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The Fourth Industrial Revolution has given rise to a range of new specialisations. From programmes on artificial intelligence and block chain to sustainable development and renewable energy, UAE universities are keeping pace with the latest developments.

“American University in Dubai (AUD) has a multi-faceted approach to ensuring that graduating students have all the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world, says Cynthia Samaha, Career Services Manager at AUD. “First and foremost, the curriculum is reviewed every semester to ensure that it incorporates the latest trends, technologies and market disruptions such as data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Additionally, industry engagement is crucial, where students hear first-hand on how to adapt to change and innovation, along with learning the soft skills required to succeed in a professional environment.”

Here we take a look at courses on cutting-edge topics and some that are not run-of-the-mill.

AUD’s ArchEatable focuses on cross-disciplinary engagement between architecture and the world of gourmet pastry. “The course is a pioneering exploration of the limits of education in architecture through a unique and innovative approach in the teaching of digital design and fabrication techniques,” says Sabrina Joseph, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at AUD. “Students design unique pieces and edible works of art supported by the use of specific cutting-edge software and machinery.”

Right up there in terms of latest specialisations is Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi’s three-year intensive degree in English, Bachelor in Mathematics, Specialisation in Data Science for Artificial Intelligence, which develops competencies in mathematics, data science and machine learning.

Bachelor of Technology in Mechatronics and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation are Amity University Dubai’s latest offering. “The emerging field of mechatronics is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, making it the ideal choice for students looking to gain practical experience and knowledge in engineering,” says Dr Vajahat Hussain, CEO of Amity Education Middle East.

Show me the money

Students of technology, management and architecture are popular among recruiters in the UAE, says Abdul Razzaq, Head of Career Services at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai.

“However, in the recent past there has been an increase in the number of high-paying jobs for students from life science and media and communication as well. Data science, app development, graphic design, product management, management consulting, architecture, and interior designing are some of the domains in which students of MAHE Dubai were recruited with an average salary of Dh120,000-Dh150,000 a year.”

Over a period, courses and programmes that empower students by facilitating access to internships, industry-collaborated projects, and job-oriented certifications have gained acceptance, he adds.