The University of Indianapolis will begin offering bachelor’s degrees in engineering in the fall of 2016 to meet a rising demand in central Indiana.
The degrees in industrial engineering and software engineering are specialties that university officials say are not widely available in the region. Previously, the school has only offered engineering degrees in partnership with other universities.
“We have a history of creating programs that connect the academy to the world around it, just as we established schools of education, nursing, adult learning, psychology, and physical and occupational therapy and built them into respected national models,” UIndy President Robert Manuel said in a statement.
Currently, industrial engineer ranks 24th on the state’s list of Hot 50 jobs. Software engineer does not appear on the list but five other computer-related jobs do, meaning the industry is among the hottest in the state.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software engineers is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020. Systems software developers, one career path for software engineers, earned a mean annual salary of $84,950 in Indiana and $106,050 nationally in 2014.
Industrial engineers earned a 2014 mean salary of $72,170 in Indiana and $85,110 nationally. Career options include operations management, facility management and systems analysis.
The announcement comes a few months after Indiana University announced it would create an engineering program on its Bloomington campus. That program’s first two degrees will also launch during the 2016-2017 school year.
Currently, Purdue University has the fourth highest number of engineering students in the country, according to the American Society for Engineering Education. In addition, the private Rose Hulman Institute of Technology has been ranked the top undergraduate engineering college by U.S. News & World Report. In all, 22 schools in Indiana provide some kind of engineering education.
At UIndy, Deborah Balogh, the school’s executive vice president and provost, said students will not only receive technical education but preparation to be leaders as well.
“Increasingly, employers are emphasizing the need for strong, broad-based skills in communication, critical thinking, problem solving and global awareness, in addition to a specialized knowledge base,” Balogh said in a written statement. “These are precisely the skills that we develop, with an intensive, problem-based and team-based design component built upon the liberal arts foundation provided by our Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences.”
School officials say the software engineering curriculum will prepare graduates to design, develop and evaluate large-scale software systems with the goals of cost-effectiveness, efficiency and reliability throughout the software life cycle. Industrial engineering will prepare graduates to design, develop and evaluate the complex systems involved in the processing and delivery of a range of products and services.
Students will finish the program by completing a significant engineering project in partnership with a private industry partner.
The program will be housed in the university’s Martin Hall. Engineering students will have the opportunity to live in a dedicated space in a campus residence hall.