Produce talent, not graduates
LIFELONG learning has always been Noor Kamilah Barvin Mohd Meera’s priority as there is a need to keep up with change to advance in one’s career.
“Employers seek talent. One must be skilled to be employed. Unskilled employees will drain the resources of an organisation,” said Noor Kamilah.
“We have been producing a lot of graduates, not talent. For that very reason, I decided to enhance my skills by pursuing the Master in Human Resource Management programme.”
Noor Kamilah is of the opinion that one need not follow the standard route of pursuing a diploma course, followed by a bachelor’s and master’s degree courses, all before the age of 25.
“It is not as simple as that. Theory without practice is a waste. That is why I chose to work and gain experience and exposure before furthering my studies,” she said.
“We can’t deny the importance of upgrading knowledge and skills through lifelong learning. It is useful not only for one’s career
The centre requires a minimum of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia qualification with at least five years of work experience for its undergraduate programmes while for the master’s programme, the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree with a good Cumulative Grade Point Average.
The most popular courses are Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Islamic Studies and Master of Education. The programmes are based on a full-time curriculum, operated in accordance with the needs of students who are working.
CONVERGING OF TECHNOLOGY
Monash University Malaysia’s School of Business (research) deputy head Professor Pervaiz Ahmed said as skillsets are evolving quickly and the environment is rapidly changing, anything that you learn becomes obsolete in three to four years.
“In the future, we have to rethink the educational format. The focus may be on-the-job learning or training, online and distance learning and internships. We can’t simply rely on the traditional format of education, which is fairly static. Lifelong learning is the way forward.
“The education system should be shifted from paper- to skilled-based qualification,” he said.
Monash University Malaysia vice-president (research and development) Professor Mahendhiran but also in making life decisions and when starting a business.
“Lifelong learners can contribute to society in many ways.”
Education counsellor Mohd Zahir Abdul Rahman said lifelong learning helps the workforce adapt to any environment.
“But it is also important to have communication and other related soft skills as employers look for these traits to enhance the work process and improve teamwork,” he added. S. Nair said: “Universities should ensure that skillsets, graduate attributes, research and development activities and training programmes are aligned with the needs of the industry.
“A creative and highly motivated workforce is important to push the boundaries of knowledge and translate innovations into value propositions for the corporate sector,” said Mahendhiran, adding that the latter is critical to move industries up the global innovation value chain.
Due to the converging of technology, students and workers need multi skills; hence the need for continuous learning because the skillsets you require today may change in the future.
“The push by the government for industry 4.0 (where human operations are replaced by robotics) is critical because it is going to drive the change. We need to identify the priority industry by aligning training at all spectrums — even at secondary schools because students need a foundation of skills before entering into the workforce.”
Mahendhiran added that technology allows learning via a global environment through online courses from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University or from any part of the world.
“The global environment has now become the learning ecosystem. Students need multiple skillsets such as double majors or a few minors so that they can have wider perspective when entering the workforce.”