Ina Fried

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Want to Create an App? There’s a Degree For That.

In another sign of just how hot the market is for mobile apps, one college is now offering students the option of getting their degree in the topic.

Rasmussen College, a for-profit college that operates in five states, has launched both two-year and four-year degree programs for aspiring app creators.

Hap Aziz, director of Rasmussen’s school of technology and design, said that an estimated 300,000 new software development jobs are going to be created in the next few years, with many of those calling for a specialty in mobile apps.

“There is going to be a continued need as people start adopting more smart devices,” Aziz told Mobilized.

Classes featured in the program include “mobile application development,” “computer graphics programming” and “engineering virtual worlds.”

A handful of students started the program this month at Rasmussen campuses in Florida and Minnesota, with more students expected in the fall. For now, the curriculum is focused on iPhone and Android app development, though Aziz acknowledges the mobile world is changing so fast that the landscape may shift by the time a student gets his or her four-year degree. However, he said the school can adapt quickly if, say, Android craters and HP’s WebOS takes off.

If you haven’t heard of Rasmussen, it’s a regionally accredited school with campuses in five states. Aziz said that the school has 16,000 students overall with about 2,000 studying in the school of technology and design.

It’s not the first time the school has tried to tap into technology trends. The school launched a program in computer games and simulations a couple years back. Aziz said the school had already added a mobile class to that program as smartphones started taking off.

“We decided we would go whole hog,” Aziz said.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik