Triad universities hope Apple campus in NC will help draw students, provide jobs for graduates

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Computer engineering students at North Carolina A&T State University said Apple’s announcement came as a surprise.

“I was honestly impressed, I didn’t think they’d look at North Carolina as their next location really,” said Lamoye Augustus, a sophomore computer engineering student.

The company announced Monday that a $1 billion campus in Raleigh’s Research Triangle Park would bring in 3,000 high-paying jobs.

Students say the jobs in machine learning, artificial intelligence and software engineering are the exact positions they hope to secure after graduation.

“It would just be an amazing starting point, like how far can I really go?” Augustus said.

North Carolina A&T State University graduates more Black computer science majors than any other college in the country.

Students hope the campus location will bring internship opportunities for future students.

“Being someone who’s interned before, I’ve had to intern out of state and that can be a real pocket breaker and so I believe that will be a good thing for financial purposes as well,” student Jeffrey Moore said.

Chancellor Harold Martin says the university already offers the core classes needed to get those jobs, but the announcement might mean expanding enrollment.

“It will require that we spend more time building relationships with K-12 and community colleges as well because we need to see more high school students graduating with excitement and enthusiasm about math and science, about coding,” he said.

GTCC offers Apple-developed programs through online or in-person classes too.

“They are right in line probably to the foundation of what apple software engineers would be looking for,” Associate Professor Rebecca Halsey said.

Apple says hiring will start right away. The minimum average wage for positions will be about $187,000.

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