Laurea’s students developing AI skills with Microsoft training programme

Basics of Artificial Intelligence is a 5 credits course planned in co-operation with Laurea, Haaga-Helia, Microsoft, and partner companies, which are keen to grow and develop new AI talents.

Presentation during a Career Night event, photo: Jaakko Koivisto

The focus of the course launched in May is on the practical application of AI concepts, tools and methods to address business needs and improve business processes. The course is more about how companies are using AI solutions in their operations and less about AI as a science. Some of the AI tools covered in the course are based on Microsoft’s technologies. The aim of this course is to increase the number of artificial intelligence specialists needed for Microsoft’s partner companies.

A Career Night event with students and the partner companies took place on May 20th at Microsoft premises at Keilalahti. During the event, students had a chance to negotiate AI related internships and thesis topics with the companies.

From both universities, there were altogether 110 applicants, but after pretests, 40 students were accepted into the programme. Over the following weeks, the group will be working on different assignments and thesis topics.

AI programme to close the skills gap

Training programmes help students prepare for tomorrow's jobs in areas of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. According to a study by ManpowerGroup, there is a shortage of thousands of ICT experts in Finland, which is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.

Director Karen Kocher from Microsoft's Global Training Team notes that responding to a skills gap is one of the company's core tasks. She is proud to bring Microsoft and a number of international colleges to close cooperation in education.

"This change in working life, which we witness in the workplaces of the 21st century, requires all organizations from governments to universities and employers to meet one of today's major challenges: tackling the skills gap by teaching, training and preparing employees for tomorrow's jobs," says Kocher.

With its training offer, Microsoft helps prepare students to move effectively from classroom to today's workplace. Microsoft courses provide students with the opportunity to acquire technical skills such as data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) that are in demand in the workplace.

Study materials used by students can be accessed at aka.ms/learn, where anyone can start learning technical skills free of charge or update their own skills. The site includes a number of training paths designed to support people working in various technical roles or to help them develop new skills.