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IBM, First City University cultivate cognitive talent

AvantiKumar | March 17, 2016
IBM Malaysia has allowed Malaysia's First City University to incorporate IBM courseware into its IT and engineering syllabus.

IBM, First City University College

Photo - (From left) First City UC Director Tan Sri Dato' Teo Chiang Liang; First City UC Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Ho Chee Cheong, IBM Malaysia managing director Chong Chye Neo and IBM Malaysia General Manager, Software Group Jimmy Kwang.


IBM Malaysia is working with Malaysia's First City University (First City UC) to incorporate IBM courseware into its IT and engineering syllabus to support cognitive talent in the country.

First City UC's vice-chancellor, Prof Dr Ho Chee Cheong, said the embedding of IBM technologies into First City UC's ICT curriculum will help to equip undergraduates with cognitive computing skills.

Under a memorandum of agreement to collaborate originally signed in 2008, the partners have produced high calibre graduates equipped with professional IBM certification, said Prof Dr Ho, adding that First City UC has been providing teaching resources and facilities, while IBM provided the software, courseware, training and testing necessary to gain certification.

")This latest] initiative would give First City UC students access to 'cutting-edge' thinking and practices from the world of business and technology, giving them a real world knowledge coupled with an enterprising mind-set to prepare them for the future," he said.

 Prof Dr Ho said IBM curriculum has also been adopted in home-grown degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Computing. The programmes include Bachelor of Electronic Engineering with Honours and Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons). In the near future, First City UC will also offer Bachelor of Computer Science (Intelligent Systems) (Hons) and Bachelor of Business Information Systems (Hons) courses.

IT skills shortage

 "The shortage in IT skills in our local workforce, specifically in development of cognitive applications had prompted companies to import talents from abroad," added Prof Dr Ho. "However in the long run, the practice is not sustainable."

"The collaboration between IBM and First City UC to enhance students capability in application development is a step in the right direction as newer generation of computers are cognitive ready. Graduates with the combination of critical thinking and programming skills will be in great demand," he said.

"With IBM as a well-established leader in the ICT arena and First City UC's commitment as a quality education provider, we can train and produce talents for the digital economy and beyond, not only for the nation but also for the anticipated enlarged economy of the ASEAN bloc," Prof Dr Ho said.

IBM Malaysia's managing director, Chong Chye Neo, said, "IBM's collaboration with private and public tertiary institutions in Malaysia has produced more than 1,000 IT graduates with expertise in Internet of Things (IoT), mobile and cloud computing."

"This prepares the graduates entering the workforce to take advantage of the emerging cognitive technology platforms that will be delivered over the cloud," said Chong, adding that nurturing a skilled talent pool was in line with the nation's agenda to become a knowledge economy by 2020.

IBM's Academic Initiative is a no-charge programme that was introduced 10 years ago. The Academic Initiative includes a network of more than 30,000 unique partnerships between IBM and higher education professionals to help advance curriculum in areas including Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing, Security and Social Business. IBM also recruits from universities and business schools throughout Malaysia.


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