BY Lake Sydney08 July 2022, 12:52
The Tennessee Theater in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, seen in May 2020. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett—Bloomberg/Getty Images)
Over the next decade, computer scientist roles are expected to grow 22%, nearly three times faster than all other occupations, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, these highly technical jobs often require training beyond a bachelor’s degree. To meet the growing demand for people trained in applied cybersecurity, data mining and intelligent systems, and software engineering, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville announced plans in late June to launch a online masters degree in computer science.
“There is a huge national need right now for people with a computer science background, coming from almost every sector of the economy,” said Matthew Mench, Dean of UTK’s Tickle College of Engineering and Chair of Dean Wayne T Davis from college. Fortune. “Our goal is to help meet this demand by creating new pathways to education, such as creating the highest quality online program at UT Knoxville.”
UTK has partnered with edtech company Noodle for its online computer science masters program, which is now accepting applications for a start this fall. The school has also partnered with Noodle for its online MBA program, which the school announced would launch in late May, as well as its online master’s in supply chain management. The University of Tennessee—Knoxville also offers a full-time MBA program, which Fortune ranks 41st in the nation, as well as a Professional MBA program and an Executive MBA program.
The Computer Science program is designed to meet the needs of a variety of students
University of Tennessee – Knoxville officials eventually decided to offer the master’s degree in computer science program online to open up the program to students who could not otherwise attend, including military personnel and those who were unable to relocate to Knoxville due to work or personal restrictions.
However, “the program will be just as rigorous as in-person learning, with the same lessons, requirements, and even faculty being part of the on-campus and online versions of the degree,” according to the university.
The program, which is based in the Min. H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, can be completed in as little as two years.
While school officials anticipate that many potential students will come to the program with at least a basic understanding of computing, the program will likely attract interest from a variety of student backgrounds. In addition, these online students will be able to adapt their training to their interests by choosing three concentrations: applied cybersecurity, data mining and intelligent systems, or software engineering.
“The three pathways of study that have been chosen are the specific things employers in the state of Tennessee require and also what students are looking for,” UTK officials said in a statement.
How to register
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville does not require a GRE score to apply for its online computer science master’s program, but applicants must submit a statement of purpose, transcript, and updated resume. Recommendation letters are optional.
Applications for the first cohort, which will begin this fall, are due July 15. The approximate cost for an in-state student for the entire program is $21,120, and the cost for an out-of-state student is estimated at $23,370.
“It is our mission as a land-grant university to create economic and educational opportunity for those across the state of Tennessee,” said Greg Peterson, principal of Min. H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, tells Fortune. “Through this program, we will respond to demand from employers and employees in areas of ever-increasing need that are becoming even more vital to the modern economy.”