With five different degree tracks offered as part of the program, UT Dallas’ MBA offers an unusual amount of flexibility for degree-seeking professionals. Southern Methodist University, in the North of Dallas, offers a full-time MBA through the Cox School of Business. SMU’s program is especially well-known for its “global immersion experience,” which includes 10-day trips to visit corporate headquarters in foreign countries and meet with C-Suite executives. You can even live and study in the country of your choice for a semester. It’s like your undergraduate study abroad experience, but more focused, more directed, and, ideally, more likely to land you a job.
Don’t have the money, or the time, to pursue an MBA program? No problem. The metroplex still offers you all sorts of opportunities to build your skills. There are several companies, of recent vintage, that offer month-long, week-long, or even weekend-long courses that offer to add new tools to your cognitive toolbox. Many of these companies are tech-focused, but even if you are not in a tech-heavy industry, you should be paying attention. That digital disruption we mentioned earlier? It’s real. Almost $7 billion went to funding startup businesses in Dallas in 2017 alone. Companies range from Balanced Media Technologies, which uses gaming platforms to solve real-world problems, to Perry Weather Consulting, which collects weather data and maintains a plug-and-play web API for tracking inclement weather. So, how do you find a way to surf this wave of new ideas?
Learn a developer language
No matter what your goals are, Dallas offers an array of options for the person willing to hit the books in pursuit of a wage bump. Texas is famous as a land of opportunity, and whether the wealth is derived from bighorns, black crude, or big brains, the person with the best tools is most likely to get ahead. Why can’t that person be you?