Engineering and Computing Education for the 21st Century

Speaker:  Junaid Qadir – Doha, Qatar
Topic(s):  Society and the Computing Profession


We live arguably in the most exciting period in human history for engineering in which advances in knowledge and abilities to process, communicate, and analyze large amounts of data has resulted in a mind-boggling playing field for future engineers. Technological advances—particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), information and communication technology (ICT), and big data—have transformed human lives. These rapid changes are resulting in massive opportunities (globalized world, automation, digital control) along with grave challenges (climate change, a post-truth world fueled by fake media, massive inequalities within and across nations, and potential joblessness due to technology-led automation). As we move into the third decade of the 21st century, the 2020s, the unprecedented rate of technological disruption and the short-lived nature of the specifics of engineering state-of-the-art requires us to carefully evaluate what it takes to be an effective engineer and what this entails for engineering education and their lifelong learning. While it is true that certain basics of engineering will not change, there will be an increased premium on some skills (such as lifelong learning, meta-learning, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills, and cultural/global literacy). 21st-century skills are, as such, timeless skills:  it is paradoxically the volatile nature of the modern world that has forced us from ephemeral vocational fads back to these permanently valuable skills. In this work, after reporting on the various lists that policy tanks and thought leaders have proposed documenting the necessary 21st century skills, we provide a synthesis in which we describe the pulls and pushes that learners and educators will face in the turbulent times of 2020 and beyond and how they can thrive in the uncertain future through a holistic well-rounded engineering education.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  40
Duration:  90 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

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