Western Carolina University’s Computer Science Program is a natural home for students interested in careers in programming, networking and other cutting-edge technological fields. The program also prepares students for graduate school. Through an engaging, in-depth curriculum, students immerse themselves in their studies under the guidance of a faculty committed to excellence in teaching. Coursework integrates diverse computing and software development topics and nurtures skills in the communication of ideas. The job market is excellent: the growth in job demand is expected to continue to exceed the number of graduates. Graduates often become software developers or system or database administrators.
The curriculum prepares students for careers in areas that are highly technical and in near-constant flux. Students learn how to think critically and creatively to address complex problems, and how to communicate with colleagues and clients. Paired with coursework from WCU's Liberal Studies Program, the curriculum is composed of natural science, mathematics, computer science, and electrical and computer engineering technology courses. All students participate in a capstone experience in which they develop a software product to address real problems in industry and the community. Many students undertake a summer internship for academic credit with companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Students may also choose to get involved in several student-conceived organizations that range in interest from computer science to a Macintosh Users Group.
Graduates find employment in industry, finance, government and education. Thanks to their academic and practical experience, graduates can pursue a wide range of career specialties such as programmer, software engineer, systems analyst, database manager, network administrator, system or website designer, security expert, or teacher. Many graduates choose to enter graduate school in order to deepen their knowledge and further expand their career opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software and applications developer occupations are projected to be among the job areas of most growth between 2012 and 2022, while information security analyst job occupations are projected to be among the fastest growing areas for the same time period. Job growth is projected at 22.8 percent for developers and 36.5 percent for analysts.