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Software and Data Engineering

Enter the data engineering field in just one year with this second-degree program


A new accelerated computer science program at Bellarmine allows students with a bachelor’s degree in another field to earn a Bachelor of Science in Software and Data Engineering in just one year.
The online-only program is specifically designed for those who want to make a career change into a rapidly growing field, said Dr. Robert Kelley, the program director. (Kelley, an assistant professor of Computer Science, can relate to that—his first bachelor’s degree was in English.)
The 40-credit-hour program consists of three semesters, each divided into two sessions of approximately eight weeks. Students will learn modern software development, including JAVA, C#, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python and SQL, as well as machine learning and database management.
“In one year, you’ll be ready for an entry-level job,” Kelley said. Regionally, the median salary for software developers is $87,610; nationally, it’s $107,515.
In keeping with Bellarmine’s mission to improve the human condition, students will also take two courses focused on the social and ethical implications of technology on society: Theology 200 (Ultimate Questions) and Philosophy 434 (Technology, Ethics and Society).
The online courses are all asynchronous, but unlike many asynchronous models, “we won’t be turning stuff on at the beginning and saying, ‘See you at the end of the road,’” Kelley said. Students can’t work ahead and won’t want to lag behind, because solutions to online assignments will be released regularly.
Every professor is required to have two hours of live office hours each week so that students can ask questions in real time. “We don’t want to lose that human connection,” Kelley said.
Software and data engineering provide the means for companies to do new things—but should they do them? That’s the prompt behind the Technology, Ethics and Society course, which was designed by Dr. David Scott, assistant professor of Philosophy, especially for this degree program.
“Part of the course will be bringing the new technological abilities we have in line with our existing moral understandings, which are predicated maybe on older technological possibilities, more limited ones,” Scott said. 
Topics to be covered include privacy; intellectual property issues; the potential for nefarious uses of technology, such as deep fake videos; the implications of automation; and diversity concerns, such as pulse oximeters, which use light to function and were not designed for dark skin. 
“I think most students who enter the course will have some general sense already—they don’t have to take an ethics course to recognize what’s ethically questionable in the major issues of the day concerning technology,” Scott said. 

“But they might not have as precise a moral vocabulary for determining what they think about whether an innovation is morally permissible or not. And even when they are pretty confident about the right answer, a lot of times they might not be adept at convincing others. This class will equip people with the tools to be effective in both of those ways.”

For more information, visit Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Software and Data Engineering degree.


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Located in the historic Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.