La Trobe adds tech to humanities, business degree

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La Trobe adds tech to humanities, business degree

Addressing skills shortage from new angle.

La Trobe University is set to launch a new tech-focused humanities degree to assuage businesses’ growing demands for people outside the IT team to be up to speed with data use and security.

Unlike post-grad programs designed to upskill managers and executives when IT becomes part of their remit or essential to a project, La Trobe’s new degree seeks to beat other educators to the punch.

It’s also a bid to improve the overall culture surrounding technology use in enterprise, which La Trobe’s head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Nick Bisley, said was a “pandora’s box” of “societal and ethical questions”.

“The Bachelor of Humanities, Innovation and Technology is our response to calls from leading scientists and CEOs for graduates trained in problem-solving across humanities, business and technology,” Bisley said.

“For example, while big data offers opportunities for companies to increase their efficiency and make better informed decisions, it also raises fundamental questions around privacy and increased cyber security risk.”

The new three-year undergraduate degree will be taught by La Trobe’s academics from the fields of cyber law, artificial intelligence, internet of things, sustainable development, innovation and economics.

Topics included in the course include data-based critical thinking, cyber law and policy, economics for a changing world, and ethical global citizenship.

Dr Sarah Midford, director of Undergraduate Studies at the school, added that the combination of social, legal, commercial and scientific knowledge “will equip our students to understand the technical and human side of a problem and solve it using ethical reasoning”.

“While most degrees that teach emerging technologies focus primarily on the science, our new degree program brings together La Trobe expertise from across humanities, business, science and technology to develop students’ ability to respond to urgent questions around inequality and sustainability brought about by disruptive technologies.”

The first intake of students is slated to begin the degree in March next year.

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