IT students in Nepal have it good when it comes to courses. Now the much heralded graduate programme from Malaysia’s Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, has entered the fray.
--BY KRISHANA PRASAIN
IT management has become a vital tool to ensure the smooth functioning of the digital world as unmanaged data and information can translate into huge losses for businesses, governments and consumers as well. To prepare capable human resources in the IT sector, Lord Buddha Education Foundation (LBEF) has introduced an advanced post-graduate level course – Masters in Science in Information and Technology Management (M.Sc. (ITM)) for the first time in the country. “M. Sc (ITM) programme is aimed at producing perfect technocrats required in the IT sector,” says Er Pankaj Jalan, executive director at LBEF.
The M.Sc (ITM) programme is affiliated to the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU), Malaysia. APU is an award-winning private Malaysian university which has international engineering degrees recognised under the Washington Accord. Currently, no other college in Nepal is offering similar types of programmes.
According to Jalan, the programme is aimed at producing IT professionals with high managerial skills in different sectors. The programme was introduced in September 2017 and the first batch will be graduating in 2019.
Jalan says that the quality of education LBEF has been providing here is on-par with the university in Malaysia. “There will be no difference in the output provided to the students here compared to the students at APU,” he mentions. APU has online access to 11 journal sites with seven million titled books available for the students. “We are the only college in Nepal with access to such a huge number of online journals,” he states.
The teaching methodology of M.Sc (ITM) is different at LBEF compared to other IT programmes taught at various colleges in Nepal. “At APU, the programme is more research based, and we have been following suit. Our students are required to actively participate in research-oriented works,” informs Jalan.
LBEF which has a good teaching faculty is also planning to hire teachers from India for the M.Sc. (ITM) programme.
“We have been updating ourselves with new technologies. However, the part of right implementation of IT is lacking. The regular masters’ degree progammes in IT are only about updating graduate students only to the basic level of advance IT studies,” says Jalan. According to him, other courses lack the practical implementation of knowledge for the students to perfectly fit in the job market and climb the corporate ladder. “So, the demand for M.Sc (ITM) graduates will be more in the job market,” he mentions. Meanwhile, the programme can be largely beneficial to students who look to become IT entrepreneurs.
With the introduction of M.Sc (ITM), the career scope for graduates has become much wider. They can work as software programmers, database administrators, system and networking administrators, system analysts and IT managers.
Similarly, LBEF has its own job placement cell which also provides career guidance to the students. “Our students get job offers from different institutions and we have been providing career counseling to the students who are in their fourth semester,” informs Jalan, adding, “We advise them to select appropriate careers on the basis of their knowledge levels and interests.” According to him, internet service providers, telecommunications companies, IT companies, banks and financial institutions, corporate houses and development sector institutions are the prospective employers for M.Sc (ITM) graduates.
Students are also required to do an internship in order to graduate. “LBEF has a good track record and many of its students have been hired by the same organisation where they went for their internships,” says Jalan. “With a good set of skills in any specific sector irrespective of educational background, people need not worry about job opportunities,” he adds.
About the Course
APU has been updating the course of study of M.Sc (ITM) on a regular basis. The first semester module of the programme includes Technology Management, Integrated Systems Management, Strategic Planning and Systems Development, Internet Applications and Object Oriented Software Systems Engineering. Similarly, third semester students are required to study Information Security Architecture, Knowledge Management, Enterprise Applications, Software Quality Engineering and Data Management. Information Technology Project Management, Research Methodology in Computing and Engineering, Network Design and Performance, Technology, Culture and People: A Global Perspective and Software Engineering Support Environments. The final semester includes a dissertation.
To enroll in the M. Sc (ITM), it is mandatory for the students to have a first degree in IT or Computer Science with a minimum CGPA of 2.75 or equivalent. Similarly, students with CGPA below 2.75 are required to have five years of work experience. Likewise, IELTS score band of 6 with minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking sections is also necessary for enrollment.
Students need to take an entrance exam in order to get admission. LBEF takes exams in three sections of verbal comprehension, quantitative aptitude and basic skill.
The college has two intakes a year with 30 seats in each intake. “We receive applications from selected students who usually go through course modules and evaluate effectiveness of the programme before joining.” The popularity of M. Sc (ITM) at LBEF among students has been notable despite the fact that it is a relatively new programme.
The total cost of M.Sc (ITM) is Rs 438,800 for students enrolling in the morning shift and Rs 400,000 for those enrolling in the evening shift.
LBEF located at Maitidevi, Kathmandu has been running the M.Sc (ITM) classes in morning and evening shifts. “We are conducting the classes in two shifts which will be very helpful for working students,” views Jalan. Morning shift class time starts from 6:30 am to 9:30am, whereas evening classes are from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.