Rivier University has launched two new 4+1 STEM programs to address the U.S. shortage of highly skilled computer science professionals. Beginning in fall 2020, students enrolled in Rivier’s B.S. in Cybersecurity Management or B.A. in Mathematics can earn a Master of Science in Computer Science with just one additional year of study. The new 4+1 programs offer graduates a fast track to rewarding careers in information security and technology.
“Rivier’s commitment to innovation in the sciences extends to multiple STEM disciplines,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President. “These 4+1 programs will place more qualified professionals into the workforce early in their careers. The programs will support market demand and advance the career trajectory of our graduates.”
The launch of the new 4+1 programs coincides with the opening of the University’s new 35,000 square-foot Science and Innovation Center. The facility will offer students state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment, learning spaces, and technology to foster active learning and expanded student and faculty research.
The B.S. in Cybersecurity Management is an interdisciplinary degree with courses in cybersecurity, computer science, business, and homeland and international security. The program focuses on skills to defend against, respond to, and recover from data breaches and cyberattacks.
The B.S. in Mathematics focuses on pure and applied mathematics, with internship and computer science electives. Students learn to apply mathematical concepts, methods, functions, and models to solve real-world problems. The M.S. in Computer Science curriculum develops advanced computing skills and the ability to apply those skills in solving critical business and security issues.
“These programs sharpen critical thinking, analytical, and creative problem-solving skills,” says Dr. Vladimir Riabov, Professor of Computer Science and Department Coordinator. “Entering the workforce with a master’s degree in Computer Science prepares graduates for higher-level projects across a range of industries. They are able to immediately contribute to their organizations’ knowledge base and goals.”
Currently, companies have difficulty finding highly skilled technology workers, and median annual salaries for master’s-level positions often exceed $100,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for computer occupations will grow much faster than average at 12% between 2018 and 2028, compared to a 5% growth rate for all occupations, compounding the industry shortage.