With the changing technology landscape, there is an immediate need for degree courses and professional training programmes in Artificial Intelligence (AI), according to industry and academic experts.
While the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has already introduced AI as an optional subject in schools, no full-fledged degree courses are available in the country, besides few short-term courses.
“In the digital era and rapidly-evolving business landscape, AI is influencing a range of industries and altering the job roles. The world is looking at AI for its widespread applications in almost every industry and is considered to be the next big technological shift in industrial and smartphone revolution. The need of the hour is to make AI education more focused and easily available,” said Varun Dhamija, Vice President, Pearson Professional Programs (PPP).
“According to our recent survey, 60% Indians believe that the world is shifting to a model where people participate in education over a lifetime which makes it age agnostic. More and more seasoned professionals, young learners and mid-level employees now realise the need for upskilling and formal training in AI and other areas to keep pace with the dynamic job requirements. Given this backdrop, we will definitely see a demand for not only short term or vocational education, but also for AI specific full time courses,” Dhamija explained.
According to Samit Deb, Chief People Officer, Birlasoft, “With great demand for good talent, it is now required more than ever to have managers and leaders spend more time with their people, guiding, coaching and training them in addition to all the technology and AI courses that people take up on-line.”
“There is a huge spike in the demand of AI-related courses in universities and skilled employees and this gap can only be filled by co-creation of an ecosystem where industry stalwarts and academicians come together by giving more industrial training and internships and by adding new AI-related courses, respectively,” Deb added.
In October 2019, the UAE inaugurated in Abu Dhabi an artificial intelligence university, claimed to be the first in the world. The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) is offering courses for undergraduate students. It is also accepting applications for its first masters and PhD programmes with classes scheduled to begin on September 20, 2020.
“There are huge differences between degree courses solely focused on AI and standalone AI courses by universities, colleges, coaching schools, and other private entities,” Anil K Jain, Michigan University professor and Board of Trustees at MBZUAI said. According to Srikanth NR, Managing Director, Human Resources, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India, “Every industry – from banking to automotive to retail – is being disrupted by Artificial Intelligence. AI is changing the way we work, and transforming how we do business. We believe that continuous learning is the only learning method that can help organisations cope with the rapid changes.”
(As reported in PTI)