Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras wants students from across educational backgrounds to be part of its online BSc degree in programming and data science.
Students who are currently enrolled in a different on-campus programme anywhere in India can pursue this degree programme without needing to switch careers or courses. This is irrespective of whether a student is enrolled in a arts, commerce or science degree.
Traditionally, a science degree programme demands that the candidate have subjects like mathematics and statistics in their Class XII.
Even employers who want to up-skill their employees can consider this option, without loss of productive time on the job. The programme brightens up job prospects for students in a lucrative field, provides opportunity for working professionals to switch careers and also provides learners an opportunity to secure a degree from a recognised institution such as IIT Madras.
Andrew Thangaraj, Professor-in-Charge, IIT Madras Online Degree Programme, told Moneycontrol that from the second year onwards, efforts will be taken to have mentorships for students. He explained that the idea is to ensure that students from different economic backgrounds come and be a part of the programme.
“We did not want to have an entrance examination like our other programmes, so that students from across academic backgrounds can be a part of this online degree/diploma initiative,” he added.
Students seeking a direct entry to the diploma programme would have to first take an examination to qualify for admission. Thangaraj added that there will be a separate placement cell set up for this programme that will help students access relevant jobs.
Prathap Haridoss, Professor-in-Charge, IIT Madras Online Degree Programme, said the institute had been working for about a year to roll-out this educational initiative. He added that there will be monthly assessments for students and the academic rigour will be similar to a regular programme.
There will be three quizzes for each course, one each at the end of weeks four, seven and 10. Every quiz will be based on content covered up to that point in the course. These quizzes have to be attempted in person, he added.
However, the best two out of the three quiz scores will be considered to calculate the average quiz score (Q) out of 100.
Based on the eligibility, interested candidates will have to fill a form and pay a fee of Rs 3,000 for the qualifier exam. Learners will get access to the four weeks of course content of four subjects (mathematics, English, statistics and computational thinking).
He explained that these students will go through the course lectures online, submit online assignments and write an in-person qualifier exam at the end of four weeks. In contrast to the typical admission processes of IITs, which are constrained due to the limited number of in-campus seats, in this programme all students who clear (with an overall score of 50 percent) the qualifier exam will be eligible to register for the foundational programme.The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, data analyst and scientist will be the number one emerging job role in the world.