The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education has approved two new majors for the College of Charleston. Beginning in the fall 2022 semester, students will be able to earn a Bachelor of Science in software engineering and a Bachelor of Science in statistics.
“Building out the College of Charleston’s portfolio of technical degree programs is essential to supporting the current and future workforce needs in the Lowcountry and in South Carolina more broadly,” says Sebastian van Delden, dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics. “The addition of these two new majors is an important milestone in the College of Charleston’s trajectory to becoming the primary provider of engineering, computer science, data science and statistical analysis talent in the state of South Carolina.”
The new software engineering degree program will be the only such degree offered in South Carolina. In a partnership between the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs and the School of Sciences and Mathematics, the new degree will require students to complete computer science coursework, software engineering courses and a minor in foreign language/cultural studies.
Renee McCauley, chair of the Department of Computer Science, says this new degree will help graduates better adapt to the ever-changing workplace.
“Most computing graduates become software engineers when they enter the workforce. This is one of the most common types of careers, but traditional computing degrees do not necessarily fully prepare students for such a career – making the onboarding process more lengthy,” says McCauley. “Having a degree program specifically in software engineering adds a new dimension of instruction that targets this key career pathway, differentiating the Department of Computer Science as a leader in this space.”
According to a recent report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development positions are expected to grow by 22% in the next eight years. Currently, there are over 400 open positions for software engineers in South Carolina with over 80 of those jobs in the Charleston area.
The Department of Mathematics will house the new degree in statistics.
The new degree will be the retooling of the department’s longstanding statistics concentration to establish a stand-alone statistics major. The new major will consist of the current existing courses, with the addition of a capstone requirement.
Department of Mathematics Chair Elizabeth Jurisich says creating a stand-alone major in statistics will greatly enhance the College of Charleston’s ability to market this program and grow the technical workforce pipeline for the Lowcountry and beyond.
“For students who choose the B.S. in statistics as their major, their specialty will be communicated more clearly to potential employers, research and internship supervisors, and graduate programs,” says Jurisich. “This will make it easier for students to combine the major with various complementary minors including economics, data science and biology, to name a few.”
A recent report finds that statisticians are currently one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 34% increase in statistics jobs over the next eight years.