- Carnegie Mellon University announced the launch of what it says is the nation's first bachelor's degree in artificial intelligence, which the Pittsburgh institution hopes will extend its brand as a computer science training hub. The private research institution, which already offers nearly a dozen courses with AI theory and practical training, built the degree program's curriculum around mathematics, computational modeling and statistics, among other topics.
- Officials said that the university's role as a leading institution in the creation and research of AI makes it the ideal campus to launch a formal training program in the growing industry. "Specialists in artificial intelligence have never been more important, in shorter supply or in greater demand by employers," said Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science. "Carnegie Mellon has an unmatched depth of expertise in AI, making us uniquely qualified to address this need."
- The institution will cap enrollment in the AI program to about 100 sophomores, juniors and seniors beginning this fall.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas drew attention in recent years with its rollout of a gaming laboratory, and while some people looked at it as a waste of academic resources, UNLV touted the addition as an appropriate response to an industry annually grossing billions and growing.
This is the kind of approach institutions should consider in answering the call from elected officials and corporations that are eager to hire entry-level and credentialed talent, but have increasing doubts about how well higher education helps students to be work-ready upon graduation. Specialized degrees and training programs often invite investment from corporate partners, like the University of Hawaii System's workforce pipeline partnership with a green energy development company and community colleges offering manufacturing technology programs.
And with these investments, governing bodies scramble to find ways to support such programs so that they can move closer to self-supporting offerings, which helps in reducing public spending.