Ural Federal University: Applied Data Analysis Graduate Program Received Public Accreditation

The Master’s program Applied Data Analysis, offered by Engineering School of Information Technologies, Telecommunications and Control Systems of Ural Federal University together with Sberbank, has successfully passed accreditation of educational programs in the field of artificial intelligence by the Alliance in Artificial Intelligence Association. It has now been entered in the Register of accredited AI educational programs.

“The threefold increase in the competition over the past year testifies to the interest of students in our master’s program and the quality of teaching. But it is due to voluntary accreditation that we also received feedback from the expert community, for which we are very grateful to our colleagues,” said Vasily Tyumentsev, Regional Director of Technology Block in Ekaterinburg, PJSC Sberbank.

He noted that the adjacent status of the program, including the development of corporate applications and data analysis, allows to prepare specialists of a wider profile. It will be easier for those who have development skills in one of the industrial programming languages, while the program opens up access for children with similar humanitarian specialties. For someone it is a chance to be in the big IT world without a serious technical background.

“Every year we introduce updates to the program, we change the specialization of the mentors involved in the design workshop, which affects the rest of the subjects. For example, in the original plan we had nothing to do with product development, but now the participants learn how to do research and analyze the needs of their potential customers. We will be changing our approach to product development, taking into account the feedback received as a result of the voluntary accreditation: this will also give us a vector and opportunities for further development and improvement of the program,” emphasized Vasily Tyumentsev.

Oleg Artyugin, executive director of data research at Sberbank’s Regional Competence Center for Analytics, emphasized that the external evaluation shows that “a good program has been done, it is moving in the right direction”. Accreditation is an additional aspect of attracting more qualified applicants to the program.

“The plan is to reach the undergraduate level in the format of special courses in order to get the master’s applicants trained. And also to diversify our program with lectures by guest speakers, already engaged in business. We have obtained internship positions and hope to develop the direction of internships in Sberbank, possibly with the passage of practice, so the students get not only theoretical but also practical experience within the bank,” said Oleg Artyugin.

Students have the opportunity to be employed during the program in those departments of Sber, where there may not be any vacant positions. And for these students there are special positions designed just for them in Sber – their CVs will definitely be considered personally and will not be rejected at the stage of the HR department. Also it is more intense training: during the day they work with their colleagues, who teach them in the evening.

“Professional and public accreditation by the Alliance in the field of AI is a quality mark for the university, evidence that its educational programs comply not only with professional standards in the field of AI, but also with the real business needs of employers. Such accreditation is an effective tool for independent evaluation of university programs and their marketing. I am sure that the number of universities that have been accredited will increase, and this will have a positive impact on the education market, on the labour market and, eventually, on the speed of development of AI in Russia. I congratulate the first participants on passing the professional and public accreditation of their programs,” said Aleksandr Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of Sberbank’s Management Board.

The Ural Federal University became one of the three Russian universities whose programs passed the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence professional and public accreditation. The main evaluation criteria are the participation of employers in the implementation of educational programs, the availability of necessary qualifications of teachers, the availability of technical resources and the compliance of graduates’ competencies with the requirements of employers.

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