Want To Become A Legit Expert In The Field Of The Future? Here’s How

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Many of us struggle to strike that balance between pursuing our ambitions and making a difference in people’s lives. Does it really have to be one or the other? Can’t we enhance our own skills while also making the world a more just and equitable place?

In 2022, the political and environmental challenges that we face feel more profound than ever, which means that the imperative to make a difference has become less of an option than a responsibility. 

So what can we do? 

What Does Making A Difference Look Like? 

Making a difference can take many forms. It could be checking in on your neighbours more frequently or being open to learning new things. 

It can also look like questioning the status quo, because “it’s always been done this way”, to give way for new, innovative ideas. How? By building your expertise through higher research and training; particularly in the area of Information Technology (IT) which is shaping the way we live our lives.

Can Doing A PhD make a difference? 

It sure can! Doing a PhD will push you to embrace an innovative mode of thinking that will help you make big, bold discoveries. 

By pursuing a PhD at Monash University’s Faculty of IT, you too will be able to question the traditional ways of doing things and build new, exciting solutions to problems that once upon a time, no one would have thought possible. Today, more than ever, we have to look to the future, and Monash’s IT department is about just that: getting hands-on experience that will allow you to push technology forward by coming up with big ideas and creating real-world social change. 

A PhD will also gain you respect and recognition, and help you develop robust transferable skills in some of the  world’s most prevalent disciplines today, including Data Science, Cybersecurity, Software Engineering, AI and Human-Computer Interaction. Here’s a quick rundown of each one.

Data Science And Artificial Intelligence 

The Data Science and Artificial Intelligence department at Monash Uni will put you shoulder-to-shoulder with the world’s most brilliant specialists to help you better understand the past, manage the present and prepare for the future. 

Think, for example, of how normal it’s become to interact with Siri and Alexa, or how Google Maps has the ability to recommend a good route based on current traffic patterns and weather conditions. All of this is made possible by advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that have made our lives easier than ever before. 

You’ll work with distinguished experts in areas such as AI, machine learning, modelling, optimisation, computer vision, natural language processing, data analytics and visualisation to solve real-world problems. One big and impactful example is a project that explores the relationship between Indigenous sovereignty and data sovereignty; a hugely important one considering the history of ‘data’ on First Nations being weaponised against them.

Another is a project that aims to combat child exploitation by building the world’s first ethical database of childhood pictures crowdsourced from grown-ups to help train AI models to identify exploitative materials – thereby allowing police to swiftly intervene when required and save kids from harm.

Software Systems And Cybersecurity 

Monash Uni’s Software Engineering and Cybersecurity department leads in the Asia-Pacific region. It’s also home to pioneers of world-first cryptocurrencies and blockchains, as well as software suited to diverse populations. 

By diving into a PhD in this area, you’ll be on the cutting edge to make technology more accessible while also working out how to keep organisations safe. As an example of some of the life-changing work taking place in this area, Monash researchers are currently leading a project that aims to develop sustainable blockchain technology for the Pacific region, keeping in mind the unique needs of the community. 

While blocktain technology tends to be associated with cryptocurrency, the researchers note that this project aims to create real-world impact in the region, for example, by providing a fair platform for carbon trading, securing financial technologies and ensuring cultural sustainability for heritage art and music.

Human-Centred Computing

Speaking of computing, Human-Centred Computing will allow you to look to the future of human-computer interaction and explore how new technologies (like virtual reality) can be used to support a fairer and more equitable world. 

PhD student Sam Reinders, for example, is doing incredible work in the creation of accessible graphics for people who are blind and low-vision (BLV) by using interactive interfaces, low-cost electronics and 3D printing. His work will therefore help empower BLV people in independent knowledge building, ensuring that they have a central role in the creation of these graphics. 

Ultimately, regardless of which path you choose, graduates of Monash’s IT PhD program will have the world at their feet, with the opportunity to pursue a deeper career in research or jump head-first into the industry.

Dive into a cutting-edge research project or connect with one of Monash’s world-class supervisors today.