In this fast-changing world of technology, what is the course to study?


This lake-view campus features modern educational facilities and provides students with access to some of the latest learning technologies and research innovations.

ONE important criterion that students consider when choosing the right course to study is the job demand.

With the advancement of technology, the current job landscape has changed drastically, reflected in the in-demand specialties in many industries that did not exist even just a few years ago.

With the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), automation, among others, the digital era has certainly changed the way we work and live.

Therefore, it is necessary for students today to possess the right skills to stay relevant after graduation in this technology-driven job landscape.

As the digital economy grows, two subjects that are highly related to IR4.0 are Microbiology, and Statistical Computing and Operations Research.

However, unlike other subjects which have a widespread understanding such as business, finance, communications and accounting, knowledge of these two significant programmes and how they impact life is lacking among parents and students.

Microbiology

Micro-organisms and their activities matter to all processes on Earth because they affect every aspect of our lives.

Microbiology is the study of all living organisms that are too small to be visible to the naked eye. This includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae, collectively known as microbes.

These microbes play key roles in nutrient cycling, biodegradation or biodeterioration, climate change, food spoilage, the cause and control of disease, and biotechnology.

Thanks to their versatility, microbes can be put to work in many ways – making life-saving drugs, the manufacture of biofuels, cleaning up pollution, and producing/processing food and drinks.

Statistical Computing and Operations Research

Business owners are constantly making important decisions that involve many factors. To help companies run better, reliable data is generated to put these factors into a manageable format and give business owners a better basis for making decisions.

This is where Statistical Computing and Operations Research come in.

Statistical Computing is a multidisciplinary field of study that combines statistics, numerical analysis, and computer science. This term also refers to the application of statistical tools and methods that heavily rely on computer technology.

On the other hand, Operations Research is a powerful decision-making and problem-solving tool that is applicable to all businesses. Problems in operations research are broken down into basic components and then mathematically solved in defined steps.

For example, a supermarket opens cash counters for its customers to check out their items. With reliable data, the management can know its peak hours and allocate more manpower at that particular period while redistributing manpower during off-peak hours.

This is how the supermarket uses data to optimise its operations.

Quality education available locally

If you are keen on Microbiology or Statistical Computing and Operations Research, you can pursue your aspirations at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) which has a track record of academic excellence and high employability rate.

The programmes offered are constantly updated to the needs of the industry, to ensure graduates are relevant in the job market, said UTAR Faculty of Science dean Dr Lim Tuck Meng.The programmes offered are constantly updated to the needs of the industry, to ensure graduates are relevant in the job market, said UTAR Faculty of Science dean Dr Lim Tuck Meng.

In addition to the compulsory curriculum, empowering programmes and compulsory industrial training, the university creates learning opportunities for students to select their final year project of interest through a cross-disciplinary approach.

“For instance, a microbiology final year student can seek the assistance of a supervisor in microbiology as well as another supervisor in food production if food science is the topic of interest,” said UTAR Faculty of Science dean Dr Lim Tuck Meng.

“If they are interested in exploring warehouse operations, it is possible to seek assistance from the logistic programme lecturer as the co-supervisor of the project.

There are about 18 healthy goats at the farm in the UTAR Kampar campus to provide students experiential learning under the Faculty of Science. There are about 18 healthy goats at the farm in the UTAR Kampar campus to provide students experiential learning under the Faculty of Science.

“While other universities may not have the privilege to do so, we strongly support these types of cross-disciplinary projects as this approach will enhance the understanding of students even further when they set foot in the working world. After all, the world today is all cross-disciplined and no longer specialised in a single skill.”

In terms of programme relevance, Lim pointed out that programmes offered are constantly updated to the needs of the industry.

“We engage industry advisors at least twice a year to keep abreast of the latest updates on all industries so we could fine-tune the programmes offered to ensure our graduates are relevant in the job market,” said Lim.

One of the advantages of studying in UTAR is the opportunity of a compulsory three-month industry training which will give them exposure to the work environment not only in Malaysia but also through the institution's partners overseas where they could have experience looking at how things are managed in another country.

Under the Faculty of Science, UTAR offers a total of 10 programmes – Bachelor of Science (Honours) Statistical Computing and Operations Research, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Microbiology, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biotechnology, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biochemistry, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Logistics and International Shipping, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Agricultural Science, Bachelor of Science (Honours) Food Science and Bachelor of Science (Honours) Dietetics.

UTAR’s Open Day will be held on Dec 18 and 19 at its Sungai Long Campus in Bandar Sungai Long, Kuala Lumpur, and Kampar Campus in Perak. UTAR is also having its Cyber Open Day from Dec 20 to Jan 9, 2022, at 9am to 5pm (except for public holidays).

For details, email enquiry@utar.edu.my or call 011-3347 2258 or visit study.utar.edu.my.

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