Tech Futures Lab, a training organisation founded in February by education futurist Frances Valintine in partnership with Unitec Technology Institute, has opened a new facility in Auckland to deliver training in today’s disruptive technologies.
It is offering five full-time, 10-week “immersion programmes” that it says are designed to provide “a year’s worth of higher-learning” in high-growth sectors: cybersecurity, robotics and automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, data science and big data, and business innovation and disruption. Courses begin in September.
Tech Futures Lab says the courses are a first for New Zealand offering “a specialist learning pathway for New Zealand businesses to upskill and provide professional development opportunities for their people, in a similar mould to that of Singularity University [of which Valintine is an alumnus] and Harvard Business School.”
Valintine said: “We recognise that for most business professionals and their employers, taking two to three years out for further education is simply not an option. … Candidates spend 40 hours per week learning, testing and applying relevant and specialist knowledge that can then be integrated back into the workplace.”
She added: “The programmes will fast-track the applied learning of some of the most sought-after skill sets in the world right now, fostering an investment that has the potential to take New Zealand businesses into the future.”
There are no formal examinations in the courses. Tech Futures Lab says: “The focus is on developing knowledge and capability allowing all candidates to build upon existing knowledge and to develop tangible solutions. There is a strong focus on practical skills and collaboration…. Real-world discussions, case studies and projects will be integral to all programmes.”
According to Tech Future Labs’ general manager, Sarah Hindle, “There is a real gap in the market for local high-intensity, immersive courses that will equip New Zealand professionals with the skills to lead and navigate the disruptive change businesses are facing.”