State of North Carolina to Add 4,000 Engineering and Computer Students to Meet Worker Demand
RALEIGH – To continue providing ready-to-use graduates for North Carolina’s growing tech economy, the state’s largest public university will grow even larger in the coming years.
North Carolina State University will add approximately 4,000 students – 2,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students – in engineering and computer science disciplines over the next five years. The growth will bring the NC State College of Engineering to approximately 14,000 students and the university’s total student body to over 40,000.
The growth will be funded by Engineering North Carolina’s Future, a state legislative initiative that will provide the state of North Carolina with $ 20 million over the next two years to hire additional faculty as well as support staff, including educational advisers and laboratory staff, in order to support the greatest number of students.
The legislature is also providing the state of North Carolina with $ 30 million to support facility upgrades to accommodate these additional STEM students.
“The State of North Carolina provides the workforce, research and partnerships that fuel the Triangle’s thriving tech industry, which generates huge economic benefits in the state of North Carolina,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. âWe greatly appreciate the support of the General Assembly and the recognition of NC State’s critical role in engineering North Carolina’s future. “
For years, NC State has been a leading provider of well-prepared graduates, cutting-edge research, and highly beneficial partnerships to North Carolina technology companies such as SAS, IBM, and Lenovo. NC State currently educates a third of all STEM students in the UNC system. More than half of North Carolina state’s students are enrolled in STEM majors, and the state of North Carolina awarded around 5,500 STEM degrees last year, a 42% increase in 10 years.
“This initiative will allow us to develop our faculty and our teaching and research infrastructure to continue to provide access to excellent engineering education to a greater number of undergraduate and graduate students,” said Louis Martin -Vega, Dean of NC State’s College of Engineering. “This will bring enormous benefits to our college and our university and to the North Carolinians.”
Recent economic development announcements by Apple, Google, FUJIFILM Diosynth and many others show the rapid growth of the tech industry in the state. The demand for well-prepared NC State STEM graduates – as well as partnerships with world-renowned NC State faculty and their research – has never been greater.
However, as the state’s labor needs increase, the state of North Carolina has not kept pace with demand; Last year alone, the College of Engineering refused undergraduate admissions to 1,400 applicants who had a GPA of 3.75 or higher due to lack of space.
âThese new funds will allow NC State to keep our best and brightest students in the state, and allow us to meet the needs of North Carolina’s growing technical workforce,â said Woodson.
The new funding will also impact many other areas of the university, Woodson said.
âThe growth of engineering and computing will create an increased demand for students and education in a wide range of supporting disciplines,â said Woodson. “This expansion will also fuel NC State’s growth in research and related external funding, industry partnerships and economic impact for the state.”
North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Charlotte also received support for the state’s Engineering North Carolina’s Future initiative.