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New computer science degree helps fill job growth demand

IU Kokomo to offer four-year degree, starting students on path to high-wage, in-demand careers

(This article originally appeared in the IU Kokomo newsroom: iute.ch/2mbpcED.)

KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo will offer a computer science degree beginning this fall semester—allowing students access to a high-paying, fast-growing career field in the state and across the country.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved the four-year degree, which will help fill some of the gap for computer science graduates in every sector, from manufacturing to banking, from agriculture to health care.

Classes begin this fall for IU Kokomo's new computer science major.

Christian Chauret, dean of the School of Sciences, said there are not enough people earning computer science degrees to fill the jobs available.

“We strongly believe there is a need for a computer science degree in our region,” he said. “The technological field is the wave of the future, and computer science specialists will have plenty of jobs. This degree helps us fulfill the demand.”

He noted that Forbes designated Indianapolis as one of the top 10 metro areas for technology growth. Jobs available to computer science graduates, including software developer, computer programmer, computer and information systems manager, and network and computer systems administrator, are among the Hoosier Hot 50 Jobs. This list of the 50 fastest growing, high-wage jobs of tomorrow, published by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, is based on expected demand and wages in 2022.

Classes will begin this fall for IU Kokomo's new computer science major.

The median annual wage for computer and information research scientists was $108,360 per year in 2015, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, of $35,540, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There are a lot of tech jobs in Indianapolis,” Chauret said. “We’re not Silicon Valley, but we’re in the top 10. It’s an area where quality of life is good, real estate is reasonably priced, and people can earn this degree and have a fulfilling career.”

Campus leaders anticipate strong interest in the program. Among current high school juniors and seniors who scored a 1030 or above on the SAT, and live within 50 miles of Kokomo, nearly 750 expressed interest in a computer science degree.

IU Kokomo provides an excellent opportunity to earn this degree, in a program that will include not only classroom experience, but also hands-on internship opportunities. Students also benefit from professional development trips such as a recent visit to Google headquarters in Chicago last fall.

“We have small classrooms, and we get to know our students,” said Chauret. “It’s a well-respected IU degree on a small campus, with faculty who work with students to help them reach their goals.”

The computer science degree complements the informatics program that has been offered at IU Kokomo since 2007. In general, students in computer science specialize in the design of effective software and hardware technologies that provide computational systems, while those in informatics study the intersection of people and technology, and focus on solving problems through the implementation of computing tools.

For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree, and IU Kokomo’s 60 other baccalaureate programs, contact the Office of Admissions at 765-455-9217 or go to iuk.edu.