Alberto Dominguez ’22, who recently began working as a Mobile Engineer II (iOS) at Expedia Group, took full advantage of the “applied” component of Dominican’s Applied Computer Science program at Dominican University of California.
Pursuing the accelerated degree program’s mobile iOS concentration, Alberto published four apps to TestFlight and one to the App Store.
“I enjoyed my concentration classes because it never felt as though I was wasting my time,” he says. “Every single lesson was directly related to my career goals.”
Alberto’s favorite project was an iOS app called FitPlanner. As a person who is physically active every day, Alberto created the fitness management app primarily to track his activity.
“I was able to utilize my skills in iOS development to build a product that I love on a subject that I am passionate about,” Alberto says. “This gave me huge motivation to do really well while building the app as well as solidifying ideas such as Core Data and Widgets.”
Indeed, it was technology’s potential to impact the greater good that inspired Alberto to enroll in online and in-person computer sciences courses beginning in middle school.
“I saw all the amazing things CS can do and all the good it has done for the world,” he recalls.
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Alberto’s path to industry was not as straightforward as he believed it would be. His initial goal was to earn a CS degree from a large public school. However, after talking with friends and mentors who attended his target school, Alberto learned that the coursework did not necessarily align with their career goals in the technology industry.
“After they graduated and started working, I asked them how they felt, and they all said that they were not well prepared for the industry. Very little of what they learned in class was applicable to their work and they had no experience building actual products.
“I began to doubt my post-high school plans. Why would I spend tens of thousands of dollars on a university if it won’t prepare me for the job?”
Alberto started looking for alternatives to a traditional CS degree – and found Dominican’s ACS program in the Barowsky School of Business.
“Instead of just focusing on theories and algorithms and data structures, the ACS program went beyond,” he says. “Focusing on modern-day technologies and industry standards, project-based learning, internship and networking opportunities, industry partners, two years instead of four, concentrations and specialization, hackathons, and so much more.”
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A few months before finishing the ACS program in fewer than three years, Alberto began to apply for jobs. The support he received from his ACS instructors was invaluable – as were the communication skills gained during the program’s CORE courses grounded in the liberal arts.
“Throughout my time in the ACS program, I gained a deep understanding of CS theory such as data structures and algorithms, achieved mastery in my specific domain (iOS) and had many projects to back it up, internship experience, an impressive portfolio, and had practiced my communication skills,” he says.
“With guidance from my mentors, I also knew how to navigate the job hunt and tech interview.”