Half of the courses for each certificate will be held on The Citadel’s campus, and half will be held at CofC’s Harbor Walk campus in the Aquarium Wharf area. All classes will be held in the evening.
According to a study (.pdf) by the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, software and information technology are among the fastest-growing industries in the Lowcountry. The study, which came out in 2016, predicted an annual shortage of 717 employees in the software and information technology sector over the next 10 years.
“There are a lot of companies here that need this skill set,” said Shankar Banik, director of the graduate computer science program at The Citadel.
Banik said the certificate program is designed to address the needs of Lowcountry employers without forcing students to commit to a full graduate degree. Each graduate certificate is four courses, and the certificate in information systems takes only a year to complete. The certificate in software engineering can take up to two years because of prerequisite requirements.
“A lot of students don’t have time to complete the whole graduate program, which is 32 credit hours, because of different constraints,” Banik said. “So a lot of students in our program start with the certificate program, which is only four courses and 12 credit hours, so they can finish the certificate program very quickly.”
He added, though, that students who receive the certificates can use those credits toward a full graduate degree if they want.
“All these programs are stackable, which means they (the students) get the certificate in four courses, and when they convert it to a master’s program, all four courses will be counted towards the master’s program,” Banik said.
The graduate certificates are available to students starting this semester. Registration is currently underway for the summer and fall semesters.