Irelands first Masters in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has launched y in response to a growing demand by industry for AI skills in Ireland. The programme, which will run in the University of Limerick from this September 2018, was launched by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys (TD).
This new innovative course will include a fast-track Introductory Course to be developed in collaboration with the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC), Irelands national centre for HPC.
The design of the entire programme will be led by ICT companies under the aegis of Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and University of Limerick.
Companies that have been involved in developing the programme to date include: Accenture, Advanced Metadata, Analog, Arvato, Citibank, Ericsson, Fujitsu, GM, Google, IBM, Image-Vision, Microsoft, Movidius, Nokia Bell Labs, Pramerica, SAP, Storyful, Sytorus, Valeo and Zalando.
Speaking at the launch of the Masters, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said:
I welcome this new programme that will be delivered by the University of Limerick with the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC). Artificial Intelligence is shaping a new reality for Irish businesses, creating exciting new opportunities for innovation across all industries. To keep apace with these fast-changing technologies, its essential we have a workforce with the skills needed to drive this digital revolution.
Skillnets, the national agency working with businesses to address their current and future skills needs, collaborated with IDA Ireland to develop this leading-edge programme in order to address the growing need for Artificial Intelligence skills in Ireland.
Artificial Intelligence will have a transformational effect on business and on society over the coming years. In supporting the skills needs of over 14,000 companies in Ireland, we consistently hear of both the opportunities and risks presented by AI, said Chief Executive of Skillnets, Paul Healy.
Although a thriving AI ecosystem is taking root in Ireland, we know that a significant skills shortage in Artificial Intelligence is emerging which needs to be addressed. We see the launch of this Masters programme as a great opportunity to not only respond to the needs of business, but also to grow our economy by making Ireland a centre of excellence in Artificial Intelligence, he added.
There are currently over 80,000 tech professionals working in Ireland, with over 8,000 more IT jobs forecast to be created this year. Companies that have an Artificial Intelligence presence established in Ireland include: Siemens, Zalando, SAP, HubSpot, Deutsche Bank, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, Ericsson, Intel, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Fujitsu, Mastercard, Nokia Bell Labs, Huawei, LogoGrab and Soapbox Labs, to name but a few.
Leo Clancy, Head of Technology, Consumer & Business Services at IDA Ireland said:
AI is an area of huge growth globally and is fundamentally important to IDAs clients and their future plans. Ireland has a significant opportunity to build upon our record base of Foreign Direct Investment through ensuring we have a skilled and capable workforce in this critical area. We welcome the announcement today by the Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and the University of Limerick and commend both organisations on the initiative shown in making this happen.
Skillnets awarded funding to Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet last year to develop this Masters in Artificial Intelligence through its Future Skills Needs Programme (FSNP). The key focus of this programme is to facilitate collaborations between enterprise, academic institutions and industry training providers to develop innovative new programmes that specifically address the future skills needs of businesses and emerging skills gaps within growth sectors. Other innovative programmes developed include; Irelands first ever Masters in both DevOps and IT Architecture and a Masters programme in Cyber Security.
The new MSc in Artificial Intelligence aims to educate over 300 people within the next five years. The course will run over two-years part-time and will be delivered primarily online with some intensive Problem Based Learning (PBL) workshops taking place on the University of Limerick campus.
An integral part of the programme will be a fast-track 12-week online course Introduction to AI to be developed in collaboration with the Irish Centre for High End Computing which will build the foundational skills of participants to enable them to enter and complete the Masters programme.
The programme is aimed at existing information technology professionals, those migrating from associated disciplines and appropriately qualified recent graduates (new entrants) who are interested in pursuing a career in this field.
Applications for the first 60 participants for the course will begin in late Spring /early Summer 2018.
For further information go to: https://www.ictskillnet.ie/training/launch-national-msc-artificial-intelligence/