Dakota State to Offer New Graduate Degree in Applied Computer Science
The South Dakota Board of Regents has approved a new graduate degree for Dakota State University in applied computer science. The Madison school will use distance technology to deliver it, allowing more people to pursue an advanced degree while employed.
The degree program will be offered starting this fall.
“Expansion of graduate education is critical to further developing South Dakota’s workforce,” explained Jack Warner, the regents’ executive director and CEO. “People need advanced degrees to move ahead in their careers and to develop professionally within their chosen fields. These programs also employ graduate students who then support faculty with teaching and research assistance,” Warner said.
Use of computers continues to grow in business and industry, and South Dakota has identified high-tech industries as a focus for its economic development efforts. Warner said that generates a need for more professionals with advanced computer training, which the applied computer science degree will support.
“The applied nature of this degree combines the study of computer science with a hands-on approach, by applying computer science theory to business and other real-world problems,” he said. This degree prepares graduates for careers in applied computer science, software engineering, and information security, including positions such as software architect, network analyst, senior applications developer, database administrator, and systems analyst.
Employers across this state and region have a strong record of hiring Dakota State’s undergraduate computer science majors, said Board of Regents President Kathryn Johnson. “These companies have expressed interest in hiring more master’s-level graduates, along with undergraduates,” she said. In addition, the National Security Agency indicated it would be interested in designating this new degree as one of its preferred graduate programs, if a specialization in cyber operations is included.
The program is an excellent fit for Dakota State, with its statutory mission of educating South Dakota’s workforce in computer management, computer information systems, electronic data processing, and related fields. This degree joins five master’s-level degrees and one doctoral degree, all in computer- and business-related fields, previously approved at Dakota State University.