In our Always a Redhawk series, we highlight some of our most recent graduates and the jobs they landed.


Southeast Missouri State University graduating senior Zach Howard has completed his bachelor’s in computer information systems and has already accepted a position as a senior BizOps engineer with Mastercard.

“I’m lucky enough to have been in my position for around 6 months now and I couldn’t be happier,” said Howard. Howard was one of a handful of students who worked positions with the company as undergrads to enhance their learning.  “My favorite part of the job is being able to connect with people around the world. Most of my team is located in India or Australia so being able to experience different cultures and have opportunities to travel around the world is just amazing.” 

While Howard enjoys his job, he understands the position comes with a lot of responsibility.

“Our application is responsible for millions of transactions a day,” said Howard. “And for moving billions of dollars a year between banks and merchants.”

But it’s a responsibility he’s happy to take on as Howard recognizes the longevity in the career he’s chosen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow just over 15% over the next decade. 

“IT is the future,” said Howard. “And more specifically my current role in digital transaction processing. Digital money is here to stay. There’s always going to be applications needing to be hosted and someone to manage them.”

Fortunately for Howard, his time as a Redhawk prepared him for the challenges he is sure to face.Student graduating with degrees from the Department of Computer Science at Southeast have a 100% job placement rate after graduation. 

“SEMO helped me hone and learn more about the management side of technical services and how businesses use IT service management (ITSM) to manage IT,” said Howard.


Learn More About Zach's Majors

Always a Redhawk

Zach graduated with a degree in computer information systems, and joins a partnership between Southeast grads and Mastercard that helped land him a job. Learn more about the degree paths available.

Not only did his education at Southeast prepare him for his current position, Howard says it’s what helped him land the job in the first place.

“I was lucky enough to have a great network of people who went to school with me not only during high school in O’Fallon but at SEMO as well,” said Howard. “I was able to work with my network of fellow Redhawks to make sure that I was on the path to propel my career as quickly as possible. Every one of them went out of their way to make sure that I was able to understand everything I had learned while finished up my degree. ”

Ultimately, Howard gives the credit to his dedication to education and Southeast ‘will to do’ spirit that got him to where he is today. 

“Never give up,” said Howard. “Your education will give back to you what you put into it.”

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Celebrating Graduates

2023 Commencement

With this spring’s 1,414 graduates, Southeast Missouri State University is preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, healthcare professionals and leaders that our communities need. See our news site for more on our grads, including the 2023 President's List and Dean's List.