Academic Background Trumps All in Minnesota IT Agency

Whereas many IT employers harp on experience and view a college degree in computer science or a related field as a nice-to-have, others consider it a critical component in the recruiting process.

Case in point: Christopher Buse, chief information security officer for the state of Minnesota’s Office of Enterprise Technology, believes a solid academic background produces well-rounded candidates and demonstrates their ability to learn. Buse’s agency is proof that investing quality time, money and effort in a rigorous IT-heavy college education pays off in the long run.

Structure of the Agency

The Office of Enterprise Technology is responsible for the overall technology planning and coordination for the state government. The IT agency boasts about a 325-member staff, although the state government of Minnesota as a whole consists of approximately 35,000 employees.

Within the agency are a vast assortment of job roles and responsibilities. Some of the technology management functions include database administration, server administration, networking, network support and data-center facility management. On the development side, the agency recruits people who are skilled in enterprise architecture, IT procurement, contract management, project management and application management.

“We have an information security incident response team, [which is responsible for] things like vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection and prevention, security information and event management and penetration testing,” Buse said.

Buse’s area of expertise is the enterprise security group, which essentially manages the enterprise security governance for the entire state.

“We have a group in my area that assesses security compliance, both within state…


Deanna Hartley

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