Jan 23, 2024 - News

New UTSA college to focus on AI, data science

Animated illustration of a robot wearing a mortarboard, and throwing it in the air.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Higher education in San Antonio is evolving to meet the fast-growing need for a workforce with knowledge about artificial intelligence and technology.

Driving the news: The University of Texas at San Antonio will create a new college focused on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, computing, data science and other similar fields, the university recently announced.

  • Officials have not determined an opening date yet.

Why it matters: Employers are seeking workers with AI and data science skills to take full advantage of the benefits of the technology.

  • While existing UTSA programs in this field are currently spread across four colleges, the new hub will create a place for students and faculty to connect.

What they're saying: "These disciplines will remain intertwined for the foreseeable future," UTSA's president, Taylor Eighmy, said in a statement.

  • Given the demand, the new college "will greatly accelerate UTSA's economic and workforce impact here in San Antonio, across Texas and nationally," he said.

Flashback: Last fall, UTSA launched a dual degree in medicine and AI — considered the first such degree in the nation.

By the numbers: Nearly 6,000 UTSA students are enrolled in AI, cybersecurity, computing, data science and related fields already — a 31% increase since 2019, per the college system.

The big picture: Companies across industries are racing to figure out how to use AI to their benefit, including in health care, manufacturing and more.

State of play: Texas is a top state employing data scientists.

What's next: A task force led by two UTSA deans will examine partnership and research opportunities, regional workforce needs and more to help establish the new college.

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