Pro­duce tal­ent, not grad­u­ates

New Straits Times - - Higher ED -

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.”

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