‘Our Courses are Same in Quality as Offline Courses’
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.