A challenge to produce suitable grads
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.
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.