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Governor Ralph Northam of the Commonwealth of Virginia announced that they will be producing 31,000 technology graduates over the next 20 years. The state wants to expand its original legislative target of 25,000 technology graduates by 2039. According to the governor’s office, public universities in Virginia have awarded 1,300 bachelor degrees and 400 master degrees in computer science every year.
The push to increase tech talent pipeline is driven by the expected arrival of Amazon to the state. Amazon is going to build its 2nd headquarters in Arlington County and the state of Virginia expects that it will create thousands of jobs for the region. Skilled workers will be in demand particularly those with cloud computing expertise.
In order to boost the number of computer science graduates in the state, 11 universities will share a total of $961.5 million state funding for the next 2 decades. The funding is for the expansion of degree programs and construction of new facilities. Educating the state’s workforce will meet the demand of hundreds of tech companies, not only Amazon.
Both Virginia Tech and George Mason have promised to significantly expand tech degree programs. In response the Amazon’s announcement regarding its 2nd headquarters in Virginia, both universities have pledged to build new facilities.
However, it is very unlikely for George Mason to reach its ambitious target of doubling computer science programs by 2024 because of the relatively small funding they received from the state. Virginia Tech received a much bigger funding for the university’s planned innovations.
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