The Austin Community College District (ACC) will launch the college’s second bachelor’s degree program in spring 2020. The ACC Board of Trustees approved the new Bachelor in Applied Science in Computer Information Technology during its regular May meeting, Monday, May 6.
The program is designed for IT professionals who want to advance their careers. The college worked closely with its industry partners to identify three specializations in Software Development, Cybersecurity, or Data Science.
“With more tech employers calling Central Texas home, the demand for skilled employees is growing. It’s our mission to provide a pathway for our local community to gain the skills they need to get these high-paying jobs ,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president/CEO. “This new bachelor’s degree provides a flexible and affordable opportunity for professionals to take the next step in careers here at home.”
The tech industry has grown almost 25 percent over the past five years in Central Texas. Currently there are more than 8,100 job openings in Computer Science/IT, and demand is expected to continue to grow. Major firms with thousands of employees struggle to find the workforce with appropriate skills to fill technology positions.
"IBM is excited with the prospect of ACC's new Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Information Technology. As our Austin region grows, technology companies throughout Central Texas support initiatives to grow the local workforce through affordable skills-driven academic experience,” says Sandy Dochen, IBM manager of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Kudos to ACC for understanding this need and creating this strong new career pathway quickly and decisively. "
The bridge program is available to professionals who already have an associate degree. Online, in-class, and hybrid courses — where students work both online and meet in class at scheduled times — are available. Currently, the only other options in Central Texas are face-to-face courses.
The degree plan was developed with input from an industry advisory committee with representation from: IBM, Dell, Cisco, Saberdata, Samsung, and more. It must now receive approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. If approved, the first cohort would begin in spring 2020 with 60 students.
For more information about careers and programs in Computer Science and IT, visit austincc.edu/computerscience.