Washington State preps students for tech-job market

From staff reports

Washington state’s technology industry is ranked 9th in the country, according to a CompTIA 2015 report. WSU is preparing its students for this competitive field with majors like electrical engineering and computer science.

“We want to prepare our students to hit the ground running,” said Dr. Behrooz Shirazi, the director of WSU’s school of electrical engineering and computer science. “We want a lot of options for the students.”

According to Shirazi, one way WSU students are prepared is through applied learning. This applied learning comes from both internships, which 65 percent of electrical engineering and computer science students participate in, and the senior capstone program that WSU requires.

“A lot of what we do in the department is gauge industry standing,” said Adam Hahn, an assistant professor for the school of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “The department is trying to help students prepare for giant opportunities ahead of them.”

Some of the projects the departments are working on include a smart environment project from the computer science department and power engineering from the electrical engineering department.

Power engineering at WSU has been working on ways to improve generating power.

“The electrical engineering strength here is power engineering,” said Shirazi. “It is one of the best programs in the nation.”

According to Shirazi, smart environments can be used to help the elderly stay in their homes. They can make sure they are staying active, taking their medicine and not in need of any assistance.

“The idea of a smart environment is putting sensors in a built environment and trying to provide services accordingly,” said Shirazi. “For example, a smart house could control temperature and lock doors.”

However, issues with privacy and security still exist with smart environments. Shirazi estimated this technology will likely take about five more years until it is commonplace.

Reporting by Cole Campitiello