WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Middle Georgia State University is working to set up a future of success for their students and the City of Warner Robins.
Starting this fall, students will be able to receive a Bachelor's or Associate's degree in computer science from the Warner Robins campus.
The university says a computer science degree prepares people to work in coding, computer design, software engineering, and a multitude of other jobs.
They chose the Warner Robins campus because it's close to Robins Air Force Base, a major employer of computer science specialists.
"Going back the last four or five years, we've made over 500 job offers to computer scientists, and another two or 300 offers to interns for computer science positions," says Matt Hvizdzak.
Hvizdzak is the base hiring manager, and says the need is only growing.
"Computer science right now is unlimited, and again that goes back to technological advancements and our growing workload," he says.
Kevin Floyd, the Associate Dean for Middle Georgia State's School of Computing, says those workers are in demand across Georgia.
"There's a ton of openings right now with not enough students to fill those demands," says Floyd.
The university will offer two tracks, human computer interaction and teacher certification track.
Floyd says that computer science educators are needed in Georgia Public Schools.
"This is a program that's going to be available to both dual-enrolled, high-achieving dual enrollment students in Warner Robins as well as professions, those people working at Robins Air Force Base those people in the community," says Floyd.
High school students can get in on the action. Through the dual-enrollment program they can work to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree in computer science.
Student Elizabeth Erchen says the school of computing creates worldwide opportunities.
"I've found a lot of places all over the United States that are remote, they'll pay to send you over there -- there are even quite a few in the Warner Robins area and the Macon area," she says.
This new program will provide more accessibility.
"There's actually quite a few people in Warner Robins that want to do computer science but they can't make it to Macon every day," she adds.
Hvizdzak says it also brings more city support.
Each recruiting cycle, he says they bring in 100 to 200 individuals and families. Now, they will see a few more.
"When you're talking about more people enrolled in school, it means more people supporting restaurants and local businesses," he adds.
The university currently offers degrees in information technology, which the base also accepts positions in, but Hvizdzak says the job pool isn't as large.
Houston County Schools says parents interested in dual enrollment opportunities for their student can reach out to their counselor for more information.