Lu­cra­tive IT ca­reer

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - COURSE FOCUS -

IS in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ( IT) still worth learn­ing? This ques­tion has been asked quite a bit, es­pe­cially by par­ents con­cerned about the em­ploy­ment prospects of their chil­dren.

They worry that there are too many IT grad­u­ates in the mar­ket since IT has been a pop­u­lar course for many years.

Not only are IT grad­u­ates still valu­able to in­dus­tries and ex­posed to end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties, but they are also the key group of peo­ple to fa­cil­i­tate Malaysian in­dus­tries’ evo­lu­tion into a higher form.

Specif­i­cally, IT could be the gamechanger in solv­ing is­sues with jobs that are dan­ger­ous, dirty or dif­fi­cult ( 3D), a re­cently much- dis­cussed topic.

As an es­sen­tial com­po­nent to in­no­va­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity across a wide range of sec­tors, IT is also at the very cen­tre of the way we work, learn, com­mu­ni­cate, so­cialise and en­ter­tain our­selves.

This creates ex­cit­ing ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties, so study­ing IT can be one of the best prepa­ra­tions for the fu­ture.

Prof Govin­dan Marthan­dan, deputy dean ( aca­demic) at Mul­ti­me­dia Univer­sity’s ( MMU) Grad­u­ate School of Man­age­ment ( GSM) and ex­pert in op­er­a­tions man­age­ment, be­lieves that IT, if prop­erly used and guided by hu­man com­pas­sion, can change not only how so­ci­ety looks at 3D jobs, but also en­sure long- term pros­per­ity for ev­ery­one.

“IT is an ex­tremely ver­sa­tile tool and in it re­sides many so­lu­tions to our daily prob­lems. IT en­ables com­plex cal­cu­la­tions and model- mak­ing, al­low­ing us to de­pict end­less num­ber of com­pli­cated what- if sce­nar­ios,” he says.

What such ex­ten­sive sim­u­la­tions af­ford us is the abil­ity to fig­ure out how we could do things in dif­fer­ent and bet­ter ways.

Many 3D jobs ex­ist be­cause of the waste gen­er­ated in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of goods, and IT al­lows us to map out the en­tire process in the vir­tual world and pin­point places where waste could be re­duced.

“It would be un­re­al­is­tic to hope that we could com­pletely elim­i­nate dan­ger and waste, but the fact is that IT can be used for de­tect­ing waste, so we should take ad­van­tage of this.

“We can and should de­ploy IT to im­ple­ment preven­tive main­te­nance so that we can spot and solve prob­lems be­fore they be­come not only dirty and dif­fi­cult, but also dan­ger­ous,” he adds.

Such sys­tems are al­ready em­ployed in var­i­ous forms in some parts of the world. One ex­am­ple is the tsunami warn­ing alert.

Some re­gions al­ready have this in place, but be­fore the earth­quake and tsunami in 2004, the In­dian Ocean did not have it. Had it been in place at that time, prob­a­bly far fewer lives would have been lost.

While the com­par­i­son to a tsunami warn­ing sys­tem might seem out of place, for Prof Govin­dan, it is not.

“It is a sys­tem used to an­tic­i­pate po­ten­tial prob­lems, and there is no rea­son we can­not scale it to man­u­fac­tur­ing, con­struc­tion or other ac­tiv­i­ties. Other coun­tries have al­ready de­ployed them, so we should re­ally give more at­ten­tion to this.”

De­ploy­ing th­ese IT so­lu­tions across Malaysian in­dus­tries will open up many op­por­tu­ni­ties for IT grad­u­ates for years to come.

As count­less sys­tems will have to be cre­ated, cor­rected and op­ti­mised, the coun­try needs more IT ex­perts to cater to the de­mand of pro­duc­ing state- of- the- art IT sys­tems. For this rea­son, IT jobs will con­tinue to be a lu­cra­tive ca­reer in the fu­ture.

Prof Govin­dan gives an ex­am­ple from the Malaysian bank­ing in­dus­try. “Decades ago, the bank­ing in­dus­try was mostly a man­ual op­er­a­tion and the im­age of bank work­ers was not stel­lar.

“Things were slow; to im­prove ef­fi­ciency, com­put­ers were in­tro­duced and IT al­lowed the bank­ing sys­tem to be highly ef­fi­cient and prof­itable.”

Ac­cord­ing to Prof Dr Ah­mad Rafi Mo­hamed Eshaq, pres­i­dent of MMU, this is per­haps the best time for stu­dents to de­velop their IT ex­per­tise.

“Malaysians are be­com­ing more aware of the need to mod­ernise the 3D jobs be­cause, in do­ing so, it would help boost the Malaysian econ­omy while at the same time re­duce our de­pen­dency on for­eign labour,” he says.

With re­gard to the best univer­sity to pur­sue IT stud­ies, Prof Rafi says, “For many years, MMU has been recog­nised as a world- class univer­sity for IT and tech­nol­ogy stud­ies.”

As part of its 20th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion, MMU is of­fer­ing au­to­matic re­bates and schol­ar­ships for all stu­dents who en­rol in its April in­take.

Foun­da­tion stu­dents are as­sured re­bates of 5%, while bach­e­lor’s stu­dents get 10% off. On top of th­ese re­bates, qual­i­fied stu­dents stand to en­joy schol­ar­ships worth up to RM4mil.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. mmu. edu. my or call 1300 800 668.

Qual­i­fied IT grad­u­ates are key to the de­vel­op­ment of Malaysian in­dus­tries.

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