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Annual Report 2016

Preparing students for dynamic careers in tech

Lauren Cruikshank

Critical thinking and creativity are integral to success in today’s job market. At UNB, students are able to foster these skills while preparing for unique and exciting careers in the tech industry. Two of our innovative programs are the only ones of their kind in Atlantic Canada.

Through our faculty of arts in Fredericton, students have the opportunity to explore the exhilarating and growing field of game design. The media arts & cultures program offers a suite of game design and game studies courses that immerse students in both experiential learning and critical thinking around games. Students gain design and production skills as they create original digital games, and learn important critical context, from early theorists’ thoughts on play to the place of games in contemporary culture.

“Whether they are engaging with games, film, or the many other media forms we study in the program, our media arts & cultures students become both academic scholars and media authors, a combination of skills that is really quite rare,” says Lauren Cruikshank, assistant professor in the department of culture and media studies.

“There’s no other bachelor of arts program like this that graduate students who are ‘double threats’ as both technically skilled producers and critically thoughtful academic scholars of media. Our UNB program is unique in this way and it gives our students an important edge.”

Paul Cook

Our software engineering program is not only unique in the region, it offers students the chance to learn and benefit from both the faculty of computer science and the faculty of engineering.

“They can use either the engineering co-op or the computer science co-op, they get the use of resources from both faculties, and they get exposure to perspectives from both computer scientists and engineers in respect to software engineering” says Dawn MacIsaac, the program’s coordinator.

With a focus on hands-on learning, students are taught how to develop and maintain reliable, safe, affordable and efficient software systems that satisfy customer requirements. They also gain the skills and knowledge needed to work on large, expensive software systems that often have safety-critical applications. Small class sizes provide students with opportunities to network with their peers and to form close, engaged relationships with faculty.

The beauty of such a comprehensive program, says Dr. MacIsaac, is that students have plenty of opportunities after graduation because they’re qualified to work in both software engineering and computer science programming jobs.