The 21st century came with a technological revolution that never left. In 2022, digitisation and virtualisation are expected to continue advancing businesses and societies at an accelerated rate. Hence, professionals with the know-how to innovate advancements and navigate ones to come are set to stay in demand for decades.
Thankfully, several are learning to fill the gap at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) — and each is top notch. This is an institution that has continuously proved its commitment to being the ultimate leader for competitive, innovative, and market-responsive computing and informatics education — evident through its extended efforts to stay at the forefront of solving global challenges.
For instance, in 2021, professors Cynthia Gibas and Jessica Schlueter spent many days and nights in one of the CCI’s state-of-the-art laboratories, leading the university’s search to identify and understand the spread of new coronavirus strains in the Charlotte area. In collaboration with the Mecklenburg County Health Department, they used a lab process called “sequencing” to predict the virus’s next local move.
“We get to act like graduate students up here at nine o’clock, loading sequencing chips and eating pizza waiting for data to come off the machine,” Schlueter recalls. Understandably so — after all, this is exactly how experiential a CCI education is, both inside and outside the classroom.
CCI is an industry authority when it comes to partnerships and collaborations. Little wonder why its students graduate as household names. Many are frequently targeted by Fortune 500 organisations for full-time employment.
These connections bloom from internships and mentoring relationships established by CCI’s Business Partners programme, which tirelessly fills the college’s network with esteemed businesses. 2021 partners include Duke Energy, Allstate, Syntelli Solutions, Lowe’s, Bank of America, Kingsmen Software, and Deutsche Bank, amongst many others.
CCI’s Master of Science in Computer Science programme is the Mid-Atlantic’s fastest-growing and most diverse. Source: UNC Charlotte
These partnerships have proven fruitful time and time again. In April 2021, Lowe’s and UNC Charlotte announced a US$1.5 million donation to CCI to create a new faculty position for researching Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning — advocating future-focused student research in the process.
Making world-changing discoveries alongside the industry’s finest and accessing top-of-the-line facilities has never been easier thanks to CCI’s MS Computer Science programme. The qualification is the Mid-Atlantic’s fastest-growing and most diverse, designed to equip students with advanced competencies and knowledge in planning, design, implementation, testing, and management of computer systems, applications, and infrastructures.
Collectively, these skills lay a solid foundation for aspiring professionals with their sights set on employment in the high-tech industry — proven by 95% of graduates that secure job placement. Similar success is ensured to aspirants who opt for the MS Bioinformatics, MS CyberSecurity, PSM Data Science, PSM Health Informatics, or MS Information Technology instead.
Of course, doctoral excellence is an option too –– especially since UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics conducts active research in 3D HCI, Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Cognitive Science, Computer Science Education, Computer Vision, Data Mining, Game Design, Graphics, and more. Qualifying master’s graduates could remain at CCI to pursue a PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology or a PhD in Computing and Information Systems.
UNC Charlotte does everything in its power to ensure students stay prepared for today’s openings and tomorrow’s. Source: UNC Charlotte
The best part? All programmes are situated in North Carolina, an emerging tech hub crawling with startups. The COVID-19 pandemic has only added to the boom. Many tech companies are embracing remote work, meaning they are no longer forking out the big bucks for rent and neither are their well-paid employees. Additionally, Charlotte’s massive banking sector is paving the way for jobs in fintech.
UNC Charlotte does everything in its power to ensure students stay prepared for these openings. In 2021, the university introduced three new degree programmes, each designed in-line with the current and future job market: The BS in Data Science (an interdisciplinary partnership between CCI and the Belk College of Business); the BA in Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies; and the MS in Computer Engineering.
“UNC Charlotte has a long history of being nimble in adapting to the evolving needs of our students and our community with relevant and future-oriented academic programmes,” says Joan Lorden, who serves as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
“These new programmes are designed to respond to industry needs, provide excellent opportunities for current and prospective students, and help strengthen our region’s workforce.”
If you’re ready to fast-track your journey to computer science mastery, click here to learn more about UNC Charlotte’s dynamic College of Computing and Informatics.