1. Graduate School of Research and Professional Graduate Schools
Human resource development in graduate schools can be roughly divided into (1) training of researchers and (2) training of highly specialized professionals. In Japan, "Graduate School of Research" for training researchers has been the mainstream so far, and almost no graduate schools provide education specialized in training highly skilled professionals.
However, in recent years, with rapid technological innovation and rapid changes in the social economy (diversification, complexity, sophistication, and globalization), there has been a strong demand, mainly in industry, for the production of human resources with advanced and specialized professional skills.Moreover, there is a growing demand to up-skill and people who current IT professionals as well as support them through changes in their career.
Despite this demand, many aspects of current conventional graduate schools of research cannot adequately respond to societal needs. In other words;
- In these graduate schools, research is emphasized. As research becomes more advanced, specialization of research areas become more prominent, and there is no curriculum structure that enables students to acquire a good balance of a wide range of skills and knowledge that are essential for performing general business.
- The faculty of these Graduate Schools are composed mainly of researchers with no practical experience, so it is very different from practical work in the real world. In the end, practical education necessary for the execution of practical work is not provided.
- These Graduate Schools tend to restrict enrollments to those who graduated from a particular school in which they are involved and cannot create opportunities for those interested in career change.
The "Professional Graduate School" is a new system started by the Revised School Education Act that came into effect in 2003. It is a graduate school that aims to cultivate human resources (highly skilled professional) with advanced and specialized vocational abilities. Unlike conventional Graduate schools of research, professional graduate schools are required to appoint more than a certain percentage of faculty in practical fields, and the number of students per faculty member is strictly regulated. Professional graduate schools are new graduate school systems that respond to the societal needs to train highly skilled professionals and enable flexible and practical education tailored to the characteristics of various occupational fields.
2. What is a Professional School?
Professional schools in the United States are the model for professional graduate schools all over the world. The following are some of the characteristics of this system.
- The curriculum does not focus solely on the transfer of knowledge and skills of a particular subject. Consideration is given to developing broad and comprehensive abilities, such as the ability to understand society, the ability to perform acts based on ethical standards, and an interest in society as a whole.
- The method of education is also unique. Instead of one-sided lectures, they focus on incorporating discussion and group work into classes, and on developing students' initiative. In addition, there are many cases in which the professors and lecturers have actual work experience, and classes are held on practical themes that are directly connected to the real world.
- We accept a wide variety of students from various backgrounds, regardless of their school of origin. This has a social significance in that it gives many people opportunities to make career changes.By studying in a group of students from different schools, each student can naturally acquire a broad perspective and flexibility.
In the United States, professional leaders in various fields of society are mostly graduates of professional schools such as law schools and business schools (MBA), and their professional degrees are highly regarded by society. Our goal is to become an American-style professional school.
3. Japan's first IT professional graduate school
Based on the professional graduate school system and based on the educational network with universities in the United States such as Rochester Institute of Technology and Columbia University, the University incorporates the educational know-how of professional schools in the United States into its curriculum and adapts it to the situation in Japan. In other words;
- The curriculum is composed mainly of technical courses, management courses, and economic courses, and also includes many courses such as leadership and human resource development, with the aim of providing students with a good balance of advanced and diverse skills required to become highly skilled professionals in the IT field.
- We have appointed many people with work experience who have been active in companies and graduates from professional schools in the United States as teachers. In an ideal educational environment with a ratio of 10 students per teacher, we train highly skilled professionals in the IT field through practical classes that include discussion, group work and presentations.
- We accept people with diverse backgrounds regardless of their school of origin. We also welcome working adults. In the traditional Japanese Graduate school system, for example, it is difficult for someone with liberal art background to apply to IT Graduate schools and computer fields. However, KCGI has created opportunities for those interested in career change.
Unlike conventional graduate schools of research, KCGI has developed its own education style to play the role of Japan's first IT professional graduate school.
Field Of Activity
The introduction of IT (ICT) which is of a high level compared to traditional IT in accordance with the increasing sophistication of IT (particularly the diffusion of web business technology) is now a challenge faced by the world of industry. Specifically, there is a movement towards utilizing IT (ICT) not merely as a means of improving business but rather in the creation of high-level business strategies. This means the introduction of IT at the top levels of business management; the human resources involved in this will require both high level knowledge and skills and at the same time high level management sense.
KCGI has created curriculums designed to cultivate the high-level IT talent required by industry. Graduates of KCGI are expected to work in IT-related occupations such as the following IT professions.
CIO (Chief Information Officer)
As IT advances in enterprises and supports the foundation of management, CIOs who plan IT strategies and play a part in enterprise management, are now essential. A CIO is a highly specialized professional who is involved in the following: formulation of corporate management strategies, formulation of information strategies, and formulation of the knowledge of a company as an organic information system.
A project manager is a highly specialized professional who has the ability to effectively utilize management resources in an enterprise, appropriately introduce the latest information technology, etc., and comprehensively manage and improve the efficiency of projects. Therefore, it is necessary to have a broad knowledge of IT and management. In addition, projects are often organized across different departments, and require advanced communication skills and leadership.
Senior SE, Web System Builders
A senior SE is a system engineer who assists the project manager and also manages the project.A deep understanding of not only technology but also elements of management such as cost and business flow is required.
Web system construction engineers follow the instructions of project managers and senior SEs, and actually develop systems using the latest IT skills.
System Integration Consultant
In Japanese companies, the demand of outside consultants for IT promotion is high due to the shortage of IT human resources in the company. The System Integration Consultant is a highly specialized professional with the appropriate skills to provide consulting on business systemization concepts in line with the management strategies of client companies, and to efficiently advance cooperation among companies that can survive the current fierce international business competition climate. They need to understand the needs of their customers and respond appropriately. To do so, they need high skills in IT, management and communication.
Web Marketing Professionals
Web Marketing Professional is a highly specialized professional who performs e-business, having the web technology to build e-business sites, the ability to plan strategies for providing services on the Internet, and the marketing techniques to grasp the behavior of consumers on the Internet. Rich knowledge of commercial transactions and advanced knowledge and technology related to networks such as distribution systems and security protection are required.
A systems architect is a highly specialized professional who analyzes the challenges of an enterprise's IT strategy, develops a solution framework, and designs an architecture for a new system that is consistent with the complexity of existing systems. System Architect plays an intermediate role between corporate strategy planning and actual system development. Therefore, not only IT skills but also a wide range of business and management knowledge are required.
Information Security Consultant
Information networks are indispensable infrastructure for realizing e-commerce and Internet of Things (Internet of Things). On the other hand, the security risks surrounding these networks continue to increase. The Information Security Consultant provides advice and support to help customers formulate information security policies and protect information assets. Management and communication skills are also required to understand the customer's situation and take appropriate action.
Content Production Manager
In the production of media content such as movies, animations, and game software, the content production manager manages the entire project team. First of all, they make a proposal and negotiate with the company in charge of the production to secure a concrete budget. They also plan and implement how to use the products to recover the cost. They need the ability to analyze past business results, current market conditions, and leadership to bring the team together to execute the plan.
Data analysts gather and objectively analyze various data on customers and products obtained through corporate activities to find characteristics and trends in the data and propose solutions to management and system development issues. In recent years, the utilization of big data is advancing in fields such as agriculture and medical care, and the field is expanding. In addition to marketing and management knowledge, IT skills such as statistical analysis and data mining, and logical thinking based on hypotheses and verifications are required.