The Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education, ITESO by its Spanish acronym, is a private Jesuit university renowned for its engineering programs. Founded in 1957, ITESO has a pleasant, green, 100-acre campus in the municipality of Tlaquepaque in southern Guadalajara where over 10,000 students are enrolled.
ITESO is the only university in the state of Jalisco with the Institution of Academic Excellence designation awarded by Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education. And, of all the private universities in the country, it has published the most books and boasts the most professors recognized by Mexico’s National System of Researchers.
ITESO has a close relationship with many businesses that operate in the region. The university not only sets up internships for its students so that they can gain practical experience in the private sector, but also forges strategic alliances with private businesses in order to achieve common objectives in the development of human talent.
Through its Center for Management of Information and Technology (CEGINT), the university runs an enterprise incubation program and provides expert consulting for local tech startups at its 2,400-square-meter technology park. Every semester, around 100 students and professors work with local entrepreneurs and specialist consultants at the technology park to prepare over two dozen startups to develop their offerings and eventually enter the market.
While the businesses benefit from the use of university facilities and the expertise of the professors and students in the fields of IT, computer systems, telecommunications and industrial, electronic or mechanical design, the students gain valuable experience, develop sought-after skills and form professional relationships that enhance their post-graduation employment prospects.
ITESO has also enjoyed mutually beneficial partnerships with established global tech enterprises such as Nokia, with the university’s technology park hosting a project in which students worked to develop smartphone apps for the Nokia S40 and Windows Phone (WP) platforms.
ITESO has strong partnerships with other global academic institutions. All students have the opportunity to study abroad in exchange programs with many of the 4,000-plus Jesuit colleges around the world, as well as a range of non-Jesuit universities across the United States and Latin America.
ITESO has also created a joint Master of Business Administration program – in collaboration with Regis University, a Jesuit college located in Colorado – to foster economic innovation and prepare Latin American and U.S. Latino executives and entrepreneurs for the opportunities arising in the world’s emerging economies.
ITESO’s Department of Electronics, Systems and IT offers bachelor’s degrees in electronic engineering, service enterprise engineering, computer systems engineering, and networks and telecommunications engineering.
The department also offers master’s degrees in electronic design, applied informatics, and computer systems, as well as a doctorate in engineering sciences.
Alternatively, alumni can study year-long postgraduate specializations in embedded systems, the improvement of business processes, and system-on-chip design.
“We started offering programs in systems engineering and electronic engineering in ITESO almost 30 years ago and they’ve been widely recognized as the best programs in these fields in western Mexico,” said Dr. Victor Hugo Zaldivar Carrillo, head of the Department of Electronics, Systems and IT.
“These programs have great importance for the development of the local economy in Jalisco. The electronic design, automotive design, IT services and software development sectors are highly developed in Jalisco so it’s fundamental for the state government and the university that we prepare students in these fields,” Dr. Zaldivar told Global Delivery Report.
Certifications and Training
Students who take the networks and telecommunications engineering program graduate with a Cisco Systems certification, while those who take the other courses have the opportunity to obtain Microsoft and Oracle certifications through collaboration with government programs.
In order to graduate, a student must complete two professional projects, each of which requires 16 hours of work per week for one semester. “This could be with a multinational business like Intel, a local business or even a non-governmental organization that needs the help of an electronic systems engineer,” Dr. Zaldivar said.
There are a number of students and graduates from the Department of Electronics, Systems and IT incubating their businesses in the Technology Park. Every year students also have the opportunity to participate in research projects led by their professors to develop new technology.
Each year a total of 30 to 40 students graduate from the department’s four bachelor’s programs.
“The students end up working wherever they want. They are highly venerated, partly because there are so few of them, and they receive many offers – the majority of them before they have even graduated,” Dr. Zaldivar said.
“Our graduates can be found working in all kinds of business across Mexico and the whole world. We have former students at Microsoft in Seattle and in Oracle in Palo Alto, California, and others at the likes of Oracle, HP, IBM, Freescale and Continental here in Guadalajara,” he added.
The total cost of a bachelor’s degree in ITESO’s Department of Electronics, Systems and IT ranges from 504,000 to 612,000 pesos, or about US$34,000 to $41,000.
Master’s degrees range from 160,000 to 240,000 pesos (US$11,000 to $16,000), while a doctorate costs a minimum of 104,000 pesos (US$7,000).
Students can apply for a range of government and industry grants, while many private businesses cover a portion of the tuition fees for student interns.