In the fast-paced world of Web 3.0, Hong Kong faces a pressing challenge—a shortage of skilled professionals to drive its development. Local universities have recognized the need to bridge this gap and have taken proactive measures by introducing specialized courses focusing on this next-generation technology. Furthermore, industry leaders are urging authorities to relax limitations on importing talented individuals, aiming to create a more vibrant ecosystem for technological innovation.
Web 3.0, with its heightened complexity and computational requirements, demands expertise for effective operation. Liu Yubin, the founder of Metaverse, acknowledges the importance of having suitable professionals in this technology-driven sector, stating, "Finding proficient individuals becomes a challenging task."
Responding to this urgent need, Polytechnic University (PolyU) has taken the lead by offering a master's program in blockchain, with plans to introduce a master's degree in Metaverse soon. These programs aim to equip 120 students with the essential skills required in the upcoming academic year, helping to address the scarcity of knowledgeable experts.
PolyU's Department of Computing aims not only to produce skilled professionals but also to dispel prevalent misconceptions surrounding the field. Professor Au Wenhao emphasizes the importance of debunking unrealistic expectations and instilling professional ethics in students. The comprehensive and in-depth learning opportunities provided by these new courses will foster a well-rounded understanding of the technologies, enabling graduates to contribute ethically to society.
Initially targeting master's level students, the university remains open to extending the curriculum to undergraduate programs in the future, should the demand for such courses increase and the technology mature further. This expansion would focus on Metaverse and blockchain technologies, ensuring a continuous pipeline of talent for Hong Kong's evolving digital landscape.
To address the talent shortage holistically, some Legislative Council members advocate for the government to ease restrictions on foreign professionals, facilitating longer-term residency in Hong Kong. They propose the introduction of a "digital citizen" identity, envisioning a scenario where these individuals can contribute to Hong Kong's technological innovation as e-citizens with virtual identities. Additionally, they emphasize the importance of creating a conducive tech development environment by providing increased access to data and advanced equipment, further incentivizing talented individuals to contribute to Hong Kong's technological advancement.
As Hong Kong takes significant strides to nurture its Web 3.0 ecosystem, the introduction of specialized courses and the facilitation of a more supportive environment for talent are critical steps toward ensuring the city remains a global frontrunner in technological innovation.