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Bethel Announces Computer Engineering Major for Fall 2018

Bethel Announces Computer Engineering Major for Fall 2018

Students can declare a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering major beginning in fall 2018.

It goes without saying that computers and specialized microprocessors are playing an ever-expanding role in our daily lives. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 21 percent increase in computer design and installation positions by 2024, with an average starting salary of $100,000. With that booming industry in mind, Bethel is excited to announce its third standalone engineering program, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Engineering.

The new degree brings together elements from Bethel’s other new engineering programs, electrical engineering and software engineering, giving students exposure to the whole spectrum of software and hardware development but greater control in deciding exactly which kind of career they’d like to pursue.

“Students will work closely with faculty who’ve specialized in both areas—it’s really a cross-disciplinary major,” says Department of Physics and Engineering Chair and Professor Brian Beecken. “These fields are all connected. There’s such synergy between them, and we’re creating symbiotic programs that serve our students well as they look toward  the jobs of tomorrow.”

Like electrical engineering and software engineering, the computer engineering program culminates in the Engineering Design Seminar and Engineering Design Project, where students from different specialties with diverse interests and personalities come together to work on an actual design project for an external industry partner. One of the benefits of the hands-on learning model is that students will need to meet a real client’s design specifications, present their work in a compelling way, and learn to collaborate with others from a variety of fields. It’s an intentionally crafted component of Bethel’s growing suite of engineering programs, and one that flows naturally out of the close working relationship between the Department of Math and Computer Science and the Department of Physics and Engineering at Bethel.

Bethel’s STEM programs, on the whole, expose students to state-of-the-art lab spaces and have a unique focus on student-faculty research opportunities—enabled in part by Bethel’s small class sizes and learning that’s tailored to students’ interest. As Bethel continues to add majors and faculty from diverse specialties, students’ opportunities grow exponentially. 

“We now offer students this smooth continuum of experiences and expertise from fundamental physics to applied physics to atomic and molecular optics, to nanotechnology and fluid mechanics, to computer and electrical engineering, software engineering, and math,” Beecken explains. “College is about figuring out what you want to do, exploring options, and getting informed about what’s out there. And we’re really building out the whole package—this complete circle where students can plug in.”

Faculty have noticed that incoming students usually have an aptitude or interest in engineering but sometimes don’t understand the intricacies of the job market. So Bethel’s new tech and engineering majors are intentionally designed to start out open-ended.

“The first two years are almost the same in all of our computer science majors, so it’s possible to put together a schedule that that keeps all the doors open,” adds Department of Math and Computer Science Associate Professor and Chair Nathan Gossett. “Students at Bethel get a great foundation in engineering, but also an incredibly well-rounded experience. They take humanities courses. They learn how to do presentations and communicate well in front of a group. It’s a really good and powerful combination of skill sets to have—and you just don’t get that at other schools.”

Students also take a Careers in Physics and Engineering and/or Careers in Math and Computer Science course early in each of Bethel’s engineering programs. They’re designed exclusively to introduce students to successful alumni who work in a variety of industries and help them reflect on what they’ve discovered. Then faculty advisors walk with students as they select a major, line up coursework, and develop research plans that will set them up for success in their future career.

New students may declare a major in Computer Engineering beginning in fall 2018. Current students who are interested in declaring an additional major—or switching majors entirely—should discuss the option with their academic advisors.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, or view a complete list ofBethel’s undergraduate majors.