Bachelor’s in AI at Community College: Florida School to Offer Four-Year Degree

Miami Dade College in Florida will offer the state's first bachelor of science in applied artificial intelligence program starting in 2024.
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Published on July 25, 2023
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  • Miami Dade College will offer a bachelor's degree in artificial intelligence starting in 2024.
  • The program is the first of its kind in Florida.
  • The college also offers an associate degree and certificates in AI.
  • Community colleges are increasingly offering degrees in high-demand tech fields like AI, cybersecurity, and information technology.

Students at Miami Dade College (MDC) will soon be able to work toward a four-year degree in artificial intelligence (AI), opening an accessible pathway to a rapidly growing and higher-paying field.

The Florida State Board of Education approved the state's first bachelor of science in applied artificial intelligence degree at Miami Dade College on July 19, according to a press release, with the program set to begin in 2024.

The bachelor's degree program isn't the only artificial intelligence initiative that Miami Dade College offers. The school also announced an associate degree in applied AI, as well as two AI certificates, earlier this year. The college also features two AI centers for students, according to the release.

"There is a significant demand for AI professionals in our state, and MDC is poised to train that future workforce," Miami Dade College President Madeline Pumariega said in the release. "We are proud to be leading the way to ensure students have the skills they need to succeed."

The curriculum will both prepare students to head right into programming and machine learning jobs and help them pursue more advanced graduate degrees. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunities projects more than 1,000 AI job openings annually in South Florida, according to the release, with an average annual salary of $94,815.

Miami Dade College is at the forefront of national efforts to develop high-demand workforces in growing areas like information technology. The school received $10 million last year as part of the Good Jobs Challenge to develop the region's information technology workforce, another higher-paying, high-demand field.

Florida is among two dozen states that offer bachelor's degrees at community colleges — and many schools in those states offer four-year degrees in high-demand fields. Austin Community College in Texas plans to launch a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity this fall.

In addition to boosting job opportunities for students, bachelor's degrees can be a boon to community colleges by boosting enrollment. A University of Michigan study last year found that overall enrollment increased at community colleges after they adopted baccalaureate programs, particularly among first-generation and adult students.