The University of Jyväskylä’s new degree programme in technology management, scheduled to start in the autumn, combines strong software engineering expertise, lifelong learning, and the management of expert teams. One of the designers of the programme is Professor of Practice Ari Jaaksi, who has extensive experience in international corporation in the field of technology.
Ari Jaaksi, Professor of Practice at the University of Jyväskylä, has played a central role in designing the new degree programme. He has a long career in leadership positions in various technology corporations in Finland and in the United States. Jaaksi emphasises that an increasing share of companies’ competitive assets and turnover arises from technology.
“This is an international trend. The importance of technological expertise is only increasing, and we wish to respond to it here at the University of Jyväskylä.”
Jaaksi says the new degree programme in technology management will provide students with strong software engineering expertise as well as tools for management, business understanding, and lifelong learning.
“It’s not enough that students are able to solve present-day problems, but they must be capable of looking further into the future and foreseeing upcoming technological trends. Business expertise and understanding of technology disruptions provide tools for technology management and creating added value for enterprises.”
Jaaksi describes the new degree programme with enthusiasm and says that the programme will respond extremely well to the demand for skilled professionals in the field of technology:
“There is a huge need for such expertise in global terms as well.”
Sharing expertise with new students
Ari Jaaksi has worked in leadership positions in major technology corporations for over 15 years. His work career has taken him to big corporations such as HP, Intel, and Mozilla.
Originally, Jaaksi was drawn to the field of technology by the growth of Nokia into a global enterprise. He was involved in the construction of the Linux-based Meego operating system, for instance, before Nokia announced its shift to the Windows Phone operating system.
After Nokia, Jaaksi headed to the United States and Silicon Valley in California, which is known for its pioneering technology companies. He has worked as a team leader in both gigantic teams of thousands of people and in small teams of just a few persons.
Jaaksi says that he has had the chance to make all the possible errors in the field of technology and has also learned lessons from these mistakes that could not be obtained in any other way.
Jaaksi returned to Finland for family reasons in 2017. Now he wants to share the expertise he gained abroad in Finland and to get closer to hands-on work.
“I am basically a coder. I have written millions of code lines, but in the big corporations the work was mostly something totally different. I wanted to get closer to the actual work and also to share my expertise with new students.”
JYU has world-class professors and a can-do attitude
Jaaksi started in his post as a Professor of Practice at JYU in the first half of 2022. He has been a member of the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Information Technology since 2018.
“I noticed that the University of Jyväskylä has a low level of bureaucracy and an open culture for experimenting. Less politics and more doing. A kind of can-do attitude to working,” says Jaaksi, describing his experience of Jyväskylä.
Jaaksi says that at JYU he felt he could get closer to the hands-on work he longed for and also give something back to what he had learned while working in the top technology enterprises in Silicon Valley.
Jaaksi also praises his colleagues in the faculty and the degree programme in technology management.
“We have a world class set of professors in this programme. For example, Tommi Mikkonen is indisputably the leading professor of software engineering in Finland. Lauri Kettunen, in turn, has a long career in the construction and management of effective training programmes in the academic world.”
Studies take the perspective of industry into account
Jaaksi highlights that in Jyväskylä it is genuinely possible to engage in multidisciplinary cooperation, and for instance the School of Business and Economics is located in the same building with the Faculty of Information Technology.
The degree programme of technology management, Jaaksi explains, integrates world-class teachers, a low-bureaucracy university which encourages doing and experimenting as well as an approach that is free from any undesired historical burden.
“The new programme allows for the notion that things are not done just because that’s the way they have always been done. The studies have been built for the needs of today and tomorrow and keeping an industry perspective in mind.”
“So, it’s all these things, and we haven’t even praised Jyväskylä at all, which is itself an awesome place to study.”
At the University of Jyväskylä, you can study for a Master of technology degree in the degree programmes of information and software engineering or technology management. Read more about the programmes.
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