This article contributed by Fazira Ridzuan, FAVORIOT’s IoT Apprentice. She joined FAVORIOT in Oct. 2017. Much has been discussed through the eyes of the industry people and the academicians. It’s about time to hear from the students’ perspectives. This is an honest view and we should listen, admit if there are weaknesses and take action to make it better.
I was a student a few months back. And this question popped up in my mind a few hours ago. Why not many students willing to take IoT as their Final Year Project (FYP)? After chatting with my ex-course mate, these are our thoughts regarding the above question.
- Not many lecturers specialized in IoT. Most lecturers specialized in established computer sciences field than the newfound or emerging field such as IoT.
- Does guidance matter? I would say, yes. Since the number of tutors (lecturer and tutor) available to teach the IoT course are very limited despite a large number of the students. Thus, the core understanding of the IoT course must be adequate.
- When there’s no exposure, the knowledge won’t be fully understood. Some university is focusing on their student in mastering the computer programming languages. And mostly, students are required to self-explore.
- In addition, a student has the least info on how to get their hands on the IoT equipment.
- Although universities have encouraged the growth of IoT field, with the university budget being cut, it affects the purchase of required especially in obtaining the IoT’s equipment. Thus, it might be given less focus for the IoT funding in university.
- Choosing FYP project is a very important decision. Typically, the student will choose the project that they have most confident on as they might have some idea or experience that related to the FYP project. Since the students have little IoT field exposure, the chances for student to select the FYP project that involve IoT might be very low as they might find it very risky.
- Mindset: Time flies really fast without we noticing it, and without a good vision and long-term planning on the expected timeline to complete the project, the student might be running out of time.
- It is kind of cumbersome for them to grab all in once from scratch within limited of time. Most students are interested to do things that are already there rather than creating the not-there-yet. Implementing and developing the new product requires more time. Deciding to do an FYP project does require a critical thinking on time and financial management. Moreover, apart from FYP, student need to go for a few other courses during the semester and a few other assignment and exam to be completed. These factors influence the student’s grade and performance. Doing an IoT based project required a huge commitment and discipline. Without discipline, a low-quality report which is done in a short range of time is worthless. Having a clear picture of doing the IoT project without an external interruption might solve this issue. Some panel request many things which cause the student to lose their interest in completing the project, making them build an application that fulfills the panel requirement rather than solving the real-world problem.
- Back to the exposure in IoT, less knowledge in IoT will influence student’s thought regarding the project value for future uses. They might not see the potential for their IoT prototype or product to be commercialized. They don’t find any platform that can enhance their interest, talent and what contribution can be made via it. Most IoT products are for future use. Where the inventor of IoT product need strong support to make the ideas get realized.
- Some student that takes the IoT project is not familiar with the IoT concept. They are not exposed to the basic components such as client, middleware, server and the data passing and interaction between the process. They might not be knowing where to start, what’s needed and how-to setup the environment.
- Some other factor is lack of basic knowledge in electronics and engineering field. This basic knowledge is very crucial as it might become a great burden to the student that face simple electronic faulty configuration if they don’t have the basic knowledge.
Therefore, we should let university and student find a good industry partner.
- Encourage the student to take IoT since there is a great opportunity for them as IoT is one of the popular areas of focus globally other than big data. Having a good knowledge and competency in IoT can provide them better a better opportunity to go abroad to enhance their future career.
- Industry must work together with the university, try to understand and listen via their perspective why a student doesn’t want to choose IoT and not only listen from their lecturers. IoT has been the big player in these few years and upcoming years, means everyone is already in IoT era without them realizing it.
- IoT field currently grows very fast. Although there are a lot of things that had been done with IoT, there is still numerous unknown potential on the IoT field waiting to be discovered. With a greater exposure in IoT field from the university side, IoT field will be able to grow further to its full potential and give greater impact to the society beyond anyone could ever imagine.