Oklahoma City University will add a software engineering degree in the fall, aiming to prepare students for a burgeoning job market in the field.
The program will include a business track, giving programmers a marketing background to help them better understand and collaborate with companies.
Bob Greve, director of the Love's Entrepreneurship Center at the university, said the blend of business and software engineering will help students better serve their future employers.
“I might be building an application for an accounting operation or a marketing group, and if I can understand the problem, I can get to a better solution,” Greve said.
The program will teach students to manage budgets, resources and people, he said, closing a communication gap between coders and companies.
Steve Agee, dean of OCU's Meinders School of Business, said he expects many new students to enroll at the school in hopes of a career in software engineering, one of the fastest-growing fields in the country.
“We've already got inquiries from all over the state,” Agee said.
The degree has been approved for undergraduate students and should be approved for graduate students soon, he said.
The program was created after a consultant reviewed OCU's curriculum and saw a need for a software engineering program, Greve said.
The university is not taking on any new professors to staff the program, he said. Seven members of the business school faculty will teach software engineering: three from the computer science department, and three from information technology.
Agee said the school is glad to be able to provide a well-trained supply of software engineering students to the business community.
“We're really excited about this,” he said. “This is kind of a new door.”