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Jerusalem Life

| New JCT computer science degree to empower religious women, address shortage of programmers

Zev Stub    
Wednesday, 13 February 4:44 PM

In the Jerusalem College of Technology’s (JCT) latest initiative to empower women in Israel and to simultaneously fill gaps in the workforce, the college will begin offering Israel’s only computer science degree program whose classes are offered exclusively to women and conducted fully in English.


Starting in the fall semester of 2019 at Machon Tal, the new program will combine rigorous academic learning with a strong religious environment and Torah study. The women’s program in computer science will build off the existing success of JCT’s International Program in English for men, which allows students to continue learning with their rabbis in yeshivas in Israel while simultaneously obtaining strong professional training in the area of business.


The program’s launch comes as Israel faces a shortage of well-trained and capable computer programmers and coders, forcing domestic companies to look outside of the Jewish state to fill open positions.

“Our new international program will provide women of all backgrounds — from haredi, to Modern Orthodox, to everything in between — with the transformative gift of a high-quality academic degree that they can pursue while continuing to embrace a religious lifestyle,” said Bracha Berger, coordinator for the new degree. “Religious women should be prepared to take the high-tech field by storm, to set themselves up for financial success for their entire careers, and to help solve the shortage of software engineers in Israel.”

JCT, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is a leader in providing high-level science and technology education to religious students in Israel and worldwide. The college supplies highly skilled, professional graduates to the Israeli and global high-tech industries. One of the cornerstones of JCT’s mission as an institution is serving diverse segments of Israeli society who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to enter the science and technology fields, offering exclusive programs developed specifically for haredi men and women as well as other demographic groups.

Through the program, JCT is amplifying its work to counter stereotypes on women’s lagging participation in the science and technology sector — both in the academic and employment worlds. According to Israel’s Council of Higher Education, women account for 58 percent of students who pursue bachelor’s degrees in the country, but only 29 percent of undergraduate students who study computer science. At JCT, 53 percent of computer science students are women, and they account for 20 percent of women studying science across Israel.


JCT’s Computer Science Department offers students theoretical background as well as practical experience in computers, providing them with familiarity in programming, the architecture of computer systems, and engineering software and communications. Alums of the new women’s program will be fully equipped to enter the workforce following graduation, having gained competitive skills and a full breadth of knowledge of the current high-tech ecosystem.


“Women, and especially religious women, are part of the enormous untapped potential of the Israeli and global population. They are sure to shake up the global high-tech world in the years to come, and in Israel’s academic sector, JCT is at the forefront of this revolution,” Berger said.


The new program is part of JCT’s Machon Tal School, where approximately 2,500 women study in undergraduate and graduate tracks. The computer science degree will be recognized by the Council of Higher Education, making all credits fully transferable. It is a full-time, three-year academic program, with classes held four or five days a week in the mornings. Tuition is approximately $2,800 per year for Israeli citizens and $3,800 for non Israeli citizens, not including room and board. Residence in nearby dormitories in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul neighborhood costs about $2,000 annually.

Registration for the new women’s program is open online>>>


For more information, contact Berger at bberger@jct.ac.il.



         
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