In his latest effort to show how his company is creating U.S. jobs, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced on Wednesday that Apple Inc. plans to create a $1 billion fund to invest in U.S. companies that perform advanced manufacturing.

Mesa Community College is one of six schools in the nation to offer Apple’s new app development curriculum.

If you want to learn how to develop apps for Apple’s App Store, it just got easier. 

The computer giant launched a one-year app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing job field. The curriculum is free to download from Apple’s iBooks Store. 

And, if you want help learning the skills, Mesa Community College is one of six community college systems — and the only one in Arizona — chosen by Apple to begin offering the curriculum.

Taking the course

A three-credit course in app development will begin this fall at Mesa Community College, with a second course starting in the spring. 

The little icons on the iPhone do everything from deliver news to help people take better photos. 

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Students can take the app development course on its own, or as part of an associate’s degree in a related field, such as computer programming. 

The curriculum takes about 180 hours to complete, and teaches the skills needed to build an app that can be downloaded to iPhones and iPads through Apple’s App Store. 

Apple: Expanding job opportunities

App development is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country, with U.S. software engineers earning $5 billion through the App Store last year, a 40 percent increase over 2015. In addition, 150,000 jobs were created. 

“It’s an entirely new category of jobs that didn’t exist before 2008, but the popularity of the iPhone is directly tied to the amazing developers who write apps,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

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Apple chose community colleges to launch the curriculum because the company wants to expand job opportunities and provide more access for women and under-represented minorities. 

Before Wednesday’s announcement, Apple had offered an “Introduction to App Development” curriculum geared toward high school students. But, this marks the first time the company has launched a one-year app development curriculum that uses Apple’s programming language for its mobile devices.

Mesa Community College

Mesa was chosen because of the region’s ties to Apple, Jackson said, citing the company’s data command center in Mesa.

The app development curriculum is available at no charge at Apple’s iBooks Store. 

Fall registration is open at Mesa Community College for those interested in taking the app development course. There is a charge for tuition through the college. 

Just look for the following course — and don’t be intimidated by the long title: “Object Oriented Programming Fundamentals-Introduction to App Development using Swift/Xcode.”

“It’s going to be a great opportunity for our students and faculty,” said Sasan Poureetezadi, Mesa Community College’s interim president. 

Reach the reporter at 602-444-8072 or [email protected]

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