With each passing day, it seems as if there’s always something new that’s being invented or discovered. Until recently, blockchain, AI, VR, and the like were all nothing more than ideas and concepts that you’d find in movies, books, and videogames. All that has changed.
Today, these technologies are real, applicable, and are being used everywhere—in households, in schools, and in multi-billion dollar businesses. And with the acceptance of such tech comes the education to help equip the next generation with the skills to make use of them.
The list below puts together some of the fields of study that potential students in Malaysia could consider to help them enter jobs in industries that would have never been thought viable just 20 years ago.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
An overused trope found in hundreds of sci-fi movies and series, the concept of using machine intelligence to help us perform all manner of tasks has now become so commonplace that we sometimes fail to realise it working under our very noses (hint: your smartphone).
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Prospective students looking to enter the field of AI can expect to work on the creation and development of machine learning technologies for use in real-world applications such as medical diagnoses, image recognition for security purposes, and risk prediction.
So while AI graduates won’t exactly be working to create Skynet or HAL 9000, they’ll still be working in a field full of excitement and opportunity.
Here are some of the Artificial Intelligence courses you can take in Malaysia:
- BSc (Hons) in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence from The University of Nottingham.
- Bachelor of Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) from University of Malaya.
- Master of Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) (By Research) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
2. Video Games
While many still frown upon the idea of pursuing video games as a career, the figures speak for themselves.
The pastime that most deemed (or still deem) a waste of energy is now a massive international industry that expects to generate a combined revenue of US$170 billion in 2018—dwarfing the projected combined box office revenue of the global movie industry (US$50 billion by 2020).
Those planning on doing video games as a career have two option when it comes to pursuing a career in video games.
The first is to do with the creation and development of games where skills such as 3D animation and modelling, game engine programming, and sound design are put to use. The other option—which requires a considerably high level of skill and hand-and-eye coordination—is to play games professionally.
Both options can prove to be highly lucrative career paths, and incidentally, there are courses catering to those options right here in Malaysia:
- Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Games Art Development and Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Games Technology from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.
- BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Development with Specialism in Games Concept Art from Asia Pacific University (APU).
- Various e-sports training modules from APU eSports Malaysia Academy.
3. Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR)
The usage and demand for VR and AR technology has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to the introduction of consumer-level wearable gear such as the Occulus Rift.
And as more businesses are finding ways to integrate VR and AR into the real world (eg. virtual product visualisation for furniture retail, virtual reality theme parks), any plan to pursue a career in this field might prove a rewarding one.
Those looking to get into a course specialising in VR or AR should check these out:
- Bachelor of Multimedia (Hons.) in Virtual Reality from Multimedia University (MMU).
- M.Sc – Master of Science (Advanced Computer Networks) in Advanced Virtual Reality By Research from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
Another overused device in science fiction, the field of nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter on a molecular, and sometimes atomic scale. Already, this cutting-edge subset of modern day science has plenty of real-world uses including the direct delivery of drugs to diseased cells in the human body, and the creation of super lightweight materials to help improve our space travel capabilities.
The field of nanotechnology is a highly complex one that involves huge amounts of research and experimentation, and thus requires prospective learners to already have a robust understanding of other scientific disciplines such as particle physics, thermodynamics, microbiology, and biochemistry just to name a few.
Those interested in committing themselves to the study of nanotechnology should check out these courses available locally:
- Master of Science in Nanomedicine By Research from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
- Master of Science in Microengineering and Nanoelectronics (By Research) from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
- M.Sc – Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering) in Nanofabrication and Functional Materials from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
5. Robotics and Mechatronics
They’re already in your homes, in your restaurants, in your workplace, and almost everywhere else. While they may not all look like Robocop, these robots are already helping us take care of our everyday tasks, big or small.
Individuals aiming to pursue an education in robotics and mechatronics can expect to end up working to create automated machine solutions in a variety of industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medicine.
These are some of the Robotics and Mechatronics that can be found in Malaysia:
- Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics) (Honours) from Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.
- Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Hons.) in Industrial Automation and Robotics from University Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).
- Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Mechatronics Engineering from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.
While this list isn’t comprehensive, we hope that we’ve somehow managed to expose and shed some light on what the future holds for the education options available to us. Who knows what else may considered a viable education path come tomorrow? A PhD in Bitcoin mining perhaps?