PETALING JAYA, 14 March 2016: IBM Malaysia and First City University College (First City UC) renewed its academic collaboration to embed IBM technologies into First City UC’s ICT curriculum and equip its undergraduates with cognitive computing skills.

According to First City UC’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Ho Chee Cheong, “The shortage in IT skills in our local workforce, specifically in development of cognitive applications had prompted companies to import talents from abroad. 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.”

“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,” said Prof. Dr. Ho.

Since the establishment of the MoU in 2008, First City UC has produced high caliber graduates equipped with professional IBM certification. Under this collaboration, First City UC provides teaching resources and facilities, whilst IBM provides leading software, courseware, training and testing necessary to gain certification.  First City UC had also adopted IBM curriculum in their homegrown 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 award Bachelor of Computer Science (Intelligent Systems) (Hons) and Bachelor of Business Information Systems (Hons).

“IBM’s collaboration with private and public tertiary institutions in Malaysia has produced over 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 Chye Neo, managing director, IBM Malaysia.

She added that nurturing a skilled talent pool was in line with the nation’s agenda to become a knowledge economy by 2020 and IBM would continue to do its part by bringing innovative technologies to the fore.

IBM’s Academic Initiative is a no-charge programme that was introduced 10 years ago. The Academic Initiative includes a larger 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, gets involved in career fairs and info sessions, leads classroom discussions and participates in student organized events. More than 3.8 million students worldwide have added IBM skillsets in their resumés.

“The 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,” concluded Prof. Dr. Ho.