Automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud platforms are part of the toolbox of many firms. Haaga-Helia is offering courses on these topics to reply to the demand on the job market. To keep the course contents up to date and relevant, guest lectures and project work given by companies are included as key content.
In addition, Haaga-Helia is cooperating with educational institutions around Europe to jointly create and pilot new courses on cloud and AI related technologies. Some of this cooperation is made possible by the Digital Innovation Hub for Cloud-based Services, DIHUB, project.
Posti taking an active role in teaching AI
In spring 2021, Posti gave a guest lecture at Haaga-Helia in a course on AI. We shared our experience of a virtual assistant that Posti has implemented to help its employees in variety of support requests. Students were told about the bot and how it can help with tasks such as ordering of credentials or answering to employment life-cycle related questions. The platform is provided by a vendor, and the AI model is in the cloud. The bot is continuously developed together by Posti’s own team and by the vendor.
We spoke of how valuable transversal skills, generic skills that can be transferred to any job role, have become. These include social skills, such as the ability and willingness to build and use networks and to collaborate. The courage to present own ideas and to interact with colleagues in different situations is also seen as important.
As we know, tools and technologies develop fast. Hence, the ability to search for information from open sources, and to synthetize and apply that information creatively in different domains and tasks, is of utmost importance. What one learns at school indeed gives a solid basis, but one will need to keep on learning to stay on top of the game.
Cloud platforms are one example of a rapidly developing technology. The development cycle is so fast that unless one actively searches information and leverages the global community and peer support, one most likely ends up under utilizing the platforms and tools is use. The benefit of the global professional community is that when facing a problem, one finds a solution faster as there is always someone in some corner of the internet, who has faced a similar situation and can help.
In addition to learning transversal skills, the future IT- specialist needs some hard skills such as different methodologies, programming languages and software tools. Software development is indeed part of the work, but configuring ready-made platforms and tools is the way things are typically done.
Designing learning objectives together with companies
The guest lecture was very insightful not only for the students but also from the teaching aspect.
Checking the usefulness of the learning objectives of any course with a potential employer is a necessity when educating future professionals. This is continuously done in a small scale in individual courses. However, checking the compatibility of learning objectives and company needs more systematically and in a larger scale is done in research and development projects such as the DIHUB project. Its aim being a European curriculum for cloud specialists designed together with experts working in different job roles in companies.
This blog was co-written by Tuulia Timonen, Head of Service Excellence at Posti Service Center, Riku Tapper, Director of Data and Automation at Posti Oyj and Lili Aunimo, Principal Lecturer at Haaga-Helia.