Preparing IT graduates for careers in software testing
By Digital News Asia September 2, 2013
- Seeks to meet growing demand for highly-skilled software testing professionals in Malaysia
- Working with MoE to set up Centre of Excellence; technopreneurship programme also in pipeline
FIVE hundred IT students from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and five other participating national universities have received certificates of completion from the HP Software Testing Programme, which is funded by Malaysia’s Ministry of Education.
The other participating universities are University of Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Licensed by technology giant HP and managed by Technology Education Leader (TEL), the program aims to enhance the employability of undergraduates IT students by arming them with practical and specialised skills in software testing.
This initiative seeks to meet the growing demand for highly-skilled software testing professionals in Malaysia who understand the sophisticated best practices that lead to quality software.
Through the programme, the students will also receive assistance with job placements in the industry. Their employment progress is then monitored and tracked to ensure the sustainability of the programme as well as build a pool of expert testers who can be tapped upon in the industry, the organisers said in a joint statement.
“Spearheading this programme is in line with UiTM’s vision to upgrade the knowledge and skills of graduates in the fields they have selected,” said Professor Dr Norsaadah Ismail, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Industrial Linkages, Community and Alumni Network, UiTM.
“Initiatives like this HP Software Testing Programme help the university produce graduates with enriched skills that help them compete on a global platform with strong and good work ethics,” she said.
Software testing is an area in the ICT sector which is showing strong growth prospects – as a fulfilling career as well as a business growth opportunity for Malaysian companies to compete locally and in the worldwide market, the organisers said.
“HP is proud to be a partner of this programme to help groom the future generation of Malaysia with in-demand IT skills,” said Rajesh Prabhakaran, vice president of Professional Services at HP Software Asia Pacific and Japan.
“With the rapid proliferation of mobile access devices, the opportunities for application developers have multiplied many times over. And with testing now being incorporated into agile development practices, quality is becoming a critical element of any software development effort.
“This is further confirmed by the placement data that we see of students who have gone through this programme,” he added.
The HP Software Testing Programme is a result of a 2009 memorandum of agreement signing between UiTM, HP and TEL, which was witnessed by the then Minister of Higher Education.
Since it was introduced, the programme has trained 800 IT undergraduate students and as of March 2013, successfully placed 87% of these students in software testing related jobs.
Over the years, the programme has evolved to include official certification through the HP ExpertOne examination, introduction of soft skills development to further hence the students’ employability and the setting up of a Software Testing Lab in UiTM.
An initiative to set up a Centre of Excellence in collaboration with the Ministry of Education is also in progress.
Next year, UiTM, TEL and HP plan to expand the programme to more national universities. The collaborators also plan to introduce a technopreneurship programme to identify current and past students who can be empowered to become entrepreneurs in software testing.
The key objective is to address the shortage of testing companies in the local market and create a cluster of software testing companies that can tap into a growing and increasingly lucrative worldwide market.
“Our aim is to interest more universities to participate, especially those in Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu,” said TEL chairman Ibrahim Thambychik.
“Hopefully, from next year onwards, we will be able to train 1,000 students yearly and start our first technopreneurship programme with UiTM,” he said.
The six-week long HP Software Testing Programme is conducted upon completion of an undergraduate degree and prior to job placements. As part of the curriculum, students are offered hands-on training on four of HP’s best-selling software tools: Quality Center; QuickTest Professional; LoadRunner and Performance Center.
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