“Lots of electives. Lots of options. In addition to corporate, you can do project management or the more technical. I gravitated toward the technical side.”

Nathan Hiscock, client innovation director for CleanSlate Technology Group in Carmel, Indiana is talking about Ball State University’s online master of science in information and communication science.   

 “Lots of opportunities for networking and building relationships. And the program is not so . . .” He winces before he says the word. “Not so . . . academic.” 

presentation via zoomAn Academic Program With Real-World Projects 

His point is that the online master’s in information and communication science is a classroom complete with industry challenges in real-time. You negotiate while collaborating with business professionals, faculty active in their industries, student peers in mid-career, and alumni who have proven themselves in the realm of management and technology leadership.

Nathan likes the fact that incoming students are required to have three years of work experience,  who, in his opinion, “have better mindsets and a certain level of professionalism.” 

“If you’re used to doing it a certain way,” he says, “it can be frustrating to work with someone who’s not producing.” 

As far as collaborating with alumni leaders, Nathan was already one of those alumni leaders when he enrolled. 

Earned His Bachelor’s in Computer Science 

After earning his Ball State bachelor of science in computer science in 1999, he worked in IT software services consulting for more than 20 years while also launching several businesses. 

But when weekly cross-country travel began creating more stress than he wanted early in his career, and with a second baby on the way, he realized “his higher calling as a father and husband took priority.” 

That’s why, in 2010, he established 3i Consulting, a technology consulting firm where Nathan was president, solutions architect, and creative ideator for more than a decade. 

In 2021, he decided to reinvent himself, pursue Ball State’s master’s program, and focus on the cloud practitioner curriculum to learn the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform and operate competently in that expanding technology environment.   

Cloud Technology Class Hooks Hiscock 

Ball State was the first university in the country to partner with  AWS Academy to deliver this curriculum. With his first class on cloud technology, Nathan was obsessed. 

After earning the foundational certificate as AWS Cloud Certified Practitioner, he completed certificates designated as AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, AWS Business Professional, and AWS Cloud Economics. 

In addition to cloud technologies, the master’s also allowed Nathan to explore and develop leadership, communication, and technical skills relevant to today’s companies and organizations.  

Because faculty are actively engaged in creating career opportunities through the program’s active alumni association and industry partnerships, students like Nathan are provided career development workshops and faculty mentoring to help guide them to jobs that match their career ambitions.

Professors Guide Him to CleanSlate 

For Nathan, faculty recommended the position of client innovation director with CleanState. “I collaborated with my professors who by then knew me and my capabilities,” he says. 

Nathan is responsible for partnerships, solution packaging, presales, and demand generation for CleanSlate’s service products.  

“I engage partnerships, drive the pursuit process, provide technical presales support, lead training and seminars, train sales staff on service products, help market our products, build community, and recruit talent.” 

The master’s program couldn’t have been more central to his professional advancement for Nathan.  

“The program is more than just learning academic content,” he explains. “Sure, there’s plenty of that, but there’s also community. You learn about yourself. You gain new advisors with insight into your potential and partners in your future. Alumni believe in the program and bring you along as well.”