The evolution of the needs of the professional market is increasingly rapid and requires greater technological development. At the regional level, the demand for trained personnel in this field exceeds the supply of professionals with these skills, so higher education institutions must be agile to update their academic offer.
The reality of Ecuador is particular, points out the academic vice-rector of UDLA, Marlena León, since there is a regulatory framework that sometimes it limits local universities to create or modify academic programs with the speed with which the international market demands. However, adjustments are made to be able to respond to the new context.
Although the adequacy of careers is important -he states- it is more so the adjustment of pedagogy and learning. “Unfortunately most local and international higher education institutions evolve slowly, which can cause changes to take longer. Being close to companies and being able to understand their needs facilitates the development of spaces that perhaps are unknown at this time”, she expresses.
In order to meet the demand for professionals in the field of technology, universities have developed technical, technological, graduate and postgraduate careers in topics such as software development, data analysis, information systems, digital transformation, cloud applications, among other.
The National Polytechnic School (EPN), for example, has designed careers that meet the needs of home automation and industry, as well as others that contribute to technological development, such as communication systems, smart cities, generation of applications and to reinforce capacities. data processing and management.
“Our academic offer is being updated, with redesigns of existing careers or creating new ones, in order to include new aspects required in the workplace,” remarks the Vice Chancellor for Teaching, Iván Bernal.
Among the EPN careers in the technological field are Electronics and Automation; Mechatronic; Information Technology and Computing and Software. Being the first much required by companies that incorporate production processes, oil companies, as well as the real estate and electrical sector.
The National Polytechnic School receives around 2,000 annual applications for each of these careers. Due to the level of applications received, the places offered increased by 20 percent.
To keep up with the needs of the productive sector, the Department of Educational Innovation of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE) developed three engineering courses: Information Systems (IS), Information Technologies (IT) and Data Science (CD). . The former focuses on the development of computer applications, infrastructure, data analytics, and cybersecurity, while IT focuses on infrastructure (networks, servers, databases), cybersecurity, and app development.
The CD major is new at this university and its first cohort started this semester. “This is the only offer at the undergraduate level that exists in the country, since there were only postgraduate courses that offered this area of knowledge in Ecuador… The skills and competence that a CD professional has allows them to have a very wide range of employability, since they can work in any company, industry or organization”, explains the coordinator of the career, Edwin Buenaño.
The Higher Technology career in Digital Transformation of Companies of the Technical and Technological Academic Unit of the Private Technical University of Loja (UTPL TEC) also offers an interesting proposal at a technological level. Its director, Marco Patricio Abad, reports that this trains professionals with a business vision from the perspective of the digital economy. Its graduates acquire technical skills such as the development of cloud applications, business architecture and the promotion of digital transformation projects in organizations, in which students carry out their internships.
Digital models are implemented from the UTPL TEC classrooms to companies. An example of this is a project developed for the tourism sector which includes: transportation, accommodation, food and beverages, attractions, activities and travel information, a digital transformation process in which information is interoperated to generate value for customers. customers.
Although at UDLA the demand for STEM careers is not massive, in the last two years, says Marlena León, the influx of students seeking this area of knowledge has increased. Among its offer is Engineering in Electronics and Automation, whose structure is based on the areas of electronics, robotics and industrial automation, industry 4.0, Internet of Things, among others.
The university also has the Technological Innovation Unit (UITEC), a space in which students develop science and technology projects, the most recent being a SAP platform to keep track of student activities and encourage the most outstanding , as well as three apps, one of augmented reality for compliance with biosafety protocols, another that trains in water care and one that allows keeping a medical history of the cows.
Innovative proposals have also emerged from the EPN, such as projects in smart agriculture, Blockchain, logistics and manufacturing; Industry 4.0.; forest fire detection systems with wireless sensor network; intelligent systems for traffic management; hand gesture recognition using electromyographic signals and artificial intelligence; electric wheelchair controlled by brain waves, among others.