North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has launched a new master’s degree pro­gram with a built-​​in expe­ri­en­tial learning com­po­nent, specif­i­cally designed for pro­fes­sionals who want to tran­si­tion into high-​​growth indus­tries, but do not have under­grad­uate degrees or work expe­ri­ence to match the needs of these industries. The pro­gram, called ALIGN (Accel­er­ated Link to Industry through Northeastern’s Global Net­work), offers eight master’s degrees in cutting-​​edge indus­tries, such as bioin­for­matics, health infor­matics, and cyber­se­cu­rity. Each master’s degree has a cus­tomized cur­riculum that bridges the student’s under­grad­uate edu­ca­tion with the grad­uate degree con­tent and includes a six to nine month co-​​op posi­tion with one of Northeastern’s global net­work of 3,000 employers.

The ALIGN pro­gram is the only expe­ri­en­tial grad­uate degree pro­gram in the U.S. designed for stu­dents with under­grad­uate degrees in a variety of dis­ci­plines who want to switch careers and need both an advanced degree and the real-​​world expe­ri­ence to do so. The pro­gram lever­ages Northeastern’s lead­er­ship in com­bining real-​​world pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ence with rig­orous class­room learning and uti­lizes the university’s global co-​​op infra­struc­ture and three domestic campuses.

Deliv­ered in a hybrid format at Northeastern’s Boston, Char­lotte, N.C., and Seattle, Wash. cam­puses, the eight master’s degrees include bioin­for­matics, com­puter sci­ence, energy sys­tems, engi­neering man­age­ment, health infor­matics, infor­ma­tion assur­ance, project man­age­ment, and reg­u­la­tory affairs for drugs, bio­logics, and med­ical devices—fields that closely align Northeastern’s aca­d­emic and research strengths with the talent needs of high-​​demand global industries.

The inte­gra­tion of advanced learning and real-​​world expe­ri­ence is a pow­erful com­bi­na­tion,” said Joseph E. Aoun, pres­i­dent of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity. “Northeastern’s net­work of the most inno­v­a­tive industry part­ners world­wide puts our grad­uate stu­dents in an unmatched posi­tion to lead in a global economy.”

The ALIGN pro­grams have been strate­gi­cally selected to match key indus­tries with excep­tional employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties, long-​​term career poten­tial, and cutting-​​edge chal­lenges. For example, the global bioin­for­matics market is pro­jected to nearly quadruple in the next four years.

North­eastern piloted the ALIGN pro­gram in its Seattle, Wash. campus with a master of sci­ence in com­puter science—a crit­ical demand in sev­eral high-​​growth indus­tries. The degree is designed to build on stu­dents’ strong quan­ti­ta­tive and ana­lyt­ical skills with intro­duc­tory courses in pro­gram design and com­puter sys­tems. While com­puter sci­ence grad­uate stu­dents typ­i­cally grad­uate from pro­grams focused on math and engi­neering, Northeastern’s pro­gram is designed for stu­dents from a broad range of under­grad­uate majors, including his­tory, eco­nomics, and physics.

ALIGN builds on Northeastern’s lead­er­ship in global expe­ri­en­tial learning and enables par­tic­i­pating stu­dents to take advan­tage of the university’s net­work of more than 200,000 alumni and 3,000 co-​​op employer