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Top Places to Study Abroad If You’re Looking for a Tech Career

Computer science and technology are rapidly becoming the most sought-after areas of study as modern advances propel our world into the future. Initially, degrees in these fields were good to have, but now, it’s almost necessary for younger generations to have some sort of experience in science and tech as these two fields intersect in some way with most industries today.

Luckily, hundreds of colleges and universities offer programs and degrees in computer science and IT—thousands if you consider studying abroad. In fact, studying abroad is ideal for those looking to work in tech as it can offer you a unique experience that can broaden your perspective and allow you to learn and work with global leaders and changemakers in these fields. 

This article will look at some areas of study within the computer science and technology fields and the best places to study abroad to pursue these interests. 

Areas of Study for Those Interested in a Tech Career

Some various degrees and programs fall within the tech category. If you know you want to have a tech degree but aren’t exactly sure what to study specifically, you can always opt for a general degree in computer science, engineering, or information technology (IT).  Many students start there and then narrow down their field of study once they have had the opportunity to learn about various fields and gain more specific interests. 

Some common careers that students pursue after studying tech include computer programming, software engineering, and data science. However, as a whole, nearly every industry requires professionals with experience in tech, so if you don’t want to work specifically for a tech or science company, there are numerous other options available. For example, cybersecurity, fintech, the automotive industry, and even supply chain management are all areas that look for students with experience in computer science and IT. 

Today, most new cars have complex computer systems, especially those with self-driving tech. So the automotive industry isn’t just for engineers, but they need computer scientists and IT specialists as well. This is a great option for students who are interested in cars but who have more computer science and tech skills versus engineering.

There has also been a significant shift in the financial industry in recent years, with many banks and financial brands going completely digital or seeking new ways to provide digital services to appeal to modern, tech-savvy consumers. Thus, many financial brands, or fintechs, are seeking people with tech experience to help them modernize their companies and develop new financial technologies and systems. 

As more and more companies go digital with optimized processes and advanced systems, the supply chain process has also gone high-tech. The E-commerce industry especially has propelled supply chain management forward in recent years to ensure a smooth and efficient process for consumers. This means supply chain managers aren’t just warehouse workers; they are professionals with management, digital software, and IT experience. 

If you want to study something more tech-forward, but don’t just want a standard job in computer programming, then a degree in cybersecurity might be for you. Cybersecurity specialists help companies across all industries protect themselves and their customers from cyber attacks and security breaches. So, you could work at just about any kind of company—even a beauty or wellness brand—while holding a position in tech as a cybersecurity specialist. 

Where to Study Abroad If You Are Interested in Computer Science and Technology

Most countries today have upper-level academic institutions and universities that offer degrees and programs in computer science and IT. However, some countries are leading the way in tech more than others. So, while you can technically study abroad just about anywhere, there might be some places that are better than others, depending on your specific area of interest. 

Overall, Asia is an excellent choice for studying abroad if you are interested in a tech career. Some of the best tech companies and technological advancements have come out of Asia, and in recent years, the region has accounted for 52% of global growth in tech. 

Some of the best countries to study abroad in Asia include:

  • Japan: As a whole, Japan is one of the leaders in the world economy and has numerous universities that offer English-speaking programs in tech. It has also been one of the most popular destinations for international students for decades. 
  • Singapore: The city-state of Singapore has a top-tier education system, with some of the top universities offering a wide range of degrees and programs. Singapore is also an international hub, meaning it is ideal for study abroad students looking to expand their knowledge and experience new cultures. 
  • China: Like Japan, China also has one of the largest and fastest-growing economies, meaning it has a lot to offer. It is also a popular destination for international students due to its vast population, landscape, and professional opportunities. 
  • South Korea: This is another ideal location in Asia for those interested in studying abroad because it has a highly-developed education system. And not only does South Korea offer students a rigorous academic experience, but it also boasts some of the most stunning scenery and a booming economy. 

While many parts of Asia are excellent study abroad options for tech as a whole, if you want to gain experience in a more specific field of study, you may want to look into other places to visit. For example, the below locations are excellent choices if you are interested in a career in the fintech industry:

  • The UK
  • Lithuania
  • The USA
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Estonia

If you are interested in a tech career in the automotive industry, you should set your sights on Japan. Japan is a world leader in the automotive industry, especially where advanced car technologies are concerned. This country has consistently been one of the top global auto manufacturers since the 60s, and production and innovation continue to increase year after year. 

If a tech job in supply and demand is calling your name, some of the best places to study abroad for supply chain management include

  • New Zealand
  • Germany
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Morocco

Final Thoughts

The world is full of opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in tech. As our economy advances, most companies require professionals who have a degree in computer science or information technology. So there is no need to limit yourself necessarily to only working for a tech or science-focused company. 

And if you are interested in studying abroad to advance your skills and learn from leaders in your chosen area of study, there are numerous options available. If money is an issue, don’t let your financial situation stop you. Many places offer government-funded scholarships for international students because international travel and study abroad programs are good for the economy.

Huge thanks to Frankie Wallace for this guest post. Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about education, personal development, and technology. Frankie spends her free time cultivating her zero waste garden or off hiking in the mountains of the PNW with her loved ones.

Why Study Artificial Intelligence – A New Age, or the End of Humanity?

Perhaps it is because I am a closeted conspiracy theorist, or perhaps it is because I have seen too many episodes of ‘Black Mirror’, but I am not very trusting of Artificial Intelligence (AI). From a manipulative computer in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to a murderous robot in ‘Ex Machina’, we have a tendency to portray AI as a threat to humans.

But how real is this threat?

Well, people like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have come forward and said that they believe that AI could potentially be very dangerous, as we can’t control machines that are more powerful to us. Elon Musk compared AI to “summoning the devil” at a lecture at MIT. Nick Bostrom is a philosopher at Oxford University who came up with a thought experiment called the ‘Paperclip Maximiser’ which illustrates the risk of AI through Instrumental Convergence. He said this:

“Suppose we have an AI whose only goal is to make as many paperclips as possible. The AI will realise that it would be much better if there were no humans because humans might decide to switch it off. Because if humans do so, there would be fewer paper clips. Also, human bodies contain a lot of atoms that could be made into paper clips. The future that the AI would be trying to gear towards would be one in which there were a lot of paper clips but no humans”

– Nick Bostrom, Artificial Intelligence May Doom The Human Race Within a Century, The Huffington Post.

(Suddenly paperclips look a heck of a lot more threatening, don’t they?)

However, this being said, there are so many benefits to AI. They could do half a century of research in an hour, identify illnesses better than any human, and create more jobs.

Perhaps it is these benefits, and more, that is inspiring more and more young people to study Artificial Intelligence at University. There are so many benefits to AI that it would be hard to deny that it is worth developing.

With more research, more diversity in researchers, and more voices being heard we may be able to create a world where Artificial Intelligence and Humans can live peacefully and prosperously. AI needs to be researched carefully and nurtured by the right kind of person.

If you, like many other students recently, feel inspired to help develop AI in a safe way, and want to study it at University then by all means go for it!

According to Nature Index, the best Universities in the world to study AI are:

  • Harvard University, USA
  • Stanford University, USA
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • Max Planck Society, Germany
  • University of Oxford, UK
  • University of Cambridge, UK
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • University College London (UCL), UK
  • Columbia University in the City of New York, USA
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

Perhaps I was too quick to judge Artificial Intelligence and dismissed all the positives it could bring. We already are experiencing some of the benefits of AI in the algorithm YouTube uses to recommend you videos, to your email putting things in Spam (although, this is not always perfect), to directions, to predictive typing!

AI does not seem nearly as daunting when we realise that it is already a part of our lives, and we may not have even realised it!

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Will Google Translate Kill Language Degrees?

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who admit to using Google Translate, and liars.

Who doesn’t love Google Translate? It’s never been easier to generate every. single. language. at the click of a button – it’s literally magic! But using Google Translate is not always the best idea if you’re trying to learn a new language. It can actually reduce your ability to learn and retain information (sorry language students!). So for those learning languages at university, we’re asking will Google Translate kill language degrees?

Google and AI Accuracy

Google Translate was always a trusty tool, but everyone knows that you’ll never ace an exam with it. It’s never been perfect, as language is often far too nuanced for a computer to understand. But saying this, Google is working on Artificial Intelligence (AI) software that will improve the quality of translation. This is called Google Neural Machine Translation system (GNMT).

Google claims that GNMT is already very effective. In a study, they found that GNMT scored 5.43 out of 6 points for its accuracy at translating. A human translation scored 5.5 out of 6. Other developers estimate we will not achieve human-levels of translation on Google Translate until 2060 at the latest.

What’s more, Google Duplex has the ability to accurately replicate your voice and speech patterns in order to make a call. The official demo that Google gave was booking a haircut. This technology was made public over a year ago, so who knows what Google’s AI looks like now.

Sourced from YouTube.

What does this mean for language students?

So if Google continues to improve, will there be any point in learning a language at university? Well, the answer’s yes!

Studying a language is actually good for you, and good for your brain. The study of languages has been proven by Swedish scientists to literally increase the size of your brain, and so helps improve cognitive thinking. People who speak a second language are less likely to develop early-onset dementia.

Studying languages is still the only way to properly understand language, it’s history and culture. Getting a quick translation from Google isn’t a form of learning. It takes much more understanding to retain a language in your memory. Like how to form sentences, different types of words, tenses, grammar, pronunciation and more. It’s the reason that languages are so popular in the first place because there’s a whole field dedicated to the teaching and learning of language.

Career prospects for language students

Speaking a second language can also make you stand out from the crowd, and is often asked as a prerequisite. It can give you the opportunity to travel to different countries to work, and employers like people with flexibility.

Translators are invaluable to companies and tend to make good money. The world is getting smaller and smaller, and people from all kinds of countries need to make good connections around the globe. Though Google Translate is good, it does not yet meet the same standards as human translators. As stated before, humans can understand contexts better, and delicate relations between nations cannot risk being broken by a miscommunication.

Plus, Google is hiring translators in by the hundred in order to help create their accurate AI, and they will not stop hiring anytime soon. People are more likely to trust humans for important and serious interactions, as computers can sometimes make mistakes. Humans can read the context, stress various words for different meanings, and understand idioms better.

Are languages losing their importance?

Learning languages will always be invaluable. School Adviser at the British Council, Vicky Gough, warns that “there is a somewhat alarmingly prevalent notion that foreign languages are just ‘nice to have’ because everyone speaks English anyway. This isn’t the case – only a quarter of the world’s population speaks English and, while that’s clearly a lot of people, it still leaves three quarters with whom we’re – quite literally – lost for words”. Gough is adamant that “learning a language isn’t just a rewarding way to connect with another culture but it boosts job prospects too”.

So is it worth studying a language degree when AI translations are becoming so accurate? Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, but the face of work for Linguists will change, and so they have to be prepared to adapt to these changes.

After all, we do not want a world full of mistranslations, no matter how funny they can be.

Enjoyed this article? Why not check out our article on how to stay motivated when learning a language.