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UW Applied Computing Degree Designed to Help Solve the IT Workforce Gap

Wisconsin’s economy becomes more tech-based every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the IT field are projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, and it is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. Yet, despite the demand for IT professionals and the fact that these jobs often pay very well, many employers in Wisconsin, and nationwide, have difficulty filling IT positions.

UW System’s new online Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing degree program was designed to fill a recognized shortage in the workforce, providing the region with expertly trained IT professionals who can take computer science from theory to practice. “We launched the online applied computing degree to attract more adults into the growing IT field,” said David Schejbal, dean of the Division of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning at UW-Extension, which administers the program. “The online format means students can balance work with their studies, and ultimately, earn a degree that opens the door to new possibilities.”

The 61-credit online bachelor’s degree completion program was developed in partnership with five campuses, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, and UW-Stevens Point, and launched in September 2017.

Top University of Wisconsin System computer science faculty joined forces with industry experts to shape a comprehensive curriculum that builds both technical and leadership skills, preparing graduates to drive business-critical decisions and guide teams. Technical courses cover software design and development, database management, systems analysis and design, and object-oriented programming, among others. Leadership courses build a strong foundation in business and communications, focusing on accounting, human resources, marketing, project management, and operations.

For the final course, students apply what they learn in a hands-on capstone project at a business or organization. These projects often lead to job opportunities and build valuable professional connections. In-demand job titles that graduates will be qualified for include: computer support specialist, computer and information systems manager, systems analyst, security analyst, web developer, database administrator, and software developer.

The online format makes it easier for those already in the IT field—as well as career changers—to qualify to fill open positions around the state.

Learn more about the online Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing by visiting appliedcomputing.wisconsin.edu.

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