La Trobe launches first Australian IoT Masters course

By Stuart Corner of IoT Australia

La Trobe University says it will be the first Australian university to offer a course specialising in IoT when it launches a two-year Master of Internet of Things course at its Bendigo campus in March 2020.

Head of the Technology Innovation Lab, Dr Simon Egerton, said the course had been developed to meet a skills gap that is fast becoming a global issue.

Experts in IoT are in high demand across a wide range of industries including mining, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, transport, utilities and local government.

He said the course syllabus had been co-created with future employers to ensure it produces flexible, career-ready graduates.

“The course will be highly workplace-focused, and will teach students to be creative, clever and adaptable to industry need.”

In 2018, La Trobe’s Technology Innovation Lab in Bendigo, in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo, established one of regional Victoria’s first open source IoT networks.

The university says students use Bendigo city as a “living lab”, partnering with organisations including Bendigo Bank, Coliban Water, the City of Greater Bendigo and Bendigo Health to implement projects.

La Trobe says it is also in discussions with several multinational companies to provide mentors, travel scholarships, field trips and work placement opportunities.

Students will be based in a new IoT teaching lab in Bendigo that will host a range of IoT platforms.

Egerton said: “Our students will be across the major platforms, but we will also enhance their depth through various industry partnerships, including guest lectures, workshops and more.

“A core learning outcome of our course is critical appraisal of the current technologies.”

He said the University also had access to the Things Network (an Amsterdam based organisation that supports networks based on LoRaWAN).

“We are looking forward to working with students and our local partners to push the boundaries of its capabilities.”

According to the course web site students will learn about IoT cloud data; the industry impact of IoT technology; IoT programming and systems design; security protocols and privacy risks.

It lists possible career options for graduates as being IoT product test engineer; data analyst; industrial UI/UX designer; interoperability engineer.

The course is full time over two years but can also be studied part time. Fees are $30,800 per full-time year or part time equivalent.

Is the course the first?

La Trobe might claim to have the first IoT Course but James Cook University also claims that title, with its Huawei-sponsored NBIoT lab, established at JCU Cairns in 2017.

According to the JCU web site its Electronic Systems and Internet of Things (IoT) Engineering course makes it “the first university in Australia to offer a dedicated Internet of Things engineering degree.”

However what purports to be the link to the course goes to the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) course of which “Electronic Systems and Internet of Things (IoT) Engineering” is but one of five majors students can choose.

Curtin University also offers a one year “MicroMasters” course in IoT.

Stuart Corner is editor of IoT Australia.

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