By Alexander Landa

It really shouldn't be a surprise when someone says something along the lines of “students are the future.” After all, students are continuously learning, at the forefront of innovation, and have plenty of ambition to make a name for themselves. To facilitative perpetual growth, some universities are working to ensure that more individuals enter the smart city field, starting by offering a number of classes, degrees, and certifications to make it all happen.

For example, the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh's public policy degree has concentrations in topics such as energy systems, environmental policy, and healthy policy. Speaking of Pittsburgh, the city was named a finalist in the 2016 Smart City Challenge.

Ohio State University received a massive grant from the US Department of Transportation not long ago, and is now offering one of the first data-analytics undergraduate degrees. Arizona State University's School of Sustainability now allows a student to focus on technology and society, meaning we can get ahead of the curve with smart city development and research.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center has a two-year progressional post-grad program to further a person's existing work in smart cities. Across the pond, University College London offers an entire Master's devoted to Smart Cities and Urban Analytics.

There aren't a lot of degree offerings yet, but we're getting there. Schools of engineering, architecture, sustainability, and technology are all taking notice of this emerging trend of smart cities, and it's only a matter of time until we see more degrees popping up.

Our upcoming Building Tech Forum will shine the spotlight on organizations and companies that are doing good work for smart cities, and who will surely lead us to the future! Register by Thursday 1/26 to ensure Early Bird pricing.

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