Sunday, October 2

Get a head start on software engineering at i-CATS

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KUCHING: At the International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (i-CATS), diploma and degree students in Software Engineering are quick to grasp the importance of acquiring a broad base of industry-relevant technical and soft skills to thrive in the global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

i-CATS School of Innovative Technology head Goh Kok Luong highlighted that both the diploma and degree programmes in Software Engineering prepare graduates for exciting careers in the global digital economy.

“If one is interested in a career in ICT, he or she should have the ability to think logically, have strong problem-solving skills and good communication skills,” he said in a press release yesterday.

“At both the diploma and degree levels, our students’ learning experience is essentially a voyage of discovery, covering a blend of theoretical concepts and practical experience. We work closely with our students, to encourage them to tap into their inner sense of curiosity, and to strive for excellence. This facilitates the transition of our graduates from the classroom to the workplace.”

With strong links with industry, Goh pointed out that their students were able to secure internships in the ICT industry.

“We are also able to reach out to the industry and invite guest speakers to share their experience with our students. Recently, we organised a seminar on E-Commerce for our final year students,” he said.

Commenting on the two-and-a-half-years Diploma in Software Engineering programme, Head of Programme (Software Engineering) Siti Nurhasanah Mohamad pointed out that students take a wide range of subjects during the course of their studies.

The syllabus includes an introduction to software engineering, database concept and design, system analysis and design, software development, and web programming.

“In addition, they will develop effective oral, written and interpersonal communication skills as well as critical thinking, decision-making and team building skills.

“Prior to the completion of the programme, students are required to undergo a four-month internship. This will enable them to gain relevant hands-on experience and develop new skills.”

Diploma in Software Engineering graduates may also proceed to degree level programmes.

For example, diploma graduates may opt to pursue the Bachelor of Software Engineering (Hons.) programme offered in collaboration with Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur.

The entire degree programme can be completed at the i-CATS West Campus in Jalan Stampin Timur in Kuching.

During their studies, students will acquire knowledge and skills in areas such as problem-solving, mathematical foundations of software engineering, programming, software development methodologies, software processes and life cycles, software quality, testing and technical documentation.

With the support and guidance of i-CATS’ team of experienced lecturers, students will also gain invaluable experience in teamwork, project management and the utilisation of industry best practice techniques.

In the final year of study, students will hone their skills through industry internships and be involved in a major software related project.

Graduates can look forward to exciting careers in ICT, in positions such as Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software Tester and Software Quality Executive.

For diploma graduates, the total duration to complete the degree programme is two years and four months inclusive of industrial training.

At i-CATS, a major point of pride is the fast-growing number of alumni, with their diverse contributions across the length and breadth of industry.

Junaidi Junie (Diploma in Software Engineering, Class of 2011) who is currently an IT technician at Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), shared that the corporate world, although challenging, offers many opportunities for one to excel.

“It is of utmost importance to equip oneself with relevant knowledge, technical skills, and people skills. There is also a need to keep abreast of the latest developments, especially in one’s area of specialisation, by attending training courses (internal and external), reading updated versions of technical materials and working closely with colleagues as a team.”

Another i-CATS graduate, Ezra Moses Adrian Amit (Diploma in Software Engineering, Class of 2013), is currently a webmaster at Pasti Nyala Sdn Bhd in Kuching.

“In website maintenance services, I work closely with my clients in the area of content revision and updates. I also ensure that web servers, hardware and software are operating at optimum performance level(s),” he said, sharing on his scope of work involving website design and maintenance.

In recent years, it has been widely publicised that software engineers are among the highest paid professionals in many countries around the world.

In Malaysia, the government has identified the digital economy as a key driver for economic growth.

The digital economy will be a catalyst to transform Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy.

It has also been forecast that global ICT trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, gaming hardware advances, and start-up innovation will generate a host of career opportunities for ICT professionals.

Enrolment to the Diploma and Degree programmes in Software Engineering is now ongoing for the March 2017 session.

For the Diploma in Software Engineering programme, students who have completed SPM/SPMV with a minimum of three credits including Mathematics and a pass in English are eligible to enter the programme.  Students who have passed STPM with at least Grade C (CGP 2.00) in one subject, and a credit in Mathematics at SPM level are also eligible to enter the diploma programme.

Those who have completed a Computer Certificate (MQF level 3) programme in a related field (with at least a CGPA of 2.00) with credit in one subject at SPM level are encouraged to apply.

For the degree programme, students who meet any of the following requirements are eligible to enter the programme: passed STPM with minimum of Grade C (CGP 2.00) in any two subjects, and a credit in Additional Mathematics at SPM level/five Bs in UEC including Advanced Mathematics.

Those having a diploma in Computer Science or Software Engineering or equivalent with a minimum CGPA of 2.50 and a credit in Additional Mathematics at SPM level are encouraged to apply.

For further information on the Diploma and Degree programmes in Software Engineering and various forms of financial assistance, interested school leavers and their parents are invited to visit i-CATS’ West Campus at Jalan Stampin Timur, Kuching or call 082-570888/451533.

Information may also be obtained from i-CATS’ website www.icats.edu.my.