College will Lead Penn State's First Online Engineering Degree.

College will Lead Penn State's First Online Engineering Degree.
College will Lead Penn State's First Online Engineering Degree.

Penn State’s first online bachelor’s degree in engineering will be taught by faculty members at Penn State Behrend. Classes will begin in August, at the start of the fall semester.

The online software engineering program is being offered through Penn State World Campus. Courses will be taught by Penn State Behrend faculty members, who will modify course material that also is offered in traditional formats on campus in Erie. The college’s software engineering program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

The online degree program comes at a time of increased demand for software engineering jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs is projected to increase 17 percent through 2024, a rate that is much faster than the average for all jobs in the country. The bureau attributes the rapid growth forecast to the increasing demand for computer software, including applications on mobile devices and tablets.

“Software has tremendously reshaped our world and our everyday lives,” said Xiaocong Fan, associate professor of software engineering and lead faculty member for the program. “Whether it’s small devices or gigantic spaceships, office automation or social networking, online education or e-commerce, software engineers empower things with intangible but innovative applications to make them smarter, faster and better.”

Students will learn software construction principles, computing skills and project leadership through hands-on projects. They will study computer programming, software design, validation and verification, software security and computer networking.

The online degree can help prepare students to become a software developer, computer systems analyst or video game designer, among other jobs.

“We’re very proud to add our first bachelor’s degree in engineering to the high-quality degree programs that we offer online,” said Sonya Leitzell, director of academic affairs at Penn State World Campus. “For adult learners who want a Penn State engineering degree but don’t live near one of our campuses, they now have an option that can help them advance their careers.”

To learn more about the new software engineering degree, visit the Penn State World Campus website.