Advances such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are causing employers’ expectations of their graduate hires to evolve rapidly. Experts forecast many current job titles, including accountant and sales manager may be replaced by AI within as little as 10 years. As educators, how can we best support our students as they strive to sharpen their competitive edge in an increasingly uncertain future? One easy to implement solution would be to offer multi-faceted college courses via which graduates can broaden their knowledge bases and build cross-disciplinary mindsets.
In diversifying their studies, graduates won’t only demonstrate their greater flexibility and hunger for hard work to potential employers. They’ll arm themselves with a measurable advantage over their more academically limited rivals in what is sure to be an ever-more competitive job market.
A degree that’s tailor made for tomorrow’s fast-changing world!
Typically early to spot the profound implications AI had for its Science and Engineering graduates, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) broke new ground by adding AI as an “Extended Major” to its BSc and BEng programs. Foreseeing that increasingly spoilt-for-choice employers are beginning to demand more and more from their graduate hires, the university is now accepting applications for two additional cross-disciplinary study modes for academic year 2021:
The new courses will join a comprehensive menu of interdisciplinary and joint school programs that already spans the following academic options:
- Dual Degree in Technology and Management [5-year program]
- Environmental Management and Technology
- Individualized Interdisciplinary Major
- Biotechnology and Business
- Risk Management and Business Intelligence
- Data Science and Technology
- Mathematics and Economics
What makes these two new course options doubly valuable is that students won’t be tied down to a specific major when commencing their studies. They can elect to spend their first year studying HKUST’s Common Core general education plus their chosen school’s Foundation Courses. Should they prefer, students could even use those two terms to explore different potential programs/majors. In moving forwards they will then be free to take their pick of not only the available majors from the school in which they enrolled but also the interdisciplinary and joint school programs.
What makes HKUST stand out?
Established in 1991, HKUST is a leading international research hub with well-equipped schools spanning four key academic disciplines: Science, Engineering, Business and Management and Humanities and Social Science. Although dating back less than 30 years, HKUST’s academic and research performance is highly recognized by the academic peers around the world:
- #1 Young University in the World in Times Higher Education
- #27 World Top University in QS Global University Ranking
- #10 Global University Employability Ranking (No.1 in Greater China, 7 successive years in a row) in Emerging/Trendence, published by Times Higher Education
Innovation is hard-wired into HKUST’s DNA. Refreshingly unafraid of failure, the university’s educators and curriculum designers are continually expanding their research activities to address global issues. They are also fine-tuning new programs and curriculum designs that will make the courses they offer more relevant to market needs. Key pedagogic developments HKUST has pioneered over the years include:
- One of the first universities in Asia to offer cross-disciplinary initiatives such as interdisciplinary and joint school programs
- First tertiary institution in Asia to offer Coursera course options
- First university in Asia to offer students an Individualized Interdisciplinary Major (IIM). The end result is a uniquely challenging course which will reward those customizing topics with a truly singular qualification that perfectly reflects their unique interests and strengths.
Listen to what a recent graduate who created his own major has to say!
To hear BSc in Bionics graduate, Thomas Narayana Swamy, talk about the Individualized Interdisciplinary degree course he tailored for himself, please visit: https://youtu.be/QSpuSNHFvhI .