Aerial picture of students working at a computer.Technology is a constantly growing field of interest and study, and Holy Cross College is staying current with a new computer science minor.


“The Holy Cross College computer science minor through five courses, gives students the option to learn an introductory level of a broad array of topics in computer science and theory or focus on a specific group of courses including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analytics, ethics, and programming languages without having to fully commit to a computer science major,” said Matthew Cloud, Professor of the Practice, Computer Science.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. These opportunities will add about 531,200 new jobs. Demand for workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.


In courses ranging from computer security to principles of artificial intelligence to algorithm development, Holy Cross computer science minors hone their programming skills and learn to apply the latest technology to real-world problems.


“Students in the computer science minor will learn about the theory behind computer science, including the mathematical basis, while also being able to apply practical skills using the liberal arts philosophy to guide them and reduce bias,” said Cloud. “They will have the knowledge to be able to automate tasks through at least one language, but as well know how to use artificial intelligence to enhance their roles.”


Holy Cross College has three goals in creating a minor in the computer science field.


“One, it allows students to add the critical skills in computer science needed in any industry and provide for interesting combinations such as a biology major with a computer science minor could go into the field of bioinformatics. Another example is business students could focus on data analytics by combining the computer science minor. Two, students looking to transfer to the University of Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s College would be able to transfer to the Data Science, Data Analytics and the Computer Science Engineering programs,” noted Cloud. “Finally, the minor is the first step in establishing a full computer science major which should be in place by Fall 2022 with an emphasis on data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. Students who find interest in computer science through a minor will be able to easily continue towards a bachelor’s degree in computer science or complete a master’s in computer science, data science, or data analytics quicker.”


“The computer science courses will be infused with artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity throughout. According to (sponsored by the National Security Agency), there is an overwhelming current need for people to enter the cybersecurity field. Forbes has projected there will be 58 million new jobs which are AI-enhanced jobs by 2022. The World Economic Forum projects 133 million new roles may emerge as companies shake up their division of labor between humans and machines, translating into 58 million net new jobs being created by 2022. Not everyone will need to create the AI tools themselves, but millions will be needed to use them effectively in an ethical manner, a major facet of being a Holy Cross College student who will help lead that future,” said Cloud.