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Curtin launches Bachelor of Innovation degree

Anneke de Boer
Anneke de Boer
Curtin Innovation Degree
// // The new degree will develop 15 'skills of the future', and is now open for applications...

Curtin University has launched a new full-time three-year Bachelor of Innovation undergraduate program, aimed at equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the rapidly evolving world of business.

The program, which will be offered online and on-campus, will cover a wide range of topics, including entrepreneurship, design thinking, and technology innovation. Students will also have the opportunity to undertake hands-on projects and work with industry partners to gain practical experience.

Inspiration

Curtin University Dean of Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Business and Law, Dr. Subra Ananthram, says the inspiration for the new program came from a rather unexpected place.

The idea was sparked after his nine-year-old daughter and some of her friends built an app to help children with autism manage their emotions throughout a school day.

“That sort of got us thinking that you know, in order for these young girls, and other young people, to solve challenges and solve real-world problems, they needed to have a good understanding of business capabilities, design skills, STEM skills, and also an innovative mindset,” Dr. Ananthram says.

He and the team at Curtin started exploring how they could put together a multidisciplinary course, which has now become the new Bachelor of Innovation.

Where many other courses are designed with a focus on disciplined content, Dr. Ananthram says this course will focus on business and innovation capabilities.

Curtin launches Bachelor of Innovation degree

So I think what we have done,not just at Curtin, but across Australia, is we’ve designed courses that are not focused just on the discipline and providing students with the content, but what industry wants: people to come with skills like project management, being a team player, a strong communicator. They want employees with the ability to engage with technology and analyse problems.”

Dr Subra Ananthram, Curtnin University

“In this course we are going to provide all students with business and innovation capabilities. Then they can pick a business major of their choice or any two specialisations,” Dr. Ananthram says.

As a part of the degree, all students will engage in four hands-on, practical units that are known as transformative experiences. These might include hackathons, regional study tours, international study or internships.

In a world where we do not know what future jobs will be, Dr. Ananthram says he hopes this degree will lend itself the jobs of tomorrow.

15 skills of the future

The degree encompases employee characteristics set out by the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report.

“These are 15 skill sets that they claim are non-negotiable, for any job in any career in any industry, in any country in the world,” Dr. Ananthram says.

The skills are woven throughout the degree and include things like analytical thinking, active learning, complex problem-solving, initiative, resilience, flexibility and negotiation.

The course really aspires to create the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and changemakers.

Dr Subra Ananthram

Alternative innovation studies

While Curtin’s new program is the first innovation undergraduate bachelor to be offered in WA, innovation studies are a growing area offered across Australia.

In Perth, the University of Western Australia and Murdoch University offer an innovation major with their Bachelor of Business. Curtin also offers a similar innovation major Bachelor of Commerce option.

The University of South Australia offers a Bachelor of Business with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship major.

In NSW, the University of Technology Sydney facilitates a Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation while the University of Newcastle offers a Bachelor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Interest waning in commerce degrees

This new Bachelor of Innovation comes as enrolments in commerce disciplines steadily decline at Curtin and other universities in Australia.

“I think the interest in sort of generic commerce degrees seems to be waning across the board. I think there’s more interest in multidisciplinary courses,” Dr. Ananthram explains.

We certainly hope that there’s going to be a lot of interest in the first cohort when we get them onto campus in semester one 2024.

“I think we’re going to change the world one innovator at a time.”

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Curtin University is a sponsor of Startup News.

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Anneke de Boer

Anneke de Boer

Anneke has an interest in the Western Australian startup community, is a contributor at Startup News and Reporter at The Property Tribune. She studies a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce, Journalism and Economics at Curtin University.
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