New fields, and therefore new college majors, keep appearing. People used to say at education conferences that when we are teaching, we are preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist. It's true.
The latest one for me came with NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts' announcement that it will offer students a degree option in the emerging field of cyberpsychology. This is a field that explores the dynamics between modern technology and human psychology. It is the first of its kind in New Jersey and is the first academic program in the behavioral sciences to be offered at NJIT.
The 120-credit degree option, now available for enrollment through the college’s Science, Technology and Society B.S. degree program, involves a combination of traditional coursework in psychology, and study of basic concepts in computer science and information systems. The program also features specialized cyberpsychology course electives that address modern psychological issues of today’s technology-driven world, ranging from the psychology of social networking and online gaming to issues of cybercrime and cyberbullying.
“The iPhone, Uber, Facebook, smart homes, the internet of things, automation ... these are all commonplace and have a profound impact on society and individual psychology today, yet they were largely unheard of when the current generation of college students was born," said Kevin Belfield, dean of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts. “Given our contemporary dependence on technology, it is crucial to provide a focused study of new psychological phenomena arising from our digital world, and to understand how it is shaping our society."
The new option is also geared toward students training in a range of growing career fields with increasing demand for expertise in human-computer interaction — from cybersecurity and law enforcement professionals to app and game developers, to computer and information research scientists, to marketing research analysts.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for market research analysts from 2016 to 2026 is projected to grow 23 percent, much faster than the overall average. Similarly, the employment of computer and information research scientists is expected to increase by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024.
For further program and course details: