Japan, India, South Korea, Georgia, Azerbaijan... that is just a short list of countries whose students have found Estonia to be the best place to study software development and entrepreneurship. The formula for success can be seen in the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS).
Students of diverse backgrounds
Although EUAS has offered the software development and entrepreneurship programme for only two years, students of the programme are noticeably valued in the industry. All students find an internship, and alumni are successfully working in the field of IT both in Estonia and abroad. People on the software development and entrepreneurship programme have very diverse cultural backgrounds – there are students from Japan, India as well as other countries.
Indian programmer Arpan Dutta has been living in Estonia for a little over a year. Dutta took interest in Estonia because of Smart ID and e-voting and wanted to see what life is like here. “Estonia is very different from the environment that I come from, but it is a country of technology and I speak the language of technology,” Dutta says. “I have found that Estonia and specifically EUAS is the perfect place to study software development.”
He said that studying at EUAS isn’t complicated and difficult for him because he can study what he loves and is interested in. “I like being connected to the IT world, being in it, and I love studying because of it. I’m ready to do everything I can and to give 100%,” Dutta notes.
How to apply your knowledge in the industry?
Alumni of the software development and entrepreneurship programme have a range of options. Dutta said that he hasn’t yet decided what to do after graduation, but finding a job won’t be a problem. “There are large companies here like Pipedrive, Wise or Bolt, but there are also many smaller start-ups which employ very smart people,” says Dutta.
The mission of EUAS is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in society, with the goal to give students the skills and knowledge to change their lives and maybe even the world. This vision coincides with Dutta’s views, whose main goal is to use his technological skills to help nature and the environment. “I believe that climate and environmental problems can be solved with technology,” he says. “I’m not saying that I’m going to change the world but I believe that small constructive solutions can definitely be developed here.”
Constant cooperation with enterprises
The software development and entrepreneurship programme at EUAS is designed for those who want to develop their skills in programming, software design and teamwork to begin their career as a software developer in leading IT companies in Estonia and elsewhere. The curriculum is in English because most of the IT world is, too, and the programme is open to younger as well as more experienced people from various countries.
“The software development and entrepreneurship programme was developed in cooperation with various companies, such as IT companies in Ülemiste City or companies in the field of business, taking into consideration their expectations and needs,” says Inna Švartsman, Head of Curriculum of Software Development and Entrepreneurship at EUAS. Teaching is done in cooperation with the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications and the studies feature guest lecturers from various international enterprises including Telia, Cleveron and Scoro.
Švartsman said that the curriculum is constantly changing as the field of information technology is constantly evolving, which means that the curriculum must be constantly improved. Guest lecturers from a variety of universities and many practitioners visit to share their experiences. “Before COVID, we would visit various companies, but now we interact with enterprises virtually, if necessary,” says Švartsman.
Practice is crucial
The software development and entrepreneurship program features multiple project courses where small teams have to carry out projects. “Numerous assignments come from companies that see students as potential future colleagues,” says Švartsman.
According to Dutta, one of the advantages of EUAS is that students can work together with potential employers. “It is very important to be able to work with professionals in your field who give advice and guidance during your studies,” Dutta notes.
Classes take place from Monday to Wednesday which means that students have time to work outside of school to put their skills into practice. Practice is one of the main aspects of the programme. “The problem with most universities and programmes is that you might do great in school but upon going to work, you realise that it’s a completely different world you’re not ready for,” says Arpan Dutta, student at EUAS.