Although convenient, online studying can also feel isolating. After all, you’re all alone in front of a screen, probably missing the camaraderie and face-to-face interactions of a physical classroom.

That’s why our team at the Open Institute of Technology set out to change the typical online education experience, breaking down all the virtual barriers before them. The goal is clear – OPIT students are never to feel alone during any step of their academic journey. And this goal wasn’t only met but surpassed rather spectacularly (if we do say so ourselves).

Are you interested to know how our team pulled it off? Great! At OPIT, we love questions, as well as sharing success stories.

To answer this question thoroughly, we enlisted the help of Rosario Maccarrone, our Director and Head of Student Services, and Sara Ciabattoni, our Class Coordinator. They’ll break down OPIT’s impressive support system, which has effortlessly transformed students from over 40 countries worldwide into a close-knit community.

How Does OPIT Support Its Students?

When it comes to student support, one thing’s for sure – few (if any) remote learning programs offer such an intricate and well-thought-out web of support as OPIT does. This support starts before you even enroll in the Institute and often ends only after you’ve landed your dream job.

Admission Support

At OPIT, we have a dedicated admissions team that guides applicants every step of the way – from expressing interest in a specific course to becoming a student. This team has a simple goal – to ease your path into OPIT. So, don’t hesitate to ask any questions regarding the application process itself, program details, or course requirements.

Administrative Support

Let’s not sugarcoat it – starting a new program can be extremely chaotic. You might have trouble enrolling in courses, managing your schedule, and navigating all the complexities of a new academic environment. But don’t worry; it’s our administrative support team to the rescue! This team will help you breeze through all the administrative requirements, from applying for courses to getting certificates.

In this regard, we must also mention the lovely Sara, aka our class coordinator.

Class Coordinator

The class coordinator is here to help the OPIT students with their everyday needs and tasks. This might include questions about classes, deadlines, or interactions with other students and faculty members. Let’s put it this way – if you’re ever unsure who to reach out to, Sara is your go-to person.

As she puts it, “You can reach out to me, and I will guide you.” Take this as a blanket statement, whether you have a specific question or are simply struggling with time management or your studies.

Learning Support

At the end of the day, all OPIT students are here to learn. That’s why Rosario made it his mission to ensure top-notch learning support for each and every OPIT student.

Tutors

It’s perfectly natural to struggle with specific parts of your coursework, especially if you’re dealing with these concepts for the first time. That’s why there’s a dedicated team of tutors at your disposal at all times.

When we say “at all times,” we truly mean it! These tutors are available seven days a week, every day of the calendar year. You can reach them and ask for any lecture-related assistance you might need.

You’ll promptly receive an answer from these professionals who have strong backgrounds in computer science and tech. Most of our academic tutors have a PhD or are currently obtaining one, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands.

Professors

With classroom learning, posing a question to your professor is a breeze – you just raise your hand! In most online classrooms, however, this option doesn’t exist since classes are usually pre-recorded.

That’s why OPIT offers a live class once a week featuring a handy Q&A session. This session is the perfect opportunity to directly interact with professors in charge of different subjects, gather all the necessary information, or resolve any doubts. After all, some questions are quite complex and can only be answered by the experts.

And that’s precisely what our professors are. Some of them have taught in universities for their entire careers. Others have a long and impressive history in the industry, having worked at tech giants like Microsoft and Meta. Either way, our careful selection of professors is a guarantee that “what we say is what we do,” as Rosario puts it.

Continuous Assessment

Though this isn’t a team per se, the continuous assessment methodology employed by the OPIT faculty is a crucial element of support for our students.

This methodology is exactly what it sounds like – students are assessed continuously throughout the duration of their courses. There are many pedagogical benefits to this approach, but the two primary ones are as follows.

One, our students can advance their knowledge gradually, which allows them to retain and apply information more effectively. And two, it eliminates the stress of cramming for the big and scary final exam that often overwhelms the students. Sara emphasizes that this approach allows you to enter the job market with a well-rounded understanding of your field.

Career Support

Speaking of entering the job market, OPIT will lend you a helping hand in this regard as well. The goal of the career support team is to “help students shift from their academic journey into their professional journey [with ease],” as Sara puts it.

Career Advisors

Given that most OPIT programs equip you with skills for dozens of different career paths, you might struggle with choosing only one. That’s where our career advisors come into play.

As you approach the end of your academic journey, these advisors will work with you to assess your skills, capabilities, and qualities, helping you pinpoint the most suitable career path. Then, they’ll review your CV and coach you on presenting yourself to potential employers in the best possible way. They’ll even help you look for a job and present you with some tailored job listings.

Internship Opportunities

If you want to gather more practical experience before fully entering the professional arena, our career advisors can help you find tailored internship positions to suit your needs.

Practical Skills

There’s a reason the above section is so short. OPIT prides itself on its competence-based approach that lets students “learn by doing,” as Rosario puts it.

OPIT courses are pretty hands-on, with at least two assignments whose goal is to help you put your knowledge into practice. Rosario calls this “filling the gap between theoretical knowledge served by classical universities and applied knowledge that is more often than not given through boot camps or non-accredited courses.”

The goal of this approach is to ensure students can “hit the ground running” and “apply their knowledge from day one.” There’s no need to go through a lengthy training process or learn anything from scratch!

Communication Channels

Given that our mantra at OPIT is “You’re not alone,” it shouldn’t surprise you that we offer several ways to communicate with fellow students and faculty staff.

Canvas

Canvas, our learning platform, is a treasure trove of knowledge and valuable resources. However, it can also serve as a vibrant communication hub.

You see, Canvas offers an option to start (or join) discussions and ask questions regarding anything course-related. Sometimes, professors can even publish some interesting and thought-provoking prompts that go beyond the traditional course material.

In addition, during some live classes (hosted on Zoom and available in Canvas), students are divided into smaller groups and put into breakout rooms. This typically gives them 10 to 15 minutes to work together and start a little discussion or debate. Sara says that she sees “a lot of interaction there,” as she has access to all courses and can review the exchanged messages.

Slack

While Canvas is the ultimate learning platform, it’s slightly too formal for student interactions. That’s why we also provide our students with access to a Slack channel for their classes and each of their courses. Here, students can share “whatever they see fit,” as Rosario puts it.

Moreover, Slack is a valuable tool in the professional context (widely used and integrated into workflows in many companies) – by being able to know and use the tool, students get closer to their job market.

Other Communication Channels

OPIT students are free to use whatever communication channels they want. It’s only natural for them to want to communicate in an environment that’s entirely under their control, as opposed to faculty-controlled Canvas and Slack.

We see no problem with this. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! As Sara explains it perfectly, “We’re really proud because we’re building a community.”

For now, our students prefer communicating via WhatsApp groups and Discord servers, which they use to share their experiences, feelings, and problems. Rosario says that it’s easy to tell what some of these discussions are, as they often spill over in some of the requests the Institute receives in terms of administration and term organization. Of course, we’re always open to feedback and do our best to accommodate the preferences of our students, especially when they’re so wonderfully united.

At OPIT, You’re Never Alone

And there you have it – the complete support system devised to ensure that every OPIT student feels connected, supported, and empowered throughout their academic journey. Apply for one of our highly acclaimed programs today and experience this unparalleled support firsthand.

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Il Sole 24 Ore: 100 thousand IT professionals missing
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 14, 2024 6 min read

Written on April 24th 2024

Source here: Il Sole 24 Ore (full article in Italian)


Open Institute of Technology: 100 thousand IT professionals missing

Eurostat data processed and disseminated by OPIT. Stem disciplines: the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%

Today, only 29% of young Italians between 25 and 34 have a degree. Not only that: compared to other European countries, the comparison is unequal given that the average in the Old Continent is 46%, bringing Italy to the penultimate place in this ranking, ahead only of Romania. The gap is evident even if the comparison is limited to STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) where the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%, with peaks of virtuosity which in the case of France that reaches 29.2%. Added to this is the continuing problem of the mismatch between job supply and demand, so much so that 62.8% of companies struggle to find professionals in the technological and IT fields.

The data

The Eurostat data was processed and disseminated by OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. an academic institution accredited at European level, active in the university level education market with online Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the technological and digital fields. We are therefore witnessing a phenomenon with worrying implications on the future of the job market in Italy and on the potential loss of competitiveness of our companies at a global level, especially if inserted in a context in which the macroeconomic scenario in the coming years will undergo a profound discontinuity linked to the arrival of “exponential” technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics, but also to the growing threats related to cybersecurity.

Requirements and updates

According to European House Ambrosetti, over 2,000,000 professionals will have to update their skills in the Digital and IT area by 2026, also to take advantage of the current 100,000 vacant IT positions, as estimated by Frank Recruitment Group. But not only that: the Italian context, which is unfavorable for providing the job market with graduates and skills, also has its roots in the chronic birth rate that characterizes our country: according to ISTAT data, in recent years the number of newborns has fallen by 28%, bringing Italy’s birth rate to 1.24, among the lowest in Europe, where the average is 1.46.

Profumo: “Structural deficiency”

“The chronic problem of the absence of IT professionals is structural and of a dual nature: on one hand the number of newborns – therefore, potential “professionals of the future” – is constantly decreasing; on the other hand, the percentage of young people who acquires degrees are firmly among the lowest in Europe”, declared Francesco Profumo, former Minister of Education and rector of OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. “The reasons are varied: from the cost of education (especially if undertaken off-site), to a university offering that is poorly aligned with changes in society, to a lack of awareness and orientation towards STEM subjects, which guarantee the highest employment rates. Change necessarily involves strong investments in the university system (and, in general, in the education system) at the level of the country, starting from the awareness that a functioning education system is the main driver of growth and development in the medium to long term. It is a debated and discussed topic on which, however, a clear and ambitious position is never taken.”

Stagnant context and educational offer

In this stagnant context, the educational offer that comes from online universities increasingly meets the needs of flexibility, quality and cost of recently graduated students, university students looking for specialization and workers interested in updating themselves with innovative skills. According to data from the Ministry of University and Research, enrollments in accredited online universities in Italy have grown by over 141 thousand units in ten years (since 2011), equal to 293.9%. Added to these are the academic institutions accredited at European level, such as OPIT, whose educational offering is overall capable of opening the doors to hundreds of thousands of students, with affordable costs and extremely innovative and updated degree paths.

Analyzing the figures

An analysis of Eurostat statistics relating to the year 2021 highlights that 27% of Europeans aged between 16 and 74 have attended an entirely digital course. The highest share is recorded in Ireland (46%), Finland and Sweden (45%) and the Netherlands (44%). The lowest in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%) and Croatia (18%). Italy is at 20%. “With OPIT” – adds Riccardo Ocleppo, founder and director – “we have created a new model of online academic institution, oriented towards new technologies, with innovative programs, a strong practical focus, and an international approach, with professors and students from 38 countries around the world, and teaching in English. We intend to train Italian students not only on current and updated skills, but to prepare them for an increasingly dynamic and global job market. Our young people must be able to face the challenges of the future like those who study at Stanford or Oxford: with solid skills, but also with relational and attitudinal skills that lead them to create global companies and startups or work in multinationals like their international colleagues. The increasing online teaching offer, if well structured and with quality, represents an incredible form of democratization of education, making it accessible at low costs and with methods that adapt to the flexibility needs of many working students.”

Point of reference

With two degrees already starting in September 2023 – a three-year degree (BSc) in Modern Computer Science and a specialization (MSc) in Applied Data Science & AI – and 4 starting in September 2024: a three-year degree (BSc) in Digital Business, and the specializations (MSc) in Enterprise Cybersecurity, Applied Digital Business and Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI), OPIT is an academic institution of reference for those who intend to respond to the demands of a job market increasingly oriented towards the field of artificial intelligence. Added to this are a high-profile international teaching staff and an exclusively online educational offer focused on the technological and digital fields.

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Times of India: The 600,000 IT job shortage in India and how to solve it
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 2, 2024 3 min read

Written on April 25th 2024

Source here: Times of India 


The job market has never been a straightforward path. Ask anyone who has ever looked for a job, certainly within the last decade, and they can tell you as much. But with the rapid development of AI and machine learning, concerns are growing for people about their career options, with a report from Randstad finding that 7 in 10 people in India are concerned about their job being eliminated by AI.

 Employers have their own share of concerns. According to The World Economic Forum, 97 million new AI-related jobs will be created by 2025 and the share of jobs requiring AI skills will increase by 58%. The IT industry in India is experiencing a tremendous surge in demand for skilled professionals on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity and, according to Nasscom, this is leading to a shortage of 600,000 profiles.

 So how do we fill those gaps? Can we democratize access to top-tier higher education in technology?

These are the questions that Riccardo Ocleppo, the engineer who founded a hugely successful ed-tech platform connecting international students with global Universities, Docsity, asked himself for years. Until he took action and launched the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), together with the Former Minister of Education of Italy, Prof. Francesco Profumo, to help people take control of their future careers.

OPIT offers BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science, AI, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Digital Business, attracting students from over 38 countries worldwide. Through innovative learning experiences and affordable tuition fees starting at €4,050 per year, OPIT empowers students to pursue their educational goals without the financial and personal burden of relocating.

The curriculum, delivered through a mix of live and pre-recorded lectures, equips students with the latest technology skills, as well as business and strategic acumen necessary for careers in their chosen fields. Moreover, OPIT’s EU-accredited degrees enable graduates to pursue employment opportunities in Europe, with recognition by WES facilitating transferability to the US and Canada.

OPIT’s commitment to student success extends beyond academics, with a full-fledged career services department led by Mike McCulloch. Remote students benefit from OPIT’s “digital campus,” fostering connections through vibrant discussion forums, online events, and networking opportunities with leading experts and professors.

Faculty at OPIT, hailing from prestigious institutions and industry giants like Amazon and Microsoft, bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to the table. With a hands-on, practical teaching approach, OPIT prepares students for the dynamic challenges of the modern job market.

In conclusion, OPIT stands as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to future-proof their careers in technology. By democratizing access to high-quality education and fostering a global learning community, OPIT empowers students to seize control of their futures and thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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