He has been in Austria ever since and has worked as a computer scientist all over the world. Now he has been appointed director of the new English-language Informatics* bachelor programme at IMC Krems.
“After finishing my doctorate in 2009, I spent time at the University of Limerick in Ireland as a post-doc researcher before moving to TU Wien, again as a post-doc. After a short while I started working at Siemens, where I’ve been for the past eight years,” Deepak Dhungana explains. As part of the Corporate Technology research department at Siemens, he was a researcher, consultant and project manager responsible for internal and external research projects.
Back to academia
“I’ve spent a lot of time at universities. After finishing my postgraduate degree I started working on my doctorate, and during that time I also lectured at Johannes Kepler University. I was working with students in Ireland and at TU Wien. It was always very interesting and challenging as well,” says Dhungana of his teaching background. After lecturing, he spent many years in industry, besides working as a part-time lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria’s Hagenberg Campus. His spell in industry gave him a good insight into the skills that industrial experts need.
Informatics – a high-potential field
According to Dhungana, the subject has never been more popular: demand for informatics programmes – computer science with a focus on data science, artificial intelligence, data analytics and business intelligence – is stronger than ever before. His experience in industry has shown that in many cases it can be difficult to find suitable candidates for certain positions. Universities in Austria and around the world have already responded to this demand, offering courses with data science elements. Nevertheless, the informatics expert believes that launching a new programme in Krems as well was the right way to go: “It’s a big market. We can’t train enough graduates in this subject to satisfy the rising demand.”
Practice-led degree programme for technically minded students
The new programme director says his aim is to structure the degree programme in Krems in such a way that graduates have both theoretical and practical knowledge of how to use the tools they will need. This means that graduates will be able to perform critical tasks straight after leaving university. He believes offering the course entirely in English was also important because graduates will primarily speak English at work, as part of large international teams. Dhungana is well aware that the new bachelor programme will be challenging: “The last thing I want to say is that it’s an easy programme. It isn’t! It’s an interdisciplinary academic field, a technology programme that demands extensive maths, statistics and programming knowledge. Students need to be creative and eager to learn, but we also want to point out that this is the future. So if you have what it takes in this area, you should have a secure job for the next few years. Just picture a person who can work as a programmer, analyst, communicator and a trusted consultant.”
Students learn how to use tools that are not only important for a single field or domain, but for all of them. “If students want to make sure they have what it takes to get ahead in the future, informatics is a subject that combines everything they need,” says Dhungana. Informatics specialists perform interdisciplinary work in collaboration with biologists, chemists and mechanical engineers. And informatics is the link that ties all of these professions together. “Once you’ve completed a bachelor in informatics, you can still move into other specialist fields like innovation management or digital transformation, or go on to study advanced informatics. The Informatics* degree programme opens lots of doors,” the programme director points out.
Dhungana’s first piece of advice: “You need to be good at maths and working with numbers.” But he also notes that the Informatics* programme is more than just a scaled-down maths degree. “By building software, carrying out calculations and analysis, and finding relationships in data sets that nobody had reckoned with, we’re creating something new. We’re laying the groundwork for decision-making and driving forward the process of digitalisation,” says Deepak Dhungana, highlighting the vital work performed by computer scientists. In October 2012 the Harvard Business Review even christened data scientist as “the sexiest job of the 21st century”. The Informatics* bachelor degree helps you to keep pace with the latest developments and play a part in shaping tomorrow’s world.
The English-language Informatics* bachelor degree programme starts at IMC Krems in autumn 2019. Applications close on 30 June 2019.
*Subject to approval by AQ Austria