One of Mexico’s most prestigious academic institutions, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, ITESM by its Spanish acronym, is a private university with 31 campuses in 25 cities across the country.
Best known as the Tec de Monterrey or simply the Tec, the university has strategic relationships with hundreds of top colleges around the world, including MIT, Stanford and Berkeley. It is famed for fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship in graduates, who have been lauded as “world class” by Bill Gates and “Ivy League standard” by the New York Times.
The university’s 37-hectare Guadalajara campus, formally inaugurated in 1991, is located in the city’s northwestern municipality of Zapopan. It is a lush and modern site, with a range of amenities for the 8,000 students enrolled at the campus, including a gym, swimming pool, sporting facilities, a library, computer rooms, a bank, a cafe and a convenience store. There are also onsite and offsite housing options with 24-hour security guards, controlled access and CCTV cameras to guarantee the safety of residents.
The campus is also home to a five story, 6,800-square-meter technology park that houses 15 high-tech enterprises in the fields of IT, electronics, biotechnology, animation and videogame production.
Ventures housed in the Tec’s business incubator and accelerator can take advantage of the university’s talent, with professors and as many as 1,500 students becoming involved every year through internships, joint projects and applied research.
“We face the ongoing challenge of strengthening the vision of the Tec de Monterrey: to promote educational innovation on campus and to create leaders with entrepreneurial spirit, human compassion and international competitiveness,” says the Dean of the Guadalajara campus, Dr. Mario Adrian Flores Castro. “Our primary task is to generate ideas that become actions and creative projects.”
Jose Renteria, Director of the Engineering Division at the Guadalajara campus, told Global Delivery Report: “Our aim is within ten years to be among the 100 best universities in the world according to the QS ranking. In order to achieve that we’re going to specialize in a five strategic areas and one of those areas is technology and electronic engineering. Here at the Guadalajara campus that area one of our two main focuses.”
Tec’s IT and Electronics department offers bachelor’s degrees in business and IT engineering, computer systems engineering, computer technology engineering, and electronic technology engineering.
The department also offers master’s degrees in computer sciences and electronic engineering, as well as online master’s courses in business development innovation and IT administration (the latter in collaboration with the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
The Science and Engineering department also offers bachelor’s degrees in mechatronics, and industrial and systems engineering, among other programs, plus a master’s degree in quality and productivity systems.
After eighteen months of study, all students have the opportunity to study abroad at any of the 600 universities that have agreements with the Tec. The majority of electronic engineering students tend to go to universities in the United States, France, Germany, Japan or South Korea, where they pay the same fees that they would at Tec and retain any financial grants that they have benefitted from.
Certifications and Training
Computer science students at Tec’s Guadalajara campus have the opportunity to obtain Cisco networks certification, while electronic engineering students can obtain an innovation certification.
Every student spends at least six months and sometimes an entire year as an intern to ensure that they learn the theoretical and practical sides of the industry. The business incubator on campus also plays a key role in the development of the students’ entrepreneurial capabilities.
There are currently 12 electronic engineering students working on their own projects in the incubator, many of which are aimed at overcoming social problems. One group of students recently developed devices to support the education of children that suffer from autism, while another group developed a communications device for the blind and deaf.
Cynthia Trevizo, director of the computer sciences program at the Guadalajara campus, told Global Delivery Report that her department holds “regular hackathons and always try to support the startups that emerge from these events so that they can continue developing their projects in the business incubator.”
Computer sciences and electronic engineering students were also teamed up with business, marketing and industrial design students, to develop apps and wearable devices over the course of the last semester.
Roughly 25-28 electronic engineering students graduate from Tec’s Guadalajara campus annually. The computer sciences program has just commenced, but the university expects to produce about 25-40 graduates a year, a figure set to double over the next five years.
Guadalajara, which is famed as “Mexico’s Silicon Valley,” is home to a thriving tech sector comprised of over 600 tech and electronics businesses that create huge demand for skilled graduates.
“Six of every ten exports from the state of Jalisco are from the electronics and computer industry. There is a significant demand for graduates in these fields,” Eduardo Espadas, director of the electronics program at the Guadalajara campus, told Global Delivery Report.
Many graduates from Tec find employment with one of the multinational tech firms that operate in the Guadalajara area, including Dell, HP, IBM, Intel and Oracle, while the majority of graduates that move abroad end up working in the United States.
Tuition and Fees
The average cost of a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences or electronic engineering is 93,000 pesos per semester, about US$6,300 at today’s exchange rate. At nine semesters, the total course of the program is 837,000 pesos, or $56,500.
The average cost of a master’s degree in these fields is 70,000 pesos, US$4,700, per semester. At four semesters, the total course of a master’s is 280,000 pesos, or $18,900.
The university puts a significant proportion of its budget toward a wide range of grants, while the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) also provides grants to help students pay for master’s degrees.