On 17 April 2019, six Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) final year students who attended an interview at a well-known multinational company walked away with an offer letter, to start work in June once they have completed their studies. This is a very proud achievement for UniMAP and serves as one of many examples of the university’s engineering graduates being well received by the industry. As a technical university, UniMAP is very well aware of the role it plays in the development of the nation, particularly in fulfilling Malaysia’s need for talent in engineering. Continuous efforts are taken on regular basis at the university in order to enhance students’ capacity and capabilities towards ensuring that they would flourish in the world of work. Personality and skills development workshops are not uncommon, such as the Graduate Employability Enhancement Programme, aimed to add value to the students and to supplement the already rich and industry-oriented curriculum that the students go through at the university.
Efforts such as this have shown positive results. Many students have decided to pursue their career as engineers or as engineering technology practitioners after they graduate, a testament to their confidence and strength gained as a result of their study at UniMAP. Statistics provided by the Centre for Industrial and Governmental Collaboration (CIGC) of the university reveal that more than 80 percent of UniMAP graduates are employed every year. Of this, 31.38 percent are employed in manufacturing, 19.4 percent in scientific and technical sector, 11 percent in construction while six percent are in information and communications sector.
Commenting on the high industry uptake of the university’ graduates, UniMAP Vice-Chancellor Dato’ Prof. Dr. Zul Azhar Zahid Jamal contends that generally the majority of UniMAP Engineering graduates choose to dive into the world of work in their respective fields of study at the university, namely material engineering, environmental engineering, construction engineering and computer and communication engineering. In addition to the skills development workshops and extra-curricular programmes that students have at their disposal while at the university, he attributes the impressive outcome to UniMAP’s efforts to ensure that the curricula offered through the various engineering programmes at the university align with industry needs, both for the present and the future. These include appointing visiting lecturers among industry players, and providing teaching and learning infrastructure, machinery, equipment and laboratories at par with those available in the industry. The bonus for UniMAP, according to Zul Azhar, is that not only are UniMAP graduates sought after by industries locally, but they are also well-received by international companies, evidenced by the presence of UniMAP alumni across the globe such as in the United States and in China, particularly in robotics-based companies.
When UniMAP was established in 2002, it was with a commitment to producing competitive engineering graduates. This the university will continue to do, in keeping with the university’s mission and to ensure that UniMAP graduates thrive in their contribution to regional and international growth.