Georgia Southern University has been given approval by the state to begin offering six new degree programs in its College of Engineering and Information Technology.
The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents voted Tuesday to allow the school to offer undergraduate degrees in both computer and construction engineering and graduate degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering and information technology.
Mohammad Davoud, dean of the college, said that the programs will help grow local education in two in-demand fields of engineering. The recommendation considered by the Regents this week showed projections of more than 1,000 jobs requiring computer engineering backgrounds being created in Georgia over the next three years. Demand for construction engineers is booming, too. The university’s pitch to the Regents cited figures projecting more than 17,000 job openings in the field during a 12-year period from 2012-2024.
“We have not been producing those types of graduates, and the industry is starving for those types of graduates,” Davoud said Thursday.
An aim will be to keep students in the region.
“Every year, we have a large number of students who transfer from Georgia Southern to other universities in this state and other states to receive computer engineering and other degrees, so we decided … we should have our own program,” Davoud said.
There’s especial interest in computer engineers as the U.S. Army relocates its Cyber Command headquarters to Fort Gordon near Augusta. The installation’s new cyber missions are expected to create 4,700 military and civilian positions, according to a 2016 report in the Augusta Chronicle. The growth could grow Fort Gordon’s employment 250 to 375 employees per year over the next two decades, and officials in the area are promoting…