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First graduates of the Bachelor in Computer Science

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Published on Thursday, 19 November 2020

Launched in September 2017 as a high-standard programme, the Bachelor in Computer Science has enjoyed growing success across the Greater Region and beyond, starting from 27 students in September 2017 to 115 students in September 2020. The first cohort of graduates are now pursuing their studies at the University of Luxembourg or abroad or work in the ICT sector.

Innovative programme answering market needs

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is extremely dynamic in Luxembourg with almost 21,000 people currently working in this field and 979 new hires planned for the period 2020-2022. However, Luxembourg lacks specialists to fill the increased demand for skilled ICT professionals.

“The evolution of the employment in this sector is heading towards high qualification positions. The computer systems of the future require highly skilled engineers who are able to invent, design and develop quality products. That is why we launched the Bachelor in Computer Science (BICS) in 2017 to establish a high-level multilingual project-oriented programme. The objective is to provide students with the theoretical and practical skills needed to successfully pursue their studies at Master level,” explains Prof. Nicolas Guelfi, Course Director of the Bachelor in Computer Science at the University of Luxembourg.

In parallel of the traditional courses, the Bachelor in Computer Science has been really innovative by organising in 2018 the “BICS Challenge Quiz”, a challenge among secondary schools students and in 2019 the “BICSLab Partners Day”, a scientific forum to meet and match partners and students.

Three graduates share their study experience

From left: Sean Achtatou, Charel Felten and Desislava Marinova

Sean Achtatou, Charel Felten and Desislava Marinova are among the first graduates of the Bachelor in Computer Science. Sean is from Belgium, Charel from Luxembourg and Desislava from Bulgaria. Sean and Charel are continuing their studies at Master level, respectively at the University of Luxembourg and the University of Amsterdam while Desislava has started a career at IBM. They share their experience in the BICS.

Why did you choose this programme?

Sean: “I was looking for a Bachelor in Computer Science near my location and having high requirements in terms of my future career, the BICS seemed to be perfect for this.” 

Charel: “I always liked using computers and was drawn to technology even during high school, although I never formally did any programming or other computer science related classes before the BICS. I registered for the BICS mostly because of the projects, English as the teaching language and because it was a new Bachelor, which seemed exciting.” 

Desislava: “I chose this Bachelor because of the University's international setting, high standards of scholarship, dynamic research and dedication to future lives of significance. I wanted to learn the fundamentals of the revolutionary aspect dominating our everyday lives.” 

What did you like the most?

Sean: “There were a lot of new topics and hard work to do. I think I liked the fact that it made me an independent well working student, I had to choose other methods in order to be capable to pursue and successfully manage each semester.”

Charel: “I liked that the class size was rather small, thus giving you a much closer connection to the professors. It seems like the professors get to know the individual students instead of just seeing a class of hundreds of students, whom they feel no connection to. Bachelor semester projects were another part of this Bachelor that I really liked. These projects introduced me to research early on, and really allowed me to pursue my ideas or directions that I was interested in. And best of it is that you work together with a professor on the projects, which introduces you to the academic lifestyle. Lastly, I also liked the choice of courses offered, the exchange semester, and the continuous support we got from our study director Nicolas Guelfi.”

Desislava: “What I liked the most during my Bachelor was the opportunity to study overseas as an exchange student. My semester in Canada was an investment in a rich intercultural dialogue that resulted from my appreciation of new outlooks, customs and activities. In addition, a pivotal module in BICS is the collaboration between a student and knowledgeable researchers on various scientific and technical projects. This teamwork increases project management skills which are vital for business organisations.”

What did you choose to do after your Bachelor?

Sean: “I had the idea to go to America, especially MIT or University of California. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to suspend trips to other countries. Since the Master in Information and Computer Sciences (MICS) was the perfect continuation of the BICS, I choose it.”

Charel: “I am doing my Master's Degree in Computational Science now at the University of Amsterdam. I got introduced to this topic by 3 classes of the BICS and since I liked all of those classes and would recommend them to interested students, I have chosen to go into this direction. I have left the University of Luxembourg because their Master degree seemed a bit too general for me and did not offer a choice of classes as large as the University of Amsterdam.”

Desislava: “My BICS graduation coincided with the turbulent COVID-19 pandemic. This created significant restrictions during a period in which I was just finding my feet. What I realised during my years of studies was that things seem a lot less insurmountable once we actually dive in. Hence, after getting past the job-hunting hurdle, I found employment I am passionate about at IBM. Overall, BICS allows for a good market exposure and is a stepping stone for a career leap.”

More information about the Bachelor in Computer Science: bics.uni.lu