ASU and Coursera create online program to meet high demand for computer scientists

Arizona State University and online learning platform Coursera have partnered to create an online Master of Computer Science degree that will be offered this fall.

Professor Sandeep Gupta, director of ASU’s School of Computing, Informatics, & Decision Systems Engineering, explained in an email that this program was created to produce experienced graduates who can fill the enormous need for qualified computer scientists. According to Code.org, there are about 500,000 open computing jobs across the nation while fewer than 50,000 computer science students graduated in the last year.

“We are setting our program apart by working with industry partners to align our online degree program with the skills employers are looking for to make sure we have a positive effect on closing the global workforce demand,” Gupta said. “By focusing on key areas of computer science, we want to provide a high-quality, rigorous solution to help close this gap.”

The online program will be offering about 20 graduate-level courses to students accepted into the program this fall, and there will also be a few online classes open to anyone interested in the subject. Students who complete the online program receive the same Master of Computer Science degree that in-person ASU students do – the degree can be fully completed online.

The online program will offer much flexibility to enrolled students. Class materials will be accessible through a mobile app, and students can communicate with professors through weekly video calls and peers and mentors with Slack messaging groups.

By offering this graduate degree online, Gupta and his colleagues hope to make the program financially viable to a larger group of interested students.

“Through our partnership with Coursera to offer the Master of Computer Science degree online,” he said, “we are hoping to bring our degree program to a much larger audience at an affordable cost. Additionally, ASU offers many forms of financial support such as scholarships, grants, loans, etc. to help support enrolled students.”

Gupta said that the program has already received interest from 2,800 prospective students in the U.S. and abroad. Graduates of the in-person program have gone on to work for companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, and IBM.

The program consists of 30 credit hours and ten classes, each 7.5 weeks long. The current cost is $500 per credit hour or $15,000 of tuition and fees to complete the program. Those interested can fill out a form on the program’s website.

Jessica Swarner

Author: Jessica Swarner

Jessica is a recent graduate of ASU where she studied political science and journalism. She is currently a researcher at a local cybersecurity company. Her hobbies include reading up on hacker forums on Tor and giving unsolicited podcast recommendations.

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