Pioneers weather the storm

August 17, 2001

A degree course in mobile computing is being launched by Staffordshire University at the same time as the industry is facing global recession.

Thousands of jobs have been shed by multinational telecoms companies this year. But Khawar Hameed, the organiser of the new BSc, said he was confident that in four years, when the first graduates emerged, there would be a strong jobs market in wireless communications.

"This is the first degree of its kind in the United Kingdom and there will be a definite demand for these skills.

"We have seen a fall in the telecoms industry, and one of the reasons is the massive investment in 3G licences (for advanced cellphone-based internet services), but I think it is temporary.

"All the evidence suggests that mobile computing will be widely adopted," said Mr Hameed, who is a senior lecturer at the university's school of computing.

Mr Hameed is working with Oracle on a research project to assess the adoption of mobile computing.

"Mobile computing is an emerging technology that in previous years was seen as a fad. Now the science itself has matured to the degree that we can deliver it as an academic subject," he said.

Companies were tending to buy portable computers instead of office-based machines for staff, and wireless technology offered further freedom, Mr Hameed said.

He added that mobile computing, based on the growing integration of computing and communications technologies, had huge potential for workers outside the traditional office, such as sales staff, engineers or surveyors.

More sophisticated mobile communications systems would also enable portable devices to download large banks of data. This would help professions such as paramedics, by providing medical information on patients being treated at the roadside, he said.

Up to 30 students are expected to enrol for the four-year degree starting in September. Teaching will include applications programming for mobile devices, mobile database systems, network security and wireless technology.

Students will also spend a year on work placement in the computing industry.

Carl Dudley, Oracle associate dean at the university's school of computing, said the course aimed to give students the skills needed by the industry:

"Mobile communications is an area that is growing. Although this is a young technology, it has huge potential and will need many skilled workers."

Graduates of the new course will be able to apply for jobs such as applications programmers, developers in communications infrastructure and e-commerce.

The degree is supported by partnerships with Oracle, BT, MapInfo and Terrafix, which will be providing the software for students.

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments