A chal­lenge to pro­duce suit­able grads

New Straits Times - - News -

SHAH ALAM: Malaysian high­er­learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions must keep up with the pace of in­dus­try devel­op­ment to pro­duce grad­u­ates suit­able for the work­force.

New Straits Times Press Bhd (NSTP) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Ab­dul Jalil Hamid said univer­si­ties could not af­ford to slowly ad­just their prod­ucts as in­dus­try re­quire­ments were con­stantly chang­ing.

Cit­ing the me­dia in­dus­try, he said jobs to­day could be re­dun­dant in the next five years.

“What we are see­ing to­day, we are liv­ing in a scary world. Dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion saw not only the me­dia in­dus­try af­fected, but also our lives.

“Banks are so wor­ried that they are start­ing to close down their branches as peo­ple just don’t go to these (phys­i­cal) branches any­more.

“This is the chal­lenge for fac­ulty mem­bers to pre­pare grad­u­ates for jobs that may not ex­ist (yet) in the next few years,” he said dur­ing a fo­rum at Univer­siti Te­knologi Mara here yes­ter­day.

Jalil was one of the pan­el­lists at the Univer­sity-In­dus­try En­gage­ment Ses­sion fo­rum en­ti­tled “Sym­bi­otic Re­la­tion­ship of Univer­sity-In­dus­try-Com­mu­nity Gov­ern­ment: How do we make it work in Malaysia”.

Jalil, a sea­soned jour­nal­ist, said Me­dia Prima Bhd was mov­ing for­ward to have new roles cre­ated to suit the com­pany’s needs as it evolved.

“Just re­cently, I had a bench­mark­ing visit to Ger­many to see how their me­dia com­pany has adapted to change.

“They’re do­ing very well in the face of dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion, which does not only pose chal­lenges, but has also cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

“The com­pany has cre­ated new jobs, to name a few — SEO (search en­gine op­ti­mi­sa­tion) man­agers, web de­vel­op­ers, dig­i­tal an­a­lysts, big data man­agers, busi­ness data an­a­lysts.

“They have 15,000 staff all over Europe, mostly in Ger­many, with an an­nual rev­enue of more than €3 bil­lion. They do not hire journalists and videog­ra­phers.

“Like­wise, this is what Me­dia Prima is do­ing. We are go­ing to be a pure dig­i­tal first com­pany,” he said.

Jalil said the me­dia com­pany would need more grad­u­ates in in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, ac­tu­ar­ial science, com­puter science, graph­ics and an­i­ma­tion, in­stead of mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion grad­u­ates.

He said this was the chal­lenge that univer­si­ties were fac­ing, and they needed to move fast and en­gage with in­dus­try play­ers.

The 90-minute fo­rum also saw three pan­el­lists — Malaysian In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try pres­i­dent Datuk Wira Jalilah Baba, PKT Lo­gis­tics Sdn Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Michael Tio, and Hu­man Re­source Devel­op­ment Fund chair­man Datuk Dr Ab­dul Razak Ab­dul — shar­ing their in­sight with 300 at­ten­dees, who in­cluded aca­demi­cians and in­dus­try play­ers.

PIC BY ROSLIN MAT TAHIR

New Straits Times Press Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Ab­dul Jalil Hamid (right) with other pan­el­lists and aca­demi­cians of Univer­siti Te­knologi Mara at the Univer­sity-In­dus­try En­gage­ment Ses­sion fo­rum in Shah Alam yes­ter­day.

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