‘Our Courses are Same in Qual­ity as Off­line Courses’

The Economic Times - - Career & Business Life -

Com­puter sci­ence grad­u­ates are in high de­mand and this de­mand is only set to grow in the United States and else­where, Zvi Galil, dean of Col­lege of Com­put­ing at Ge­or­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy tells ET’s Varuni Khosla in an in­ter­view. Ben­nett Univer­sity is in dis­cus­sion with Ge­or­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy for en­ter­ing into a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing for pro­vi­sion of fa­cil­i­ta­tion and ground sup­port for OMSCS (On­line Master of Sci­ence in Com­puter Sci­ence) in In­dia. Fur­ther, both Ben­nett Univer­sity and Ge­or­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy are in dis­cus­sion for an aca­demic men­tor­ship ac­tiv­ity. Ex­cerpts:

What is this course and how will it be dif­fer­ent from other on­line courses? The name of this course (OMSCS) is mis­lead­ing. On­line courses have ex­isted from the 1990s since when the com­put­ers and in­ter­net ap­peared. The rea­son why on­line courses be­came pop­u­lar is be­cause of the price fac­tor. We have teamed up with Udac­ity and AT&T to of­fer an on­line Master of Sci­ence in com­puter sci­ence. This course is more on the lines of MOOCs (mas­sive open on­line courses)…ours is not mas­sive but quite a large course. It is ped­a­gog­i­cally dif­fer­ent from reg­u­lar on­line courses where classes are just taped and up­loaded. The diploma this course of­fers is the same as the diploma you get if you do this as a full-time course. Not all its re­quire­ments are the same, though. For in­stance, GMAT won’t be re­quired to take this course on­line whereas it is a must if you do it full time. How many stu­dents are you look­ing to have from In­dia? This course be­gan in 2014 with 300 stu­dents and now there are 3,350 stu­dents from around the world. Of this, In­dia’s makes up for nearly 10%. This can eas­ily grow to 20-30% in the com­ing years. We’d like to have many more stu­dents from In­dia and there’s a pos­si­bil­ity Ben­nett Univer­sity will help us get more stu­dents but that is still in dis­cus­sion. Are such courses likely to be pop­u­lar in a coun­try like In­dia? There is some re­sis­tance and some reg­u­la­tory bod­ies say on­line courses are not good. I think they don’t know what they’re talk­ing about as these courses are the same in qual­ity as tak­ing an off­line course and our au­di­ence is peo­ple who are al­ready work­ing, although there is still a bu­reau­cratic stigma in In­dia that be­lieves such courses aren’t good. What are the hot jobs in this space? Com­put­ers are ev­ery­where; even en­gi­neers need com­put­ers. There­fore, there is a huge re­quire­ment of jobs in the US for com­puter sci­ence grad­u­ates. The num­ber of jobs in com­puter sci­ence is far greater than the num­ber grad­u­ates avail­able, which is the re­verse trend from engi­neer­ing jobs. Sim­i­larly, in so­cial sci­ence, there are a huge num­ber of grad­u­ates but not enough jobs. I be­lieve this is also the trend in In­dia. It’s not cod­ing jobs but also sys­tems en­gi­neers, soft­ware en­gi­neers, jobs in ma­chine learn­ing and data an­a­lyt­ics are pop­u­lar. Data an­a­lyt­ics around ma­chine learn­ing, which is a very dif­fi­cult field, also has a lot of jobs.

Zvi Galil

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