He completed his English language and literature PhD at the University of Michigan in 1997, with a dissertation on doppelgangers in Romantic-era fiction and poetry.
Then Bryan taught literature, writing, multimedia, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. There he also pioneered multi-campus interdisciplinary classes, while organizing an information literacy initiative.
From 2002 to 2014 Bryan worked with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a non-profit working to help small colleges and universities best integrate digital technologies. With NITLE he held several roles, including co-director of a regional education and technology center, director of emerging technologies, and senior fellow. Over those years Bryan helped develop and support the nonprofit, grew peer networks, consulted, and conducted a sustained research agenda. In 2013 Bryan launched a business, Bryan Alexander Consulting, LLC. Through BAC he consults throughout higher education in the United States and abroad.
Bryan speaks widely and publishes frequently, with articles appearing in venues including The Atlantic Monthly, Inside Higher Ed. He has been interviewed by and featured in the Washington Post, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, National Public Radio (2017, 2020, 2020, 2020,
He recently published Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education for Johns Hopkins University Press (January 2020) and has started work on Universities on Fire: Higher Education in the Age of Climate Crisis (2022). His two other recent books are Gearing Up For Learning Beyond K-12 and The New Digital Storytelling (second edition).
Bryan is currently a senior scholar at Georgetown University and teaches graduate seminars in their Learning, Design, and Technology program.