He longed for a more fulfilling career.
Maryville helped him land his dream job.

Danny Parks

Online Master of Science in Software Development, 2019

“Before I started at Maryville, I was in a dark place,” says Danny Parks.

Danny had recently embarked on a new job after a period of unemployment. He took the job because he knew he needed to be working, but it wasn’t the role he wanted, which left him feeling unfulfilled, stressed, and uncertain about his future. “I didn’t have any real guidance in my life at that time,” he recalls.

Danny had long aspired to earn a master’s degree but taking that important first step was the hardest part.

“There were seven years between when I earned my undergraduate degree and when I started my master’s program,” he says. “I always wanted to get my graduate degree, but I kept pushing it off because life events were happening.”

Maryville helped me become brave by believing in me.

Photo of Danny's family
Photo of Danny's family

Building his skills along with his self-confidence

Despite earlier setbacks, Danny remained resolute in his determination to create a brighter future for himself.

His fortunes began to change when he made the brave decision to enroll in Maryville University’s online Master of Science in Software Development program. Not only did his experience prepare him to land his dream job but it also renewed his self-confidence.

“Maryville helped me become brave by believing in me,” he says. “I learned that I could achieve my goals and I didn’t have to second-guess myself. It allowed me to say, ‘Hey, if I have a goal, I should go for it.’”

Danny, who earned his degree in 2019, now works for a defense contractor that specializes in the design and production of military vehicles. As a senior engineer on the advanced operations team, his role includes a wide variety of responsibilities and subject matter, including coding, cybersecurity, robotics, networking, and forecasting and planning for future business needs.

“My day-to-day is never the same,” he says. “You never know what you’re getting into, but it’s always challenging, it’s always keeping my brain turning, and it’s always keeping me on my toes.”

Earning his Maryville degree online has helped Danny develop soft skills such as time management, which have enabled him to excel at his job. “When you study online, you have to keep to a schedule and use your time wisely, because there are always assignments and due dates,” he says.

This has translated to his current role, where he has been working remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Maryville has put me in a position where I’m still able to support the day-to-day operations for my coworkers who have to be on site.”

Thriving in a fast-paced environment

Looking back on his Maryville experience, Danny says one particular class helped him prepare for this fast-paced work environment.

“There was a course called Applied DevOps, where we were developing, logging, monitoring, and doing everything on the fly,” he says. “It allowed me to be able to come up with solutions in a time-sensitive crunch, and that has helped me out a lot.”

Danny also appreciates the support he received from Maryville’s faculty throughout his educational journey. One professor who made a lasting impact was Michael Palmer, an instructor of informational systems and software development.

“He stood out to me because he understood the curriculum and he really knew what he was talking about,” says Danny. “But more than that, he never left you behind. If you needed extra help, he gave you the extra help. He was always available, and he always made sure you understood the material he was teaching.”

Since receiving my master’s degree, I now find myself developing projects that others have deemed unachievable.

Earning a degree — and respect in the workplace

Since earning his master’s, Danny says one of the biggest differences he’s noticed is the added level of respect he receives from his colleagues.

“I now find myself developing projects others have deemed unachievable,” he says. “I’m always given the task that nobody wants or the project that they say will cost too much if we bring in someone. Instead, they throw it on my desk and I’m able to achieve it within no time.”

When asked what advice he has for others who are apprehensive about furthering their education, Danny doesn’t hesitate in his response.

“Give it a try — you will not be disappointed,” he says. “Maryville has changed my life for the better, and forever. If you’re on that fence, just come on across.”

If you’re ready to take that brave step across the fence, we’ll be here to greet you. Check out our bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degrees, or schedule a call with an advisor to learn more about how Maryville Online can help you achieve your educational and professional goals.

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