Four New York City graduate schools have signed onto a groundbreaking intensive online program that quickly and inexpensively prepares students without computer science backgrounds to enter master’s degree programs in high-demand fields of cybersecurity, data science, and computer science.

According to a press release, until now, the NYU Tandon Bridge program permitted those with non-traditional backgrounds to enter New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s rigorous master’s degree programs. Starting with the 2020 summer semester, The City College of New YorkThe City University of New York School of Professional StudiesPace University Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systemsand Yeshiva University Katz School of Science and Health will also accept students who successfully complete the certificate program and meet their individual admissions criteria for these fields of study.

NYU Tandon will significantly expand capacity in the pioneering online program to accommodate students who hope to enroll in these New York City schools. In response to the economic upheaval and work-from-home expansion, it has extended the application deadline for classes that will begin July 6. 

“With a tech economy employing 291,000 and an anticipated shortfall of 10,000 cybersecurity professionals within a decade, New York City will continue to need the elite technical graduates of our schools’ master’s degree programs,” said Professor Nasir Memon, NYU Tandon vice dean for academics and student affairs. “Applicants from a wide range of backgrounds — music, literature, political science, psychology, and more – seek out Bridge to change their career paths or to upgrade their technology skills. Our new academic partners will give Bridge certificate holders even more options to succeed in high-demand fields. We welcome the enthusiasm with which New York City’s graduate schools have embraced the opportunity to grow our city’s talent pool and encourage other schools to join our collaboration.”

Launched in 2016, the NYU Tandon Bridge program has already led 160 students into master’s degree at NYU Tandon. It also provides a rare and effective on-ramp for women, who are historically underrepresented in computer science, says the press release. Since its founding, women have comprised 35 percent of Bridge graduates. By contrast, only about 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science are awarded to women nationally, according to the American Society for Engineering Education.

Thus far, every NYU Tandon Bridge graduate found a job after completing a master’s degree, including ones who became a chief information officer at a government agency, a machine learning engineer at a major technology firm, and a computer science and engineering professor at NYU Tandon, says the release. 

“Our agreement with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering will raise awareness among its STEM prep graduates that the CUNY School of Professional Studies offers a highly ranked, rigorous technical and quantitative graduate degree in Data Science,” said Arthur O’Connor, academic director at CUNY SPS. “By featuring our online M.S. in Data Science degree program as an alternative to more expensive graduate degree programs, NYU Tandon is helping students access a highly affordable, online option to attain the knowledge and skills that remain in such high demand in the job marketplace.”

“This collaboration will help us to serve the ever-growing pool of ambitious people in our country who aspire to careers in the technology industry through admitting to Pace’s graduate programs in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Information Systems, and Information Technology,” said Li-Chiou Chen, professor of information technology and executive director of cybersecurity programs at the Pace University Seidenberg School.

“This groundbreaking consortium will create a pipeline of next-generation science and technology innovators and tech entrepreneurs. Working together, we will ensure a bright future for high technology in New York City,” said Paul Russo, University vice provost and dean of the Katz School of Science and Health at Yeshiva University. “The world is changing. Our students are making it smarter, safer and healthier.”