Innovating for the future
Before there was a lot of talks that technological transformation would lead to a change in universities and pensum, however, those times have come, so the high houses of study are preparing at full speed to teach the careers of the future.
A few weeks ago, Listín Diario published “The 100 careers of the future that make up industry 4.0”, where the general director of the National Institute of Vocational-Technical Training (Infotep), Rafael Santos Badía, pointed out that this entity is looking for “new clothes” to intervene in this 4.0 revolution with competence, efficiency, and responses to the labor market.
Professional technical training is immersed in the development of new areas that really secure jobs in the country, through careers such as software, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, data science, interactive simulations, and video games, among others.
However, beyond the technical, are Dominican universities prepared to face this change? Listín Diario consulted some to know what changes these centers of higher studies are assuming.
Innovations and demand
The rector of the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC), Julio Sánchez Maríñez, confesses that this university has been prepared for this transformation since its very birth, because already in 1972, the year of its foundation, it included in its academic offer industrial engineering, then completely new for the country.
“This is not to insist on his medical career, with an innovative curriculum design that since then included training in primary care with a social focus, supported by his practices in rural and popular settings (the mid-career rural internship) combined with a training of solid scientific basis, “says Sánchez Maríñez.
The rector of Intec assures that over time this innovative vocation of INTEC has been maintained; so he cites some cases of careers that have been included according to the demands of the market, such as industrial design cases since 1987; electronic and communications engineering since 1989; mechatronics and robotics engineering since 2007; software engineering and mathematics and actuarial science since 2009; international business since 2014 and biotechnology and commercial engineering since 2015.
More recently, INTEC “took the lead” with cybersecurity professions since 2017 and biomedical engineering, financial engineering, data science, and commercial communication since 2019.
The rector of the Pedro Henríquez Ureña National University (UNPHU), Miguel Fiallo Calderón, understands that the greatest challenge that this institution has is the high investment required by the digitalization of universities, taking into account the infrastructure, human resources, and technical means.
He adds that another challenge is the hiring of professionals with specialization in these areas, because being new careers the country has few professionals, this entails assuming the training of teaching staff, so that they can face the demands of careers, also novel for them.
The UNPHU defines its new academic offer based on relevance and coherence with its nature, educational model and the development needs of the country, developing careers in technology.
According to the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology, digital transformation implies the time of the future in terms of preparing for new technical careers.
Franklin García Fermín adds that universities are preparing at the level of technological infrastructure and software tools.
Higher education institutions are developing master’s degrees and doctorates related to the technological world.
García Fermín believes that a challenge is the small number of doctors in Computer Science.
Universities must invest in technological infrastructure