“Across the United States there are close to 700,000 jobs open, but there are only about 80,000 college graduates with the skill set to fill those positions,” said Paige Meeker, a professor in the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences and coordinator of two new programs being offered through the Communication program at Anderson. “We want to prepare our students to do well at AU and also be financially independent and secure that job.”
The new programs—one in app development and another in game development—are being offered in response to the demands of quickly growing and high paying fields in the development of digital applications and gaming. According to Meeker, app development has existed as a minor and certificate program available to all majors for a few years now.
The two new bachelor’s degree programs starting this fall will dive more deeply, with the objective of preparing graduates possessing an advanced understanding of how to create intuitive, engaging, secure applications. Graduates will also be prepared to advance in this ever growing and changing sector of the marketplace.
Coding: App Development
The Coding: App Development degree program will include courses in coding, programming in multiple languages (including Swift, Java, and Python), web development, algorithms and data structures, mobile interface design and security. There will also be an app development capstone project.
Meeker noted that, through the capstone project, students will conduct user testing and gain experience collaborating with industries that would use the technology.
Coding: Game Development
The Coding: Game Development degree program will include courses in game design, the cognitive psychology of games, coding, content and system design, algorithms and data structures, mobile interface design and security.
A liberal arts background, according to Meeker, is an indispensable foundation for someone considering a career in coding.
“It really plays a big role because you need to be able to understand and speak to a lot of fields. In game development, a story makes a huge difference behind most games now. People don’t just go around and blast spaceships or monsters or eat dots. They also want great graphics and designs, so you need artists and people with those skill sets. You need folks who can code behind the scenes of the game. That’s what this major is all about,” she said, adding that gaming isn’t just valuable for entertainment but also educational applications that can motivate students to learn.
Both degree programs offer students a high degree of flexibility, according to their interests, in pursuing opportunities to do research or go into an internship for academic credit. According to Meeker, the research path is ideal for someone wishing to further their education in a graduate program, while internships can be a great first step for landing a good job upon graduation.
As an Apple Distinguished School, Anderson University is committed to offering programs designed to help students prepare for opportunities to be successful in innovative industries in the tech world.
Details about coding and app development, offered through the Anderson University College of Arts and Sciences, can be found online.