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Cutting-edge programme for future technologists

August 24, 2022 | Campus News
Group Photo of the first MoU ceremony in March 2020 with UTAR’s Dr Choo (far left) with leading companies in the industry.

AFTER years of gathering insights from leading companies in the industry, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) launched the Bachelor of Information Systems (Honours) Digital Economy Technology last October to set graduates apart in the job market.

Touted to be the first in its field, UTAR worked tirelessly with leading industrial memorandum of understanding (MoU) partners in syllabus collaboration on various subjects to prepare graduates for the digital economy.

From its first MoU signing alone UTAR’s partners included TNG Digital Sdn Bhd, Finexus Sdn Bhd, Worldline International (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Globeoss Sdn Bhd, Revenue Techpark Sdn Bhd, Craft Guru Sdn Bhd, Bizacademia Sdn Bhd, GNey Software Sdn Bhd, OnNet Consulting Sdn Bhd, Infusion Information Technology Sdn Bhd, Infomativ Sdn Bhd, NEXPlatform Sdn Bhd, W Tech Marketing Sdn Bhd and E Goodeal Sdn Bhd.

The programme is parked under the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FICT) and was developed to fill the gaps in the market as the roles have steadily increased for technology and digital resources in business, administration as well as socioeconomic status.

According to FICT deputy dean (student development and industrial training) Dr Choo Peng Yin, the programme’s genesis was due to the market demand and the digital transformation of the companies.

“Around 2010, there were internship and employment opportunities from IT companies like Cisco, but around 2016, non-traditional software houses like banks, travel agencies and logistics companies began hiring IT students, especially in information systems (specialisation).

“We try to support some of the emerging job roles in the sector such as property-tech, banking IT and cross-border e-commerce,” he said, adding that another vision for this programme is to create a talent pool for an integrated market with integrated platforms, especially among the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries.

“Malaysia is progressing rapidly in the digital industry such as Digital Agriculture, Digital Health, Digital Finance and Digital Tourism.”

A vision of the degree programme with popular domain tech in the digital economy.

A vision of the degree programme with popular domain tech in the digital economy.

He opined that UTAR is the first university in the world to offer a degree in the digital economy from the perspective of an IT and platform owner, while most universities focus on the perspective of economics.

“Digital economy is very tricky. You not only need to know programming but also general business, banking, logistics and financial processes. From our perspective, the digital economy is a platform economy which appears most times as a website or mobile application (such as online banking) or Application Programming Interfaces (API) economy like the Google Maps or Touch ‘n Go service.

“The world is shifting part of the physical economic activities onto these digital platforms and these platforms are linked together via API.

“A lot of students would need to be trained in these areas whereby they would have to build a lot of platforms, design web technologies and insert business processes and models, digital process automation and also have a strong knowledge of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), API integration and even digital marketing,” he said.

Group Photo of the second MoU ceremony in April 2022.

Group Photo of the second MoU ceremony in April 2022.

He added that designing the programme structure was challenging as there were no other benchmarks they could emulate. Therefore, Choo opined it is best to seek the knowledge and expertise from companies instead – they now have 22 partners.

The six new industry partners include Guangxi University of Finance and Economics (GUFE), Beijing Percent Technology Group Co. Ltd and Guangxi Tus-Innovation Cross Border E-Commerce Co. Ltd (TusCBEC) from China as well as Malaysia Proptech Association (MPA), Centrec Training and Consultancy and EasyRenz Technologies Sdn Bhd from Malaysia.

“We rely on the business information system as a reference and have signed two rounds of MoU (under the context of syllabus collaborations) with companies that are willing to help from their perspective as they are engaging in the digital economy sector and hire our interns too.

“We collaborated with each company under one elective subject like in the stock market, information system design and enterprise resource planning (ERP), among others.

“These companies are willing to help to grow the talent pool because there is a scarcity of such talents in the market, and there is a huge demand in the market for digital transformation,” he said, adding that his suggestion for companies to share their orientation or onboarding training with universities to cut costs was well-received.

Choo added that this programme is designed to help students excel in consulting jobs as UTAR has integrated its syllabus and materials with local as well as global companies in China and the United States.

Digital Economy Technology in a nutshell with digital platform and API as main focus.

Digital Economy Technology in a nutshell with digital platform and API as main focus.

Graduates can find employment as a functional consultant, business intelligence specialist, business system administrator, data or business analyst, digital entrepreneur, IT business, development consultant/manager, IT customer support, IT project executive/manager, system development engineer and web platform developer.

Besides that, graduates can also venture into starting their own company with the knowledge gained from this programme or continue their higher education with a Master of Science (Computer Science) or Master in Data Management and Analytics.

Interested students are encouraged to apply for this three-year programme in the January, June or October intake. The programme will be held at the UTAR Kampar campus.

For more information, join UTAR’s Open Day from Aug 20-21, 2022 at its Kampar Campus in Perak and Sungai Long Campus in Bandar Sungai Long. UTAR is also having its Cyber Open Day from Aug 18-19, 2022 (9am-5pm). Alternatively, visit https://study.utar.edu.my/openday.php for more details.

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