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New-age tech courses all the rage

Increased use of digital facilities results in higher demand for courses in fields like AI and IoT.

Published: 14th June 2021 04:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2021 04:28 AM   |  A+A-

Internet of things

For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  There is a sharp rise in demand for undergraduate technical courses in emerging fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Data Science, Cyber Security, and Internet of Things (IoT), encouraging many colleges to start degree programmes in these fields. Increased use of digital technology during lockdowns is said to be one reason for this rise in demand.

At least 100 private colleges in Tamil Nadu have applied for approval of courses in AI alone, according to Anna University sources. Computer science and its allied courses are in peak demand as recruitment has been robust in these fields, said RM Kishore, vice-chairman, RMK Group of Institutions.

Many colleges launched fresh courses in these fields also because All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) decided not to allow existing institutions to start new programmes or increase the number of existing programmes in conventional areas like mechanical or civil engineering. R ather, the institutions would only be allowed to start a new programme or increase intake in 17 emerging areas, including AI, IoT, blockchain, robotics, quantum computing, data sciences, cybersecurity, 3D printing and design, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR).

All India Federation of Self Financing Technical Institutions Secretary T D Eswaramoorthy, told Express that biology-related courses like biomedical engineering have become more popular in the State. “On one hand, with the pandemic, students see many opportunities in allied fields of medicine. On the other hand, there is confusion in Tamil Nadu after the introduction of NEEEET. So, students apply for these courses,” he said. Swagata Sarkar, head of the department of AI and Data Science, Sri Sairam Engineering College, told Express that there has been a rapid increase in the amount of data available.

“We have a lot of data, but we do not know what to do with it. Data analytics helps in picking useful information from gigabytes of data. This information can then be used to develop prediction models in fields like finance, data storage and even epidemiology,” she said. Sai Prakash Leo Muthu, CEO, Sairam Institutions, told Express that he doubled the number of seats in the AI programme for 2021-22 from the previous year. He, however, added that once-popular courses like mechanical and civil engineering were losing demand. “The government is talking about Smart Cities. Technically there should be a lot of recruitment opportunities for students in these courses,” he said.

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