Albert combines master’s studies with working in the ICT industry
Albert Asratyan graduated from the bachelor's programme in Information and Communication Technology in 2019, having already begun working part-time as a full stack software developer while completing his studies.
Hi Albert, what are you up to these days?
I currently work at Blueair Cabin Air as a full stack software developer. Our company’s aim is to improve air quality inside vehicles, while my own role is a nice combination of R&D, front-end and cloud engineering. I am also enrolled in the Master’s Programme in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems (software track) at the KTH Kista campus.
What might your regular working day look like?
It really depends on the project that we are working on at that specific moment. Some days can be slow and I might have some time to work on codebase improvements, while others can be quite heated when we need to deploy by a tight deadline. There is also an aspect of collaboration with partnered companies – ranging from automotive to IT industries – and, of course, the continuous learning process regarding air quality and the human impact on it.
Have you worked with anything else since you graduated?
Not really, this is my first job after university. I actually started at Cabin Air part-time (25%) during the final year of my bachelor’s degree, right before Christmas. Once I graduated, I continued working at the company with increased working hours (50%).
Why did you choose this programme at KTH?
In all honesty, when I finished high school I didn't really have a clue about what I would like to study. I had a good background in mathematics, but I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to tie my life to pure mathematics. I loved computers (and still do) and, coincidentally, when I was looking through the available programmes in Stockholm, the ICT programme was the only one taught in English. So I asked myself: why not? And the rest is history. The most important thing to mention here is that I am pretty sure that I have chosen the right field. No complaints so far!
Did you acquire any insights during your studies that have been particularly useful in your career?
The most important things that you learn in university are most definitely the correct engineering approach to problem-solving and proper time management. Everything else may come in useful but these two you will use no matter where you end up.
What were the best aspects of studying at KTH?
The flexible approach to studying a course is probably top of the list; there were no compulsory lectures, so we could choose exactly how to study the material – either on our own or at the university, if we needed some assistance. This is actually the reason why I was and remain able to combine studying and working.
What is your best memory from your time at KTH?
As you probably know, a bachelor’s thesis is written in pairs. Those two months were probably among my most enjoyable at the university. We were working for the Communication Systems Department in Kista on an IoT water monitoring system, which allowed us to work on some exciting open source stuff.
What are your plans for the future?
Make it big.
What would you say to a student thinking of applying for this programme?
Whether, after three years, you want to continue your education at KTH, start working or combine the two, the Bachelor's Programme in ICT provides a solid foundation for whatever you choose to do next. None of my classmates who decided to start working had trouble finding jobs, while the ones who decided to continue with master’s studies are having an easy time adapting; that said, be prepared to put in some work if you want to achieve good results, especially at the beginning of the programme.