Student Niki Aarnio: The Communications Engineering study option combines commercial and technical expertise

Niki Aarnio has especially liked the internationality and concrete nature of his studies
Communications Engineering student Niki Aarnio in the winter.
Niki Aarnio is studying Communications Engineering in Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering.

Why did you choose Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Communications Engineering?

I was good at mathematics in secondary school and upper secondary school, and my father was a student of technology as well, so engineering seemed like a natural choice for me from early on. I was also thinking about applying to study economics. I decided to go for a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Electronics, as these studies focused on something concrete and offered interesting courses in physics.

During my bachelor's degree, I studied industrial engineering and management as a minor subject, which also increased my understanding of economics. The combination of technical expertise, industrial engineering and economics led me to join the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Communications Engineering. Communications technology is a real field of the future, with unlimited potential for development.

What has been the best part of your studies?

The master's degree studies have matched my expectations really well, and it has been a good combination of economic and technical material. When I was on a student exchange in Mexico, I was proud to be a Communications Engineering student from Aalto. It was nice to notice that people knew about Aalto University and that the research carried out in the programme is really highly valued.

The studies in Otaniemi are very international, as well; we have a lot of foreign students and exchange students.

What has been the most interesting course?

In the Value network design for Internet services course, we studied the life cycle of an Internet product and used the theory in practice to work on the finished products of our partner companies. Our team worked with a start-up that makes VR headsets. During the course, our assignments included considering strategies for putting the product on the market and analysing how the technical properties of the product can be conveyed to people making business decisions. One great thing about the course was that it had been recommended to exchange students coming to Aalto and there were many of them on the course. The international atmosphere led to a lot of good discussion.

Communications technology is evolving constantly and is never finished.

Niki Aarnio

What is student life like at Aalto University?

There is a lot to student life in addition to studying, and everyone can take part as much as they like. It has been fun to see how events have changed in recent years since students of economics and art have joined technology students on the campus. Having different disciplines around makes student life interesting, and it is nice to bump in to different kinds of art events and exhibitions on campus.

What have you learned during your studies that you can apply in working life?

One way that working life is integrated in courses is business cooperation. For example, we have had the opportunity to analyse products from different companies or compare a product to a theory.

In addition, many of our alumni have come to give talks on various subjects and explain how they have benefited from their studies in working life. It is nice to know that the things we study have concrete significance. Working life is also reflected in the fact that companies are very interested in us students. I am doing my master’s thesis at the moment, and although I am not doing it for any particular company, I receive a lot of interested messages from the representatives of different companies.

What does the future look like for the field?

Work and research in electricity will only end when people stop using electricity. Communications technology is evolving constantly and is never finished. There is a lot of money and new research in the field, and there is a constant need for more masters of science in technology. The amount of data is increasing constantly, and the need for experts in the field is also growing in sectors that are not directly related to technology. For example, grocery store chains are already using many different types of apps.

Often people who are talented in mathematics automatically think they should study business. The different fields and degree programmes of technology vary greatly, so you should look at all the choices carefully and see what the studies consist of. You may find something really interesting in the programmes that you haven't even thought of before.

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Two Aalto University students working on a laptop together / photo by Unto Rautio

Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Communications Engineering

Our world is digitally revolutionised, highlighting the increasing importance of internet technologies, wireless communication and communications ecosystems. The Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Communications Engineering covers both theoretical fundamentals and the hottest hands-on applications of communications technology, including topics like 5G, IoT, machine learning, and cybersecurity. The study option consists of a hard technological core surrounded by human-centred behavioural economics and sciences.

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