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The Added Finance Advantage

April 26, 2013 | Campus News

In late March 2013, there were fears that the tiny island of Cyprus would experience bankruptcy and be the first country to be ejected from the Eurozone.

Fresh out of high school, and having only just received your Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia results, the concerns of the Eurozone might seem not just worlds away, but also years away. Very frankly, why should you care?

The answer to this is in a report released by the International Labour Organisation , in early January this year. The Global Employment Trends 2013 report shows that in addition to a shaky global economy, 2012 has also seen global unemployment rise by 4.2 million, or 5.9% in unemployment rate.

On a positive note, the same report also reveals that 42% of workers in developing countries have elevated their status to qualify as ‘middle-class’ indicating that the job market in this part of the world is more robust.

To safeguard your career path from being scuttled by unemployment and make the most of the robust job opportunities in the developing world, prudence is necessary when choosing a tertiary education option.

Within Malaysia, the financial services sector is one worth looking into. By 2020, the sector is targeted to raise Malaysia’s Gross National Income (GNI) by a staggering RM121.5 bil.

A winning combination

UCSI University has seen the career potential the financial sector has for the new generation.

Its Faculty of Business & Information Science (FOBIS) has carefully designed a range of programmes that combine finance with traditional in-demand degree offerings.

Unique among private universities, its programmes are the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science and Finance, BSc (Hons) Finance and Investment, BBA (Hons) Islamic Banking and Finance, and the BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance.

“We hope to give our students an edge when they enter the working world as they will have knowledge of finance on top of the knowledge provided by the traditional degree,” explains Dr Toh Kian Kok, Dean of FOBIS.

This added advantage is timely. According to the Economic Transformation  Programme Annual Report 2011, the financial services sector is expected to generate 275,400 jobs by 2020.

“Our additional major in finance will also give our students the mobility if they decide, upon entering the working world and seeing the prospects, that they want to specialise in finance,” adds Dr Toh.

One of the most popular traditional degrees offered by FOBIS is the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science.

This makes sense as career prospects for actuaries are expected to increase by 27% from 2010 to 2020 – the highest growth rate across all occupations – according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Domestically, the prospects are even greater given Malaysia’s shortage of actuaries.

This is one of the main reasons Chan Min Zhuo decided to enrol for UCSI’s BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science programme.

A recipient of one of the UCSI Trust Scholarships, he is one of the few local students to have passed two of the five preliminary exams required while he was only in the first semester of his second year.

Chan’s sterling academic performance is a clear indicator that UCSI’s actuarial science programme is on the right track.

To strengthen the programme even further FOBIS has recently launched the BSc (Hons) Actuarial Science and Finance degree

The programme offers the second option of a financial analysis-related career development which is parallel to the advancement of professional studies in the actuarial field. 

“As a mathematician, I know that it will not do to focus too narrowly on pure mathematics. This is why we have incorporated finance into our traditional programme offerings,” revealed Dr Ngerng Miang Hong, the Head of the Department of Actuarial Science and Applied Statistics.

For students with an inclination towards investment but still want to make the most of the robust financial services job markets, UCSI has also recently launched its BSc (Hons) Finance and Investment.

“We can expect a large flow of money from the RM121.5 bil expected from the financial sector by 2020, but we currently do not have enough professionals with the knowledge and expertise to manage these funds,” explains Dr Toh.

This programme aims to produce graduates equipped with relevant and holistic knowledge of finance and investment such as capital appraisals, financial assets valuation and also the in-depth analysis of various financial markets including equities, FOREX, commodities and derivatives.

“We expose our students to everything related to investment. We teach them about how stock markets work and about risk management. We also offer them insights on personal financial management,” shares Lim Fang Ching, Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance.

All this is done, to help students secure their career prospects in a time when both the economic and job markets are uncertain.

Looking thoughtful, Dr Toh sums it up.

“The global economy is changing. The field of finance has never been more important and our new offerings were designed to provide students with a professional and personal edge to help them excel.”

To find out more about UCSI University’s finance-related programmes, contact us at 03-91018882 or email You can also drop by our Open Days on 20 and 21 April, 2013 (9am – 6pm). Scholarships are also available to deserving students via the UCSI University Trust.
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