Photo - SAP Malaysia Managing Director Bernard Chiang (centre) with the company's youngest Malaysian hires (from left) Mike Lim and Douglas Chan.
Enterprise applications firm SAP's training initiative, which is part of the national ICT agency MDeC's MyUniAlliance programme to better prepare graduates for the enterprise IT industry, has now trained 5,000 millenials in Malaysia and is expected to increase to 3,000 per year from 2014.
SAP Malaysia managing director Bernard Chiang said that since SAP launched the initiative in 2011, 18 Institutes of Higher Learning [IHL], including two foreign universities, have benefitted from the programme. "These IHLs bring SAP's technology and best practices to students in undergraduate and graduate programmes."
"Education and the development of skilled human resources are key components that would fulfil - and sustain - Malaysia's goal of becoming a high income economy in the very near future," said Chiang, adding that the company viewed its efforts as being part of its corporate social responsibility efforts in Malaysia.
He said SAP's programme forms part of the Malaysian Government's MyUniAlliance Programme initiative, which is managed by the ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) with support from the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU).
MDeC's Talent Division director Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah said that the "Malaysian Government would continue to do all it can to address the high demand for trained and relevant workforce needed within Malaysia's ICT industry."
The objective is to empower global technology partners to promote strategic alliances with Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) by investing in curriculum development and train-the-trainer initiatives, said Imran.
Photo - Muhammad Imran Kunalan Abdullah, Director of Talent Division, Multimedia Development Corporation [MDeC]
Millenials and enterprise IT
"Should the students in this programme go on to attain SAP certification, they can expect to be one of the highest paid professionals in the field," he said, citing a Robert Walters survey that showed SAP consultants as one of the highest paid professions in the IT industry with salaries ranging from RM120,000 to RM250,000 [US$37,255 to US$77,616] per annum.
This is contrast to technical consultants who typically earn between RM75,000 to RM120,000 [US$23,285 to US$37,255] in Malaysia. "I once had to employ a SAP consultant for RM18,000 [US$6,589] per month, and she would only come in three times a week," he said.
"MyUniAlliance aims to develop Malaysian graduates to be industry-ready while empowering them with the necessary industry knowledge, business skills and expertise to ensure their highly employability in the job market," said SAP Malaysia's Chiang.
As an example, he said two millenials [persons reaching adulthood in the year 2000] Mike Lim and Douglas Chan are keen to break into the enterprise IT industry and have been hired into SAP Malaysia under the company's Early Talent Acquisition programme.
Lim, who graduated from INTI International University with a degree in marketing and international business, described the experience of hearing the news as "being better than scoring a winning goal in a sports tournament. My family and I were simply over the moon upon hearing the good news."
Meanwhile, Chan who had completed a degree in Computer Science from Taylors University, is looking forward to the exposure that comes with joining an established MNC. "I am passionate about programming and joining SAP Malaysia would give me the hands-on experience to learn up about the business side of things," he said.
Both Lim and Chan will undergo a nine-month training programme including three months at SAP's training centre in Dublin California, United States, said Chiang.
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