Southeast Missouri State University is launching an online Master of Science in applied computer science next fall to meet workforce demands for computer scientists wishing to advance their skills.
The degree program which began at Southeast in 2017 in a traditional format is being expanded into an online program beginning fall 2019 to serve working computer science professionals, students preparing for graduate studies or competitive jobs, or students with no computer science background planning for a career.
Equipping computer scientists with advanced skills for developing computer systems and networks that power today’s world is a growing and critical need across all industries, according to Dr. Sumanth Yenduri, chair of Southeast’s Department of Computer Science. Software enables social, economic and governmental systems that everyone depends on when using social media, streaming a movie, making a purchase, driving a car, using personal apps, or using software that powers medical, flight and space systems. Software is intertwined throughout every day and professional life, and consumers expect that it is developed for demanding performance and reliability, and with safety standards, he said.
The program will provide students with opportunities to further their education through advanced courses in their areas of interest, and to exercise and sharpen skills developed during their undergraduate education or professional career.
By providing course and classroom experiences through Southeast Online, students and working professionals in southeast Missouri and beyond can earn their graduate degree and develop the skills needed to meet workforce demands and local economic development interests, Yenduri said.
The 30-credit hour online program supports student success through an affordable and flexible format with a wide range of electives, said Chelsea McNeely, director of Southeast Online.
“Southeast Online is dedicated to offering education and services relevant to industry professionals,” she said. “In addition to serving industry in the region, we believe this type of program could have a national and even international appeal.”
Additionally, the program offers affordability and flexibility. Students pay one tuition rate, $347.25 per credit hour, regardless of in-state or out-of-state status. The design of this curriculum is particularly exciting because it doesn’t require individuals to have an academic background in computer science, and students can earn an advanced degree on their own schedule, added McNeely.
“Through hands-on exposure to a variety of computer systems, tools and techniques, the graduate program provides excellent preparation for students seeking careers in software-related computing fields,” said Yenduri. “Course work includes artificial intelligence, software development, data analytics, emerging and converging technologies, cloud computing and much more.”
The U.S. Department of Labor expects computer science related jobs to continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future, Yenduri said.
“As our digital footprint continues to integrate into every aspect of our life across multiple industries, there will always be a need for skilled professionals to create the necessary software and programs,” he said.
Students with advanced degree in applied computer science will see that high demand for expertise translates into job offers, added Yenduri. Companies such as Amazon, Apple, AT&T, the U.S. Department of Defense, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon have hired Southeast graduates.
For more information about Southeast’s online Master of Science in applied computer science, visit Southeast Online or call (573) 651-2766.