New experiential master’s program aligns talent with high-demand industries

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