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Future Of Learning – Online Innovation For A Career In Tech

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Future Of Learning – Online Innovation For A Career In Tech

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Has Computer Science replaced Business as the ‘it’ school on campus? Both provide degrees that offer great career opportunities, competitive salaries, transferable skills, and a foundation from which to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities or contribute to innovation within existing organizations.

The tuition of a Computer Science program from one of the leading schools in the US can be over $60,000 per year, and around £32,000 ($40,000) for international students at a top UK university. That’s no small investment, so applicants want to be sure that they are gaining the skills needed to take advantage of the exciting career opportunities in tech, and secure a great return on their investment.

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But an innovative new player in Higher Education, the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT) is combining decades of faculty experience and big tech industry expertise to deliver the essential IT skills and dedicated career coaching at a fraction of the cost.

The Rector of the institution is the former Italian Education Minister, Professor Francesco Profumo who is also President of the National Research Council. Aware of the importance of enduring quality in higher education, he has overseen the lengthy process of EU-accreditation and quality compliance in a market that is filled with little-known coding schools and boot camps.

OPIT’s Founder, Riccardo Ocleppo graduated with top honors from one of Europe’s most prestigious engineering schools, Politecnico Di Torino, then completed a Masters in Management at the top-ranked London Business School. He is an edtech entrepreneur who twelve years ago founded Docsity, a platform that provides study support for over 20 million students around the world.

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Ocleppo firmly believes that a tech-related degree can give you the edge in today’s rapidly evolving world, and with OPIT he is intent on building the next generation of accredited, next-generation online degrees in Computer Science, AI and Data Science to open doors to a world of in-demand careers.

“OPIT accredited degrees provide students with unparalleled education in Computer Science. We built an exceptional faculty of international professors to leverage their strong academic and professional experience to teach today’s computer science with a competency-based teaching methodology. Our online degrees are career-focused and cover the skillsets employers are looking for, while being inclusive and affordable.”

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By focusing on a BSc in Computer Science and a MSc in Applied Data Science & AI, OPIT has designed programs with a mix of live lessons, masterclasses and asynchronous digital content to build the coding and analytical skills that are in such high demand in the job market. “Our hands-on approach is designed to best prepare you for your future career and open up multiple successful career options.”

The Rising Demand for Tech Professionals

Even with the round of layoffs at the likes of Meta, Twitter and Microsoft, the demand for skilled tech professionals continues, with companies across industries relying on advanced technologies for their success.

“Companies require skilled individuals who can develop and implement innovative solutions to complex problems,” explains Riccardo Ocleppo. “From software engineering to data analysis and machine learning, a degree in computer science and AI equips graduates with the skills needed to thrive in this dynamic industry.”

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The digital transition in society is something that the Rector of OPIT, Professor Francesco Profumo witnessed through his previous role as Italy’s Minister of Education, University and Research. “The starting point for OPIT is the awareness of the misalignment in the labor market, between what is taught and what companies are looking for today. That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.”

He points to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which estimates that the tech talent shortage will swell to more than 85 million tech workers by 2030. As a consequence of this IT Talent Gap, the Korn Ferry Institute expects the US, Europe and Asia to lose out on hundreds of billions in lost revenue due to sector skills shortage.

“To rise to this challenge, we want to make Computer Science and AI accessible to the world,” says Professor Profumo. “The competency-based approach of the courses and flexibility of online learning really makes a difference, because students can study at their own pace and depth, and as competencies and skills are proven, you continue to progress.”

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Hiring for success

While studying business at the London Business School in 2010, Riccardo Ocleppo read the book “Get Big Fast: Inside the Revolutionary Business Model That Changed the World”, which tells the story of the Founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos. “It was a book that changed my perspective and pushed me to pursue bigger goals,” Ocleppo recalls.

One of Amazon’s earliest employees, Nicholas Lovejoy recalls of Bezos, “one of his mottos was that every time we hired someone, he or she should raise the bar for the next hire so that the overall talent pool was always improving.”

It is a philosophy Riccardo Ocleppo pursued at docsity, which now has teams across Europe and Latin America, and is fundamental to building a strong foundation at OPIT. “Exceptional professors mark the difference between good and great education. Our selection process focused on recruiting Professors with great academic experience, a strong knowledge of today’s Computer Science, and a hands-on teaching approach.”

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In addition to a former EU Education Minister, Ocleppo has carefully together faculty with teaching backgrounds include the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, IIT Bombay, Santa Clara University, McGill and the University of Edinburgh as well as industry expertise at Microsoft, UBS, PayPal, McKinsey, Morgan Stanley and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

“OPIT’s approach involves collaboration with industry experts and top-tier companies,” explains Ocleppo, “ensuring that the curriculum remains up to date with industry trends and demands. By bridging the gap between academia and industry, OPIT prepares students to hit the ground running upon graduation, increasing their chances of success in the job market.”

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A compelling ROI

For the full-time student fresh out of high school the BSc in Computer Science can be completed in two years, while for those already in work they can take up to 36 months to complete the degree. “We are seeing a lot of demand from working professionals who feel that they are missing out on the opportunities in tech,” says Riccardo Ocleppo. “By studying online, they can manage the demands of their job, their families and their courses and future-proof their career with the skills that employers are really looking for.”

As a fully accredited institute within the EQF (European Qualification Framework) and the MQF, the degrees awarded by OPIT have full legal value in Europe and are professionally recognised by employers.

This means that international students will be able to apply for jobs in the EU, with salaries to match. An entry level computer scientist with 1-3 years of experience in Western Europe can expect to make an average base salary of €38,000 according to the compensation data company, Payscale. For degrees that cost as little as €300 per month, the ROI of the Bachelor and Master degrees looks assured.

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Talent is everywhere

Ever since Riccardo Ocleppo founded Docsity in 2010, launching a fully accredited Higher Education Institution had always been his goal. “During the last decade, I have had the chance to talk to thousands of students, partner universities and professors. This helped me to understand how big of a gap there is between what’s being taught and the skills requested in today’s job market.”

Ocleppo noticed that this gap is especially wide in the field of Computer Science. “I founded OPIT with a mission to fill this gap, by modernizing university-level teaching while being affordable and benefitting from a digital learning experience. By involving international professors and building strong relationships with global companies, we are building a vibrant online community and excellent digital learning content. This ultimately results in a flexible, cutting-edge and stress-free learning experience for our students.”

With continued rising demand for tech professionals, a degree in computer science and AI offers a promising career path with a high ROI. As technology continues to advance, the demand for skilled professionals in these fields will only continue to grow.

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“Talent is everywhere, and whether it’s the potential for exciting and well-rewarded careers, entrepreneurial opportunities, or the versatility of skills, a degree in computer science and AI opens doors to a world of possibilities in the ever-expanding digital landscape.”

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