New York’s burgeoning tech economy is getting a major boost as prominent New York Colleges have begun to develop and gather investors for new academic programs focused on steering students towards the technology field. Participating schools have already received generous funding from the City as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Applied Science NYC Initiative. This initiative, which is aimed at expanding New York’s capacity in applied science in order to increase the probability that the next high growth company is launched in New York, is just one part of Mayor Bloomberg’s final plans as Mayor to establish New York City as the country’s hub of innovation. While Bloomberg’s recently launched Made in New York initiative has encouraged businesses to venture to NY and create new opportunities in the area, the Applied Science NYC Initiative aims to help IT students and professionals learn the skills necessary for filling those positions. Among the many schools participating in these new technology initiatives are some of the nation’s best colleges such as Cornell, Columbia, and NYU. Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell Tech, the university’s technology school, strongly believes in the need for these programs. In a recent Daily News article, he explained, “We’re on the dawn of the information economy. We need to educate people locally. Otherwise the jobs will go elsewhere.”
John Carey, a Director at ES Technology, a division of The Execu|Search Group, is optimistic that these programs will give IT students and professionals the tools they need to take advantage of the growing number of opportunities available to them in New York. He believes that “With the support of local and international tech companies and Mayor Bloomberg’s mission, these schools will have the ability to bring the NY tech skills gap to a close and ultimately help New York City establish itself as an industry leader.”
If you are interested in continuing your education or learning more about New York City’s changing tech landscape, here are some programs to check out:
Cornell Tech: Cornell Tech, which has been hailed a “game changer” for New York’s tech industry by the Mayor himself, is by far the largest program on this list and has generated the most buzz. The sprawling 2 million square foot campus has just been officially approved by the New York City Council and will open in 2017 on Roosevelt Island. What’s unique about Cornell Tech? Its core curriculum has been developed around a unique, New York City centric model, which focuses on NYC’s core industries: media, advertising, healthcare, real estate, and fashion and design. At first glance, companies in these industries may not seem like they have anything in common, but if you take a closer look, you will see they do; they are connected by technology that allows them to engage with consumers, and according to Cornell University, “are motivated to stay and grow right here.” Rather than using the traditional methods of higher learning, Cornell Tech’s program, “will be organized around areas of interdisciplinary research which are also relevant to commercial impact.” Though the campus does not officially open until 2017, Google has been hosting a small inaugural class of 8 in their Chelsea offices. Donations to the school include a $133 million contribution from Qualcomm Chairman, Irwin Davis, and a gift of $350 million from Charles F. Feeney, a billionaire Cornell alumnus.
NYU MAGNET: One of NYU’s tech initiatives includes its new Media and Games Network (MAGNET), a school for students studying subjects such as game design, digital media design, computer science, and engineering. The video game institute will offer programs that range from a master’s degree in game design to a doctorate in educational communicative technology, and hopes to better prepare its students for a career in the growing gaming industry.
NYU CUSP: NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), a collaboration between NYU, NYU-Polytechnic, other top tier universities, and a group of prominent international tech companies, has already received a significant amount of funding from the city. The programs offered at CUSP are structured around the emerging field of quantitative urbanism. At the school, future Data Scientists will work side by side with city and state agencies and industry partners to collect and analyze big data to address the challenges cities face as they expand. CUSP currently offers an MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics and an Advanced Certificate in Applied Urban Science and Informatics.
Columbia University Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering: Columbia University’s Morningside Campus will be home to the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering and will be comprised of 6 centers: Smart Cities, New Media, Health Analytics, Financial Analytics, Cybersecurity, and Foundations of Data Science. This part-time certification program will allow students to study emerging subsets of data science with industry trailblazers and aims to foster the entrepreneurial spirits of New York’s future leaders. The institute will launch their Certification of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences in the fall, and plans on offering a full-time Master’s program in 2014. To learn more about the 6 centers, please visit: http://idse.columbia.edu/centers-0