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Interdisciplinary Degrees In Artificial Intelligence: What Are They And What Can You Do With One?

Interdisciplinary Degrees In Artificial Intelligence: What Are They And What Can You Do With One? main image

Sponsored by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) defines society in ways that were once unimaginable at the turn of the century. 

In 2018, the World Economic Forum’s ‘The Future of Jobs 2018’ report predicted 58 million new jobs in artificial intelligence (AI) would be created by 2022.

As a result, demand for professionals who are hard-wired in AI technology knowledge but who also possess interdisciplinary perspectives and transferable skills to help foresee and plan for unexpected challenges has risen.

Cue, the interdisciplinary degree…

What are interdisciplinary degrees and why are they important?

Calls for higher education to be more in sync with current industry trends has seen a rise in interdisciplinary degree programs being offered in universities around the world.

For some particular industries and sectors (such as technology), interdisciplinary degrees are considered more suitable. By combining two or more academic disciplines into one program you can explore and understand the relationship between multiple fields which are more likely to line up with your own interests and create an academic pathway which is unique and personal to you.

It is becoming increasingly apparent an interdisciplinary approach is needed within the tech landscape in order to ensure a deeper learning and thematic understanding. Transferable skills, including critical thinking, communication and research, help forge new connections and bridge disciplines in order to understand how fields interconnect and overlap with one another.

What does an interdisciplinary degree mean for your career?

An interdisciplinary degree can help you grow as an individual and prepare you for a career in a wide range of industries, which is why The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) offers cross-disciplinary and joint degree programs which have a unique emphasis on AI.

It is one of the first universities to offer cross-disciplinary programs in Asia, and is the first university in Asia to offer the Individualized Interdisciplinary Major (IIM). Recognizing that one major might not be enough for students who are interested in more than a single area of studies, the IIM allows students to create their own major.

Thomas Narayana Swamy graduated from HKUST in 2019 with a BSc in Bionic – a program he created himself. Inspired by Darth Vader’s bionic arm, Thomas realized his ambition to help those in need of a new generation of artificial limbs and thus, his desire to study bionics. To pursue a career in bionics, an in-depth knowledge of engineering, biology and computer science is typically required.

“Fortunately HKUST enabled me to realize my dream sooner,” he said.

Being able to customize a combination of majors with the flexible course selection arrangement meant that Thomas was able to use his time as efficiently as possible.

“Thanks to the one-of-a-kind Individualized Interdisciplinary Major I could create my own unique program that covers all the essentials of bionics and make my university life both fun and practical.

“I am more determined than ever to devote myself to bionics and benefit society with technology,” said Thomas.

Alongside its already established 10 interdisciplinary and joint school programs, HKUST is launching another two brand new degree programs in 2021 – Science with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence, and Engineering with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence.

The two new programs are ideal for those who have a keen interest in artificial intelligence, science or engineering. You won’t need to decide on a major straight away either as the first two semesters will let you explore a range of majors first. So, you could end up graduating with a BEng in Civil Engineering with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence, or a BEng Mechanical Engineering with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence.

When it comes to the Science with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence program, you could pursue a BSc in Mathematics with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence, a BSc in Physics with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence or a BSc in Ocean Science with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence.

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Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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