Photo - Paul Moung, MD, IBM Malaysia.
The Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has signed with technology solutions giant IBM to create a centre of excellence to deepen holistic skills in cyber security, said the partners.
During the announcement of the UKM-IBM Academic Initiative Centre of Excellence (CoE), UKM's vice chancellor Y Bhg Professor Tan Sri Dato' Wira Dr. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin said the new centre would focus on producing graduates with "a holistic set of cross discipline skills - for instance training engineers to learn about other parts of an operation such as marketing."
Such skills are in high demand for the workforce of the future, and the enhanced training aligns closely with the objectives of Malaysia's national agenda to become a knowledge-based economy by 2020, said Dr Sharifah. "The IBM-UKM CoE aims to produce graduates with the required knowledge, ability and analytical skills to plan and manage IT effectively through innovative learning process and practical teamwork."
Under the agreement, UKM will be responsible for teaching resources and facilities, while IBM will provide software, courseware, training and testing that are needed for the students to gain global certification. At the UKM CoE, IBM's IT security technology will be embedded into the university's Cyber Security degree programme.
UKM is the third university in Malaysia to offer a post-graduate course in SSME (IBM's academic discipline). Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Malaya introduced a post-graduate in SSME in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
IBM Malaysia managing director Paul Moung said that UKM was also the third institution of higher learning in Malaysia to establish a CoE with IBM. Two other universities, Tunku Abdul Rahman College and Universiti Pahang Malaysia, have also set up CoEs with IBM in 2011 and 2010 respectively.
"It is imperative that the emerging workforce is equipped with cross disciplinary 'T-shaped' skills to enhance their professionalism, and enable them to lead their organisations toward success," said Moung.
"Embedding cyber security into the IT curriculum is essential to meet the growing demand for such professionals to manage privacy issues, which is a growing concern for organisations and with the public at large," he said.
As cyber attacks become more advanced via the pervasive use of social media, mobile and cloud computing, organisations need more professionals who can help them protect their people, data and applications. IBM operates one of the world's broadest security research and development, and delivery organisations, said Moung.
In conjunction with the announcement, IBM will also host a three-week Summer School of SSME at the varsity next month for 40 post-graduate students.
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