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Rise of ICT in Higher Education

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ICT has evolved as a tool to monitor and manage processes in easier way than before. Seeking the scope of ICT, there are several programmes at higher education level to meet industries’ demand. Dr Sean McSweeeney, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Tim Horgan, Head of Department of Computer Science from Cork Institute of Technology observe how the two streams are among the most trending ones in higher education sector.

Dr Sean McSweeeney

Dr Sean McSweeeney, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science

The potential for technology to transform the way we live over the coming years and decades has been recognised by all sectors of society. Many studies have indicated that this impact will become more visible as the exponential growth in processing capability is leveraged to develop ever more sophisticated systems. This fundamental change in the way future economies will operate, has resulted in targeted technical programmes being established or increased in size by many academic institutions. Two areas within technology that have perhaps the most significant potential impact are Artificial Intelligence and Information Security. The Department of Computer Science in Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland has advanced its suite of programmes to include offerings in Artificial Intelligence and Information Security due to the potential impact these key areas will have.

In the twenty-first century, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has experienced a resurgence following concurrent advances in computer power, large amounts of data, and theoretical understanding. AI techniques have now become an essential part of the technology industry, helping to solve many challenging problems in computer science. The MSc in Artificial Intelligence offered by CIT delivers a comprehensive range of topics integral to the study of AI. These include machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, optimisation, and big data processing to name but a few. This master’s degree provides a technical deep-dive into the area of AI. The programme aims to produce AI developers with a highly relevant skillset in AI topics. The programme contains challenging and interesting modules delivered by lecturers who are experts in AI. Students will also be presented with opportunities to work on modern research case studies linked to the domain expertise of staff in the department. Entry to the MSc in Artificial Intelligence will require a minimum of a Level 8 Honours Degree in Computer Science, Engineering or an honours degree in a cognate discipline. This 60-credit programme is delivered over two 30 credit semesters. It is expected that students will complete this programme in one academic year on a full-time basis.

Tim Horgan, Cork Institute of Technology

Tim Horgan, Head of Department of Computer Science from Cork Institute of Technology

Information Security continues to be an area of increasing importance in highly advanced economies with the increasing amount of monetizable data available and the interconnected nature of the technology that powers these economies. This continuing trend is predicted to strongly increase the importance of Information Security within most multinational entities. The MSc in Information Security offered by CIT was designed with experts from leading Information Security companies. The topics of study include network security and forensics, penetration testing, digital forensics & incident response, malware analysis and many others. Upon successful completion of the programme, the graduate will both understand and have the capacity to deploy many of the most advanced methods and systems to protect information at rest, in transit, and at work. Entry will require a minimum of a Level 8 Honours Degree in Computer Science, Engineering or an honours degree in a cognate discipline. The MSc in Information Security is a 90-credit programme, consisting of 60 credits of taught modules and a 30-credit project. It is expected that students will complete this programme in 12 months on a full-time basis.

The Department of Computer Science in CIT is one of the largest computer science departments in Ireland. CIT’s industry engaged programmes have an excellent reputation for producing the most employable computer science graduates in Ireland. These highly skilled graduates are in huge demand and have contributed significantly to the rapid advancement of Ireland’s economy. The Department places significant emphasis on student learning by doing. It adopts a practical, hands-on, approach to learning blended with deep theoretical knowledge to produce rounded and highly capable graduates.

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