by Kim Wall
The University of New Hampshire will be offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science & Entrepreneurship at the Manchester campus beginning this fall. The Computer Science & Entrepreneurship program combines a foundation in computer science with the entrepreneurial and business skills necessary to succeed in today’s start-up and high-tech environments. The program was designed in response to market demand for graduates proficient in computer science with skills in business. “There is such a great need for computing professionals,” says Mihaela Sabin, associate professor of computer science and coordinator of the Computing Technology program at UNH Manchester. “The competitiveness of our country depends on our ability to compete in computer technology areas.” “Computer science is not just for geeks. It’s for creative, diverse, problem solvers. The new program emphasizes communication and collaboration on real-world projects sponsored by local industry,” says Sabin. According to Matt Pierson, local industry leader, UNH Manchester’s new program offers students the best of both worlds—a solid computer science education with business experience. “Students will be graduating with the skills to develop their own start-up concept, and they’ll also be highly desirable employees for other start-ups,” says Pierson. Pierson is Managing Partner with 10XVenture Partners and Managing Director of Dunn Rush & Co. LLC, former President of the NH High Tech Council, and he also serves on the board of directors for the NH Charitable Foundation and the NH High Tech Council. “As a state, we are producing three to eight times fewer computer science graduates than New Hampshire’s employer base needs,” says Pierson. “There is a huge mismatch between supply and demand. They are in high demand with above average salaries. According to NH Employment Security, graduates can expect to earn $55K-$65K after graduation, and more than $90K within five years." Pierson says the location is also a major benefit. “Students will be taking classes and doing internships in an area surrounded by computer oriented employers,” says Pierson. “This is an ideal geographic location to begin job networking.” The Computer Science & Entrepreneurship program will require students to complete three industry sponsored project courses. “These courses will help students build experience and expand their resume while networking with local industry experts,” says Michael Jonas, assistant professor of computer science at UNH Manchester. The courses include an Entrepreneurship project where students develop a project with entrepreneurial value and develop a business plan to pitch to venture capitalists, along with a junior Internship course and a senior Capstone project focusing on new venture creation. Students interested in learning more about the program are invited to attend an open house on Saturday, February 15, or request more information online.
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