There are many study programmes offered at different academic levels by Hong Kong's higher educational institutions, non-profit professional organisations and private sector institutions, for those willing to sharpen their skills as well as develop a better understanding of the constantly-evolving world of technology.
Some programmes are meant for novices to allow them to pick up fundamentals, and others are for professionals to help them advance their knowledge and widen their experience. Some other courses take the form of workshops with a brief duration.
The School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE) at the University of Hong Kong has workshops for the first time PC user. These cover the PC and its basic components, DOS and basic commands, among other things.
For some of these workshops, the medium of instruction is Cantonese.
There are short courses to help understand the fundamentals of Microsoft Windows (icons, menus, Windows accessories, integrating objects between different Windows applications etc), and programmes for understanding the Unix operating system (basic facilities in UNIX, file system, UNIX toolkit etc).
For those looking to improve skills in application software, there are introductory courses on the word processing software WordPerfect 6.0; Chinese MS-Windows and Chinese Wordprocessing; programming tools like Visual Basic, and Lotus 1-2-3, and so on.
And then there are courses from SPACE on programming languages, networking and data communication, computer-aided design, and systems analysis and design.
At the most basic levels, there are organisations that offer classes in computer technology for children.
Futurekids, which runs programmes for children from 3 to 15 years of age, has classes built around separate computer science and educational components.
According to Futurekids, learning to operate computer hardware and software would be the focus of its computer science units, while using computer technology to improve academic learning would be the focus of its educational units. The science and education components are taught concurrently. One of its courses, Computer Launchpad covers the basics.
Children learn to load programs, use a mouse, keyboard, peripherals, save files and run programs.
Other courses, cover Windows 95, multimedia, robotics, computer-assisted mathematics, word processing and graphics and design. Futurekids opened a new learning centre in Sha Tin New Town Tower yesterday.
The Hong Kong Baptist University offers two research degrees. Both the PhD and MPhil degrees are research-oriented and can be done full-time or part-time. The area of study in these programmes include CAD/CAM; real-time system development; behaviour-based reactive robot control and learning; image processing; communication networks; simulation modelling; medical informatics; computer-aided software engineering; algorithms; parallel computation and industrial robotics.
Baptist University also offers a part-time Master of Science (MSc) in Scientific Computing, programme.
According to the university, the course educates students in the foundation and methodology of scientific computing.
Practical experience will be gained through computing laboratory sessions and an independent research project. Graduates of this course will be able to understand and make the best use of developments in the field.
Core subjects include computational methods; computer systems and networks; modelling and simulation; software engineering; scientific computing laboratory; scientific computing seminar and the MSc research project.
In addition, there is a BSc (Hons) in Computing Studies (Information Systems) programme. This emphasises information systems, which in this context means a discipline concerned with analysis, design, and implementation of computer-based application systems in support of operations in business and public organisations.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Department of Computing offers a variety of study programmes, part-time and full-time, undergraduate and postgraduate.
The Bachelor of Arts (honours) Degree in Computing, a three-year part-time course will cover, among other subjects, data structures and algorithms, mathematics, operating systems and systems programming and systems modelling and simulation.
The Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Information Technology course aims to develop capabilities of applying theories and techniques of information technology in solving enterprise-wide problems. It will cover digital and microcomputer system design, computer architecture and operating systems, software engineering, systems and networks, Total Quality Management and artificial intelligence, among other subjects.
Master of Science in Information Systems programme aims to enhance the effective exploitation of information technology for non-computing professionals who will have to play a major management role in an organisation and also to contribute to strategic planning of information systems and technology.
Course subjects will include artificial intelligence, computer image generation and application, management support systems and software engineering concepts.
The Master of Science in Software Technology programme offered by the Polytechnic University, emphasises application of software technology to solve business problems, and software engineering. This is a six-year programme.