UNO alumnus Josiah Krutz, software engineer for Google
Josiah Krutz is proof that opportunity, career experience, and networking opportunities, even those originating in Silicon Valley, can be found right here in Omaha.
Krutz is now a software engineer for Google who works on accessibility features designed for people with disabilities, making the Google Chrome web browser and Chromebook laptops easier to use. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in 2017 with an undergraduate degree in computer science with a minor in cybersecurity. Through the 4+1 program offered by UNO’s College of Information Science & Technology (IS&T), he was able to earn his master’s degree in computer science one year later.
“A lot of the coursework, especially in computer science, overlapped between the bachelor’s program and the master’s program, so I could often fulfill both requirements in one class,” Krutz said. “In case having a master’s degree would be handy in the future, I wanted to go for it now, and also be able to experience some of the advanced classes UNO had to offer.”
“UNO not only provided me with a great academic background to do software engineering at a startup and at Google, but it also afforded opportunities to work together with others on projects and in team settings.”
UNO and the College of IS&T provided Krutz with connections not only to faculty and software development professionals, but to professionals and UNO alumni already working in the industry. In fact, mock interviews held at UNO’s Peter Kiewit Institute with alumni working at Google led to his internship experience and eventual career with Google. He credits them with helping him get his foot in the door – a step he said is more readily accessible than people might realize. “There’s a myth that you have to go toan Ivy League school to get a job at Google or one of the other tech companies, but that’s not true,” he said. “The same fundamentals are taught here as they are at the other places, and for a lot less expense.”
He values these connections as he still maintains contact with faculty and mentors who helped him reach his academic and career goals. Krutz mentioned he still visits campus every so often and will typically run into faculty or advisors who helped him in his time at UNO.
“I liked the friendliness and the accessibility of the professors at IS&T and PKI,” he said. “I really got to know quite a few of them, on both the IS&T and College of Engineering side, and it’s always a pleasure to walk around the halls and see a lot of the staff and friends I’ve made here.”
Krutz had the opportunity as part of a University Honors Program Colloquium, to work alongside Gina Ligon, Ph.D., now director of the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education (NCITE) center at UNO, on projects to counter violent extremism. “UNO really gave me a perspective on different things you could do with computer science or cybersecurity and helped me to narrow down what I really wanted to work on,” he said.
Despite landing a job with one of the nation’s top major tech companies, Krutz didn’t have to move to Silicon Valley for his work. Krutz works remotely for Google which has enabled him to stay close to family, his community, and UNO. When asked if he would encourage others to go to UNO, he shared that he had already encouraged his brother to be a Maverick.
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.
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