The technology boom is a hot topic, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. When it comes to education, there is a need for graduates who can understand, adapt and make use of new technologies to improve other global industries.
Technology-related degrees, such as Computer Science or Information Technology, are certainly not new courses of study. But the approach to how they are taught and how course programmes are designed are quickly changing.
Rather than just learning the technical aspects of technology, today’s technology-minded students are also expected to know how to apply it in different sectors.
Plus, people from other industries are increasingly expected to possess tech knowledge as it becomes more and more integral to all business fields.
For example, students who study digital marketing should be able to use their knowledge and expertise in a variety of industries, including food and beverage, retail, healthcare, business, and more.
Understandably, these are all very different environments and there are specific challenges that come with each industry. How are students expected to prepare for these?
A postgraduate course that grants experience and teaches students how to apply their knowledge gives them a competitive edge and helps them adapt to new working environments.
Many universities now incorporate industry-linked and industry-embedded projects, giving students experience and insights into real-world scenarios and offering a clear route to employment.
Not only do these opportunities expose students to the working world, they also allow them to develop essential skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and project management.
For students who work in other industries but want to learn more about technology and how they can apply it to their work, a postgraduate degree is ideal, helping them gain a qualification and specialist expertise while providing hands-on learning and real-world application.
By combining the broader skills required to work in technology or engineering along with discipline-specific knowledge, students are better prepared and can embark on a path to become leaders in their fields.
Here are four universities that support students in becoming successful employees in technology and engineering.
At the SIGNAL ICT Graduate School in New Zealand, students of the SHIFT Programme benefit from a technology education that’s inherently linked with industry.
SIGNAL ICT Graduate School is a collaboration of five public tertiary institutions: the University of Canterbury, the University of Otago, Lincoln University, ARA and Otago Polytechnic; operating in Christchurch and Dunedin.
SHIFT is designed for degree-qualified students from any background who want to make the transition into a tech role in New Zealand.
The technology sector is one of the fastest-growing employment fields and the third-largest export revenue earner in the country, since New Zealand is a booming tech hub with a multitude of innovative tech companies crossing into several sectors.
That’s why it has such a high demand for people with both technical skills and domain expertise in industries that are rapidly undergoing technological change, including finance, agriculture and health.
Students enrolled in the SHIFT programme add sought-after technical skills to their existing degrees, along with teamwork, communication and other skills meeting this crucial demand.
The programme is delivered in an immersive studio environment that combines academic content with industry insights and application, enhanced by in-course group projects drawn from industry and individual student projects embedded with industry. The focus of the programme is to deliver work-ready students into employment.
Here, there are plenty of opportunities for students to network with local industry professionals and attend tech-related events.
To find out more about Shift’ing to a tech career in New Zealand visit: www.signal.ac.nz/shift-international.
This school in the highly-ranked Nanyang Technological University (NTU) offers postgraduate programmes that include industry-related experience and opportunities.
For example, students enrolled in the Big Data Analytics thematic PhD focus on Big Data Analytics for large-scale, complex and real-time data.
PhD students under this programme learn how to enable the advancement of fundamental research in data science to address the field’s significant emerging challenges.
For students in the PhD Cognitive Systems and Visual Computing programme, a joint course offered alongside the A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R), the aim is to nurture highly-skilled research professionals and leaders in the fields of cognitive systems and visual computing, with a vision of catering to the future industry’s needs throughout the next decade.
Through collaboration between A*STAR I²R and SCSE NTU, PhD candidates gain knowledge and exposure to practical problems and close connections to both academic and industrial sectors.
They can also benefit from SenseTime, an AI-focused talent programme that allows selected PhD candidates to work on company-driven projects while earning their postgraduate degree at the university. Qualified candidates also join SenseTime as full-time employees.
SCHOOL OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, COMPUTING AND MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES, CURTIN UNIVERSITY – AUSTRALIA
At Curtin University in Australia, graduate programmes in the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences give students the broad skills required for their field of choice, as well as discipline-specific knowledge.
Students enrolled in the Master’s programme can choose between one of three Electrical Engineering majors: Embedded Systems; Telecommunications and Networking; Emerging Power Systems; or Chemical Engineering.
In their final year, all students complete a one-year project that investigates and applies emergent technologies in their chosen field. They are required to gain at least 12-weeks of exposure to professional practice to get their qualification.
Graduate students benefit from the way the programme is designed, learning how to effectively apply knowledge and skills to design and lead innovative solutions to engineering problems, also using technology to facilitate complex problem solving and operational efficiencies in an engineering context.
Here, you’ll work in global settings, learning how to apply engineering skills and knowledge in a global context to address issues of international relevance.
Furthermore, you’ll gain valuable knowledge on how to demonstrate leadership skills, give expert judgements, as well as ethical behaviour and self-management as a professional engineer.
DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING, THE HONG KONG UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (HKUST) – HONG KONG
This university was established in 1991 but quickly became a highly-ranked and fast-growing institution, powered by innovative teaching methods and a top-notch education.
At the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, students learn topics that cover the foundations of computer science and computer engineering, artificial intelligence, networking, computer graphics, multimedia computing, software and web technologies, and data and knowledge-based systems.
The Computer Science programmes are designed to educate students and advance research in computer and information technology, also assisting in the development and growth of the region’s information industry.
Recognising that information technology is driving a digital revolution, these Computer Science programmes prepare students for exciting challenges and new opportunities in the field.
For example, the MSc in Big Data Technology integrates different disciplines and helps students master the important aspects of big data and how it’s used in the real world.
Students are also encouraged to design individual study plans tailored to their interests.
By taking on a course that prepares you for a tech-focused future, you’ll leave poised to become a valuable employee whose both dynamic and well-prepared for a changing world of work.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International