Study Information Technology (IT) at a Top Private University to Equip Yourself for Better Career Prospects
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Computing or IT professionals are one of the highest paid in Malaysia. In addition, Job demand for Information Technology professionals in Malaysia and globally is high. Therefore, choosing a course that has high job demand in Malaysia ensures the chances of finding a high paying job after graduation.
There are indeed plenty of jobs out there for ICT and computer science graduates as reported. From talking to ICT industry experts, the problem is not the lack of jobs, it is the lack of skilled and well trained ICT graduates. Students are joining universities with poorly planned ICT curriculum, inexperienced lecturers, and lack of exposure to expanding critical thinking and problem solving skills. Although theses courses may have been accredited by MQA and the fees cheap, graduates in the end lose out because they cannot find a job.
Students should not choose a university based on the fact that it is cheap because you may not gain the necessary knowledge and skills therefore not able to get a job which will affect you for the rest of your life. University education is an investment for a student’s future and should be taken more seriously because the decision that you make now, can change your life forever. Therefore, students should choose the best university in Malaysia for information technology (IT) to study so that they can be competent and skilful in their career.
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Choose to Study Information Technology (IT) in Malaysia because of Increase in Job Demand
According to the Robert Walters Salary Report 2018, the Information and Technology sector is also expected to grow the fastest next year in a candidate-driven market with salary increments ranging between 20 to 30 per cent. Robert Walters, a specialist professional recruitment consultancy company shares that they see a high demand in IT jobs spanning across the fintech, banking, as well as the healthcare sector such as data analysts, software engineers and cyber security. Hiring activity will remain active in 2018, driven mostly by continuous growth of e-commerce, digitalisation, fintech, shared services and better organisational optimisation.
The IT sector saw a spike in demand for software developers skilled in programming languages in 2017 as organisations looked to fill hybrid positions with top candidates who were adept in more than one coding language. This trend is set to continue as we see more need such as in the implementation of the Digital Free Trade Zone and businesses moving towards digitalisation. Candidates with high potential or niche skills are also expected to enjoy increments of between 25 per cent to 30 per cent when they move jobs, although a raise of 15-20 per cent is common business practice.
The information technology (IT) industry is expected to face a shortage of between 7,000 and 15,000 professionals in the next two years, as Malaysia rides the wave of the growing digital economy. Malaysian Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said currently there are more than 3,000 companies registered under the Multimedia Super Corridor and the industry is currently in need of specialised workers in various IT fields.
“We project that by 2025, the IT industry will require one million specialised working professionals as the industry is experiencing a rampant growth,” she said.
To keep up with the growth, many companies have to resort to foreign talents that are capable of moving in tandem with the current trend and needs in the IT industry. Malaysian Employers Federation ED Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said many IT companies are forced to seek foreign expertise, especially for the high-end sectors such as the big data analytics and artificial intelligence.
“The country still could not fulfil the requirement set by IT companies, especially when everyone is moving towards the Industry 4.0 and adopting technology such as big data analytics.
MORE experts are needed to fill up the positions in the data-driven industry, backed by the growing demand from local companies, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd (MDEC).
MDEC head of strategic partnership Somasundaram Nagappan said there are currently 6,000 working professionals in big data analytics sector through MDEC’s programmes. Malaysia Digital Economy Corp Sdn Bhd (MDEC) targets to have 20,000 data science professionals by 2020.
The emergence of technology and automation under the fourth industrial wave (Industry 4.0) has raised fears that some people might lose their jobs in Malaysia, especially in the manufacturing sector. There have been various reports stating how companies need to adopt the big data movement to remain relevant, or risk losing out in the evolving market. Directly, more companies have begun to engage and hire data professionals to tap into the big data potential, creating a big pool of demand for local data science fresh graduates.
A report from the recent Digital Workforce of The Future by LinkedIn, which revealed that a combination of skills encompassing Big Data, data analytics and web development registered a 21% growth in demand. In Malaysia, the top five in-demand digital skills are big data, software and user testing, mobile development, Cloud computing and software engineering management.
Choose to Study Information Technology (IT) because of Increase in Salary for Professionals in Malaysia
According to the recent Robert Walters Global Salary Survey 2017, the broad sectors which may offer the highest salary packages in Malaysia are information technology, financial services and shared services. The technology sector in Malaysia is set to see the highest demand in terms of jobs and salary hikes.
Since 2013, the technology sector has seen salary hikes and this trend is expected to continue over the next couple of years. Meanwhile, Robert Walters Malaysia managing director Sally Raj says software developers and cyber security experts can expect significant salary raises of up to 25% when moving jobs in 2017, as cyber security professionals will be highly sought after across a number of industries, especially in the banking sector.
Commenting on the technology sector, Raj says the technology sector, especially for niche positions, may see at least a 30% salary rise this year compared with 27% last year. For example, in senior positions, a chief technology officer can expect an annual salary of between RM360,000 and RM600,000 this year from RM350,000 and RM540,000 in 2016.
A program manager may bring in an annual salary of between RM240,000 and RM360,000 from RM216,000 and RM336,000 last year. A solution architect, however, could see an annual salary hike of up to RM180,000-RM324,000 from RM120,000-RM192,000.
Hays regional director for Malaysia Tom Osborne concurs that the technology sector will likely see the highest jump in salary this year. “The key sectors in Malaysia that will see pay hikes include information technology. Areas in IT where growth will occur include IT infrastructure systems administration and management positions.
For instance, a network engineer in the systems administration side could rake in an annual salary of between RM96,000 and RM144,000 this year compared to between RM72,000 and RM120,000 last year.
According to the JobStreet.com 2017 Salary Report, IT/computer consulting jobs (IT, science, engineering and technical) for senior managers in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya command the highest average maximum monthly salary of around RM18,000.
Meanwhile, IT/computer workers in consumer and fast-moving consumer goods industries earn the highest average minimum salary of RM14,000 within the same region.
“Organisations in Malaysia are reinventing themselves for the digital world that has seen many invest in upgrading their IT infrastructure. This has created demand for talent who are well versed in this area and as a consequence, wages have increased.
“Technology is going to be at the forefront over the next few years, as businesses like financial services (banking and insurance), fast-moving consumer goods companies and retailers gear up to adopt technology. Furthermore, organisations are now utilising digital channels to grow their businesses.”
With the advent of financial technology (fintech), Raj foresees further growth in technology usage in the financial services sector, partly thanks to the recent regulatory “sandbox” framework for fintech. The sandbox refers to a safe space where businesses can test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms.
As digital, mobile and e-commerce-related companies expand their businesses, she says there will be an increase in the number of employers recruiting mobile engineers and software developers in 2017.
According to Human Resources Online, prospects are bright as employers are driven by Malaysia’s blend of price point and quality. There is an uptake in the creation of centres of excellence, resulting in increased demand for specialist talent further up the value chain.
Malaysia is currently less competitive on cost point alone compared to other typical offshore centres, such as Chennai and Manila. However, if you factor in the quality, seniority and specialist nature of IT professional that can be hired here, Malaysia is now moving towards being a cost-effective alternative to Singapore and Hong Kong, a move away from the typical offshore BPO model.
Moving into Q1 2017, significant growth is expected across the following sectors:
- Infrastructure services such as networks, platforms and specialist areas such as cloud and virtualisation; Salaries of IT directors with more than 10 years of experience pegged at RM250k-360k per annum;
- ERP, EAI and other specialist off-the-peg solutions from large vendors such as SAP, Oracle and Salesforce;
- Solutions architect for application development can take home in the range of RM180k-250k per month.
- Business transformation, an increasingly dominant area of IT, leading to demand for professionals in project management, program management, PMO and change management.
What is the Education Pathway to Get an Information Technology (IT) Degree in Malaysia?
Students after SPM or O-Levels may go for the Foundation in Computing or Information Technology at top private universities in Malaysia for 1 year before continuing on to the 3-year Information Technology (IT) degree.
Alternatively, students with 3 credits in SPM or O-Levels including Maths, students may go for the 2-year Diploma in Information Technology, Diploma in Computer Studies or Diploma in Software Engineering and then enter into Year 2 of the Information Technology (IT) degree.
Pre-University students with the relevant results in STPM, A-Levels, SAM, CPU, AUSMAT, etc. can enter directly into Year 1 of the Information Technology (IT) degree at the best university in Malaysia.
Which are the Top Private Universities in Malaysia to Study Computing?
A Bachelor of Information Technology is an undergraduate academic degree that generally requires three years of study. The degree has a major focus on computers and technology. In addition, students are also expected to study management and information science, and there are reduced requirements for mathematics.
Furthermore, the degree in information technology can be expected to concentrate on the business and communication applications of computing.
There are many types of computing courses that you can choose or specialise in. You must take the time to talk to the right people so that you understand which one fits you. Students should also choose the best university for computing or IT to study at so that you can gain the necessary knowledge and skills. Below is a list of popular private universities in Malaysia offering some of the best computing courses:
- Asia Pacific University (APU)
- Multimedia University (MMU)
- University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC)
- KDU University College Utropolis Glenmarie
- Taylor’s University
- UCSI University
- KDU Penang University College
- First City University College
- HELP University
Choose the Right University for a Better Career in IT
According to PIKOM’s Job Outlook Market Report 2012, “So what are the major deficiencies found among our fresh graduates today? An immediate observation that comes to mind is in the demonstration of their soft skills, which include writing and speaking capabilities. A lack of confidence and independence are other major challenges fresh graduates often face as they attempt to assimilate into the workforce.
Another shortfall of our fresh graduates is their lack of appreciation and expectation of working in a real life environment. Often some fresh graduates would experience culture shock when they commence work. Analytical and creativity traits are also areas that are visibly lacking in fresh graduates, and this problem seems to be endemic among both local and overseas graduates. Possession of these qualities often sets apart exceptional candidates from the mediocre ones.”
Established since 2009, EduSpiral Consultant Services is a top recruitment agent for top private universities in Malaysia and private colleges in Singapore providing information and counselling on courses and helping students to choose the right university. EduSpiral Consultant Services sets ourselves apart from other agents by providing counseling based on facts and evidence so that our students are able to make the right choices after SPM, O-Levels, UEC, STPM, A-Levels or Pre-University. We research on articles and information to help them make the right choices about choosing their career and course in Information Technology (IT).