THE digital economy, automation and Industry 4.0 have changed the labour market, ushering in an era of digital globalisation with increased expectations of skills built on digital literacy. Digital literacy used to be what many considered an employability bonus, but nowadays employers are seeking professionals with the competencies to work alongside today’s digital transformation, ensuring they remain relevant amidst growing technological advancements in the workplace.
Defined as the ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to evaluate, share and create value within an organisation or process, a survey by INTI International University & Colleges revealed that digital literacy is an increasingly important skill sought by employers in Malaysia, as digitalisation rapidly becomes central in business operations. While most employers (30%) regard it as the most essential skill needed to excel in a job, the survey also revealed that only 4% of fresh graduates recognise the rising significance of digital literacy and while considered digital natives, many have yet to master the digital tools and skills necessary for the workplace.
With 43% of Malaysians being concerned about remaining relevant in an age of digitalisation, it is crucial education institutions innovate both their curriculum and delivery to prepare younger generations for the digital economy. Institutions of higher learning especially, need to be innovative through the use of enriching and interesting teaching methods to fully harness the potential of digital competencies among students.
One such example is the partnership between INTI and IBM, which integrates the IBM Innovation Centre for Education (ICE) programme into INTI’s modules, to bridge the talent gap and demand for digitally literate graduates. Students are equipped with key transferable competencies in big data analytics, cloud computing, social, web and mobile analytics, as well as an introduction to the IT infrastructure landscape, through a series of courses for Computing and IT and Business verticals. To further encourage upskilling for working individuals, these modules are also part of INTI’s online Bachelor of Business (BBUS) degree programme that includes four modules related to digital literacy. This shift to e-learning is in line with the Education Ministry’s call in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) to create a "Nation of Lifelong Learners" and helps acclimatise students to a digitalised platform for collaboration.
INTI has also partnered with technology giants Microsoft and Google in training students in the use of productivity, collaborative and online marketing tools – tools that are actively used by both SMEs and MNCs globally in delivering their businesses.
In addition to the Microsoft Office suite – the bread and butter of almost all employers – Microsoft provides training for students to improve their knowledge in communication tools such as Teams and OneNote, as well as productivity tools such as OneDrive and Forms. These not only enhance academic competencies in completing assignments and projects, but also provide students additional skillsets for the workplace.
Simultaneously Google Malaysia launched its pilot project Google My Business Activate with INTI in 2018. A first of its kind in Malaysia, the project teaches students to utilise Google My Business tools in assisting businesses and organisations, predominantly SMEs to digitise and manage their online presence. Students also get the opportunity to work hand in hand with business owners and managers, which allows them to gain real-life industry experiences and prepare them for the challenges of building brand effectives in the digital age.
To support working professionals remain relevant in the current workplace, INTI also offers SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Visual Statistics short courses that enable working adults to gain the skills and expertise to use these tools to explore data, design reports, prepare data and build analytical models. With the aim of developing skills in big data analytics, participants will be able to quickly attain insights hidden in vast data stores, uncover new opportunities and find new ways to grow revenue. This is a clear example of how the changing job landscape has gradually turned the roles of humans from labour and execution to programmers and enablers, enabling them to remain competitive in spite of increasing digitalisation.
While the digital economy poses new challenges for employability, INTI is committed to delivering positive graduate outcomes, working closely with over 450 industry partners in ensuring that students are aligned with the ever-changing needs of today’s digital workplace.
INTI’s 2017 graduate employability outcomes showed that 99% of INTI graduates are employed within six months of graduation; 91% of graduates are paid higher than the minimum market average, while 60% received job offers even before graduation.
With the march of digitalisation already at our doorstep, prospective employees and future jobseekers must be equipped with the necessary digital skill sets and be able to confidently embrace the digital disruptions the future will bring. INTI is at the forefront to ensure its graduates are digitally literate to thrive in a truly digital nation.
Visit www.newinti.edu.my for more information.
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