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BYU launches 4 new majors, new minor

Brigham Young University has created five new courses of study available to its students starting Fall Semester 2018. The four new majors and the new minor come from five different colleges on campus.  

New programs and emphases are created on an as-needed basis when a department or college can demonstrate that students will benefit from a new focused course of study. Students interested in switching majors can learn more by speaking with their college advisement center. 

Meet the newest degree options:  

 

Major: Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity  

Department: School of Technology 

College: Engineering and Technology 

With one million cybersecurity jobs available in the United States and a 100 percent placement rate post-graduation for alumni of the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, demand for a cybersecurity major is high. 

The cybersecurity major will build on the foundation of the current information technology major, which has already been emphasizing cybersecurity in various classes. Cybersecurity graduates can work in government agencies, analyze data-driven forensics and run penetration testing for companies, among other employment opportunities. 

“There is a real need for people with great technical skills and high ethical standards, and that’s where our students fit in,” said Derek Hansen, professor of information technology and cybersecurity. 

 

Major: Bachelor of Arts in Editing and Publishing  

Department: Linguistics 

College: Humanities 

Since the creation of the editing minor in 2003, students have been asking for a major program.  

Students in the new editing and publishing major will learn to analyze, optimize and distribute written, drafted and visual information. After graduation, editing and publishing majors may find themselves in large and small publishing houses, or as freelance editors, writers, technical communicators, public relation specialists or legal professionals. 

“The linguistics and editing faculty have been working on the proposal for this major for years,” said Alan Manning, professor of linguistics and English language. “We’re excited to see how it plays out for the students, how much deeper understanding of linguistic structure can add to editing students’ skill sets.” 

 

 

Major: Bachelor of Science in Statistics with an emphasis in Data Science 

Department: Statistics 

College: Physical and Mathematical Sciences 

Every big business (Amazon, Google, Netflix, Adobe, Facebook and Walmart, to name a few) needs a way to make sense of the overwhelming amount of data about their clients and to solve problems with that data. Many companies are looking to hire statisticians who have additional experience with computer programming. Cue the new data science emphasis. 
 
Although the data science emphasis doesn’t replicate the breadth of training found in the computer science majors, it does provide statistics majors with broader computational perspectives beneficial for working in data science.  

"When we surveyed our statistics students, many mentioned that if they weren't graduating, they would switch emphases to data science," said Dr. Shannon Tass, an associate professor and curriculum committee chair in the department of statistics. "This emphasis will help graduates qualify for more jobs by helping them to develop skills both in statistical methods as well in computer science and programming so that they are better able to communicate effectively on data Science teams."   

  

 

Major: Bachelor of Arts in Design  

Department: Design 

College: Fine Arts and Communications

The rise of mass communication has opened the doors for the design field. With so many opportunities in graphic design, illustration and photography, more students are looking to design as an option for graduate school. The new design degree is ideally suited for those students, providing the tools they need to study design long term. Of course, that shouldn’t sway anyone who doesn’t want to attend grad school. The curriculum will provide a foundational understanding of design which can be applied to another discipline if the students desire. 

"The program was created to give students a broad background in design and allow them to explore emerging sub-disciples such as design thinking and user experience design,” said Eric Gillett, the design department chair.

If you think this sounds like your ideal major, act fast! The program is limited enrollment, requiring interested students to declare pre-major intent, complete prerequisite courses and submit an application and portfolio online.

 

Minor: Design Thinking  

Department: Instructional Psychology and Technology (in partnership with the Department of Design, Department of Experience Design and Management and the School of Technology) 

College: Education 

An advertiser may approach a problem with their product using their communication training, while an illustrator or computer scientist might attack the issue with a different point of view. Design thinking is exactly what it sounds like: incorporating different aspects of design to create an effective and aesthetic product, experience or strategy. 

“As design concepts become more and more a part of the workplace, the design thinking minor can help students be more successful in applying the skills of their primary major in design contexts,” said Jason McDonald, professor of instructional psychology and technology.

The collaboration required in the design thinking minor gives students skills in interdisciplinary teamwork, interdisciplinary experiences and interdisciplinary creativity as they work to solve real-world design problems.  

Faculty from nine different departments are currently contributing to the design thinking major and several more departments have expressed an interested in adding courses to the program.

Writer: Alexa Reimschussel, Jayne Edwards, Whitney Larson

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