Recently, Ford announced a $1 billion investment in artificial intelligence (AI) toward the cars of the future. While many consumers still feel that AI is a long way from being a part of our daily lives, companies are aggressively investing to make it a reality sooner rather than later.
What does this mean for the jobs of the future? How are students preparing now for tomorrow’s jobs?
Traditional four-year degree programs are giving way to more innovative approaches to higher education. Students are opting for shorter courses from multiple institutions or taking classes online – essentially creating their own path in higher learning. Many see universities as struggling to keep up with the significant demands of preparing students for fast-moving business and tech industries, and many students are looking to industry-connected learning programs to gain in-demand skills.
While most people don’t think of Africa as a burgeoning technology hub, iXperience, a study abroad start-up, has created a career acceleration program in Cape Town, South Africa that’s pulling in tech and business students from Yale, Princeton, and 70+ other universities around the United States.
Recently, iXperience announced that it is adding courses in artificial intelligence and virtual reality (VR) to give students even more of an edge in their career pursuits. According to the announcement, the Applied AI course teaches students to analyze massive datasets, create AI-powered applications, and deconstruct the algorithms that power artificial intelligence. Students will then have the opportunity to further develop their skills in an internship with companies like Barclays Aliens, a division of Barclays Africa Group specializing in software development and technology research.
In the field of virtual reality, iXperience says students will engage in fully-immersive learning of the field and technology to create virtual environments that will redefine the way we work, play, and socialize. The VR coursework teaches students to design three-dimensional experiences using the Unity programming platform.
It’s clear that skills in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other cutting-edge technologies are in high demand. Much has been said about the need for colleges to focus on workforce retraining and post-graduation employment. With NGOs, corporations, and government entities looking to technology innovations for their future operations, students who garner both classroom learning and professional experience in these advanced fields will have a distinct advantage.
While many universities offer students the opportunity to take classes in advanced programming and technologies, the addition of hands-on learning through an internship in the field is what makes the iXperience study abroad program so unique. And, the program has been a tremendous success thus far, as students are landing internships and job offers back home with companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple.
“Our education philosophy is to create experiential learning environments that foster radical personal growth and self-actualization along with academic learning,” shares Aaron Fuchs, founder and CEO of iXperience. “The skills taught are geared toward filling the gaps between what students learn in college, and what they actually need to excel at a high level in the world.”