At first glance, few people will understand what a university degree in cognitive enterprise is all about, but according to Federation Business School dean Christina Lee it's vital to the future of companies and organisations across the country who rely on technology in their daily business lives.
From next year, Federation University will be the first in the country to offer degrees in Bachelor of Cognitive Enterprise.
The new degrees focus on how technologies such as artificial intelligence, block chain technology (which supports cryptocurrency), automation and 5G can be used to transform and innovate across all areas of business from marketing, IT, management, banking and finance, to social and environmental sciences.
"The future is digital and we need to prepare our workforce. Australia will need an estimated six million more workers with expertise in digital technologies by 2025 - this degree will give our students an advantage and future-proof their careers," Professor Lee said.
Federation University will launch two degrees - a Bachelor of Cognitive Enterprise and Bachelor of Cognitive Enterprise (Professional Practice) - aimed initially at school leavers.
The four-year professional practice degree gives students a year's paid placement with a company such as course-partner IBM.
"The Bachelor of Cognitive Enterprise will give students a foundation in blockchain technology and artificial intelligence that can be adapted and strategically applied to any context. It will open doors to careers in marketing, business, analysis, change management, big data, financial institutions and more," Professor Lee said.
She said modern organisations needed to be technologically advanced if they want to continue to improve their operations for profitability and customer satisfaction, and the next generation of workers in businesses would need cognitive enterprise skills.
The new courses are business degrees with a focus on the new and emerging technologies that improve business operations, and studies could be tailored toward particular sectors such as health or marketing.
The program content has been developed in collaboration with IBM. Students will be able to gain real-world experience through internships and earn IBM Digital Badges (certifications) in blockchain technology and AI.
"This is a business degree for students who are interested to develop skills that would be relevant for them where they work in the future, where business are much more integrated with technology."
The course will initially be aimed at school leavers entering university., and eventually to mature aged students and those looking to upskill.
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"Those year 11 and 12 students are the ones who are actually in this digital era and understanding it more than most of us. They are immersed in it, it's front and centre of their lives - they are in a virtual environment all the time and understand what applications can help them do and find," Professor Lee said.
"We are hoping once they identify the meaning of cognitive enterprise they'll see it is totally relevant to them and will help them get a job in the future."
To help expose senior secondary students to the course content, Federation University will run a boot camp in September for Ballarat schools. Teams of year 11 and 12 students will be challenged to develop creative ideas that add value to an everyday object by combining it with technology.
The winning team members will each win a $3000 scholarship towards their first year of study of the new Bachelor of Cognitive Enterprise degree at Federation University.
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