By Ashish Fernando
Today, international students are breaking conventional boundaries and drifting towards offbeat and innovative study abroad programs. The security of jobs guaranteed by conventional programs no longer entices students on the quest for differentiated learning and is driven by personal interest. Moreover, the competitive advantage of opting for unconventional programs makes them stand out in the job market.
We live in a rapidly evolving world driven by a multitude of factors, such as globalization, technological advancements, changing job markets, demographic shifts, etc. These socio-economic, technological, and cultural factors steer the younger generation to chart new innovative territories to design a better and sustainable future. Globalization, for instance, has propelled humanity to strive for cross-cultural competence and international perspectives. Similarly, demographic shifts and economic opportunities in different countries have set scores of students globally on the expedition of overseas education.
Thus, the complex environment weaved by several factors pushes students globally to go beyond the conventional and pursue offbeat courses that align with the evolving world and give them a competitive edge.
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Embracing the unconventional
Students aspiring to become globally competent understand the need to invest in competencies, hence the quest for differentiated learning. Many unconventional courses are based on differentiated learning methods that focus on generating capacities to understand unique perspectives and worldviews, namely, bioinformatics, econometrics, sports sciences, or ethical hacking, to name a few. In addition, the new and innovative courses also come with excellent career opportunities. The corporate world is also actively changing; thus advantages of selecting a distinctive study abroad program are numerous, including the chance to pursue novel and unconventional careers that pay well.
Popularly referred to as “Jobs of the Future,” many distinctive study-abroad programs are being offered by some of the best universities all over the world.
Here are some unique courses to study abroad in 2023:
Ethical hacking and Cyber security
As recently reported, the scale of cyber-attacks has increased by a whopping 38% in 2022 compared to 2021. An average of 1168 attacks per organization each week occurred globally, which is a record high. This is where the vast demand for cybersecurity and ethical hacking comes into the picture. Organizations are looking for qualified professionals to strengthen their systems through these experts who can regularly analyze and fix the related vulnerabilities of the network. Such roles can demand hefty pay packages in the future.
Ever wonder why some games are so compelling to play? What is now known as game studies or ludology methodically plans the game, its setting, players, and equipment. Sports, anthropology, sociology, and many other disciplines have been used as inspiration for games like PubG, Call of Duty, Temple Run, and others. Games Studies is a fascinating and distinctive course to study if you are a gaming nerd and want to explore it professionally.
If you consider yourself a Sports enthusiast, pursuing a Master’s in Sports Science and Nutrition can be your right choice. The course deals with different aspects of sports, including management, planning, and training, and also how food and medicine can be used to treat a sports injury. With a degree in Sports Science, you can make your career in Sports management, administration and even major league planning.
The interdisciplinary discipline of bioinformatics was created by combining biology and computer science. With the use of computational tools, you study biological data in bioinformatics. It might be broadly categorized as biology-related data science. Most students with degrees in bioinformatics find employment in biological or biotechnological companies where research on human gene expression and variation is conducted.
Environmental engineers work to enhance recycling, waste disposal, public health, and the control of water and air pollution, among other environmental issues. They do this by applying engineering ideas to problems in soil science, biology, and chemistry. The environment is undergoing drastic changes, and this line of profession is slated to emerge as one of the sought-after roles in the coming years.
Nurturing Future Citizens
We live in an ever-evolving world, driven by lightning-fast technological advancements, a demographic shift towards younger generations, and a growing population. Offbeat and innovative courses are dedicated to preparing individuals with the skills, knowledge, and experiences required to address the unique and complex challenges of the future, some of which may be unprecedented. These courses focus on training students to drive innovation, promote cross-cultural understanding, and build a more diverse and inclusive society, ultimately leading to a better future for everyone.
(Author is Founder and CEO, iSchoolConnect)