OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law today that allows community and technical colleges in Washington to offer bachelor’s degrees in computer science.

Senate Bill 5401, sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle), creates more options for Washington students to earn degrees and enter the competitive computer science workforce.

“Allowing our community colleges to offer these degrees will extend opportunities to so many of our neighbors,” said Nguyen. “With all the talented people living in our state, it’s so important that we provide options and paths forward.”

Washington’s Employment Security Department estimates that more than 50,000 new computer-related jobs will be created in the state in the next decade. The new law will encourage Washington students to pursue relevant degrees and strengthen the local computer science workforce.

“Not every person is able to move far from their hometown to get a degree, and this is an important measure to create more opportunities for more residents in our state,” Nguyen added. “This is a great step towards equal access to education for everyone, everywhere in our state.”

Community and technical colleges may begin submitting degree program proposals in 2022.