General Manager of Datec Fiji Limited, Mr Ateen Kumar delivers his address during the launch of Microsoft Initiative at USP.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP), School of Computing, Information and Mathematical Sciences (SCIMS) launched the ‘Microsoft’s Student Accelerator Programme’ on 21 July 2016.
The Programme will facilitate various on-campus events for students like certifications, application development workshops, coding competitions, online courses and webinars (web seminars).
The programme is aimed at empowering students with additional skills that the industry expects from graduates and to give them the edge to compete among job seekers.
While delivering his keynote speech through a video conference, Mr Davind Lim, Director of Audience Marketing, in the Developer and Platform Evangelism team at the Microsoft Asia Pacific Headquarters, encouraged USP students present at the Japan-Pacific ICT Multipurpose theatre, to recognise the opportunities around them.
“There are many opportunities in the Information Technology (IT) industry. We have seen growth in intakes in Computer Science around the world partly because every single device in the future will have some form of code and those codes will be developed by you all,” Mr Lim told the students.
“With the internet today, there are no boundaries. Many companies around the world are always looking for talent. So you have the opportunity to make that difference and to be different.”
Mr Lim talked about a programme called the imaginecup. He informed the students that currently there is a worldwide imaginecup finals going on in Seattle whereby students from around the world compete, but only 40 of them make it for the big prize.
There are three categories in this competition – innovation, world citizenship and games and is open to every student worldwide.
General Manager of Datec Fiji Limited, Mr Ateen Kumar said that as the business environment is transforming, businesses are in search of graduates who can quickly adapt and use the necessary Microsoft software product to contribute to the success of their organisation.
He added that employers that leverage IT certifications as a qualification for an entry-level position can be more confident in the skills of the new employee.
Students attend the launch of Microsoft Initiative at USP.
“Microsoft Office training can be just the thing to jumpstart your new career or allow you to become more efficient to completing your daily tasks. Microsoft Office training will help you gain the knowledge that you will need to effectively perform your role in any office environment,” Mr Kumar said.
He said that report writing is an essential skill which the industry desires. However, he added that it is also important that the right tool be used such as Microsoft Word for reports and Microsoft PowerPoint for presentation slides.
“I have many years of experience in recruiting graduates and one of the problems I have found with many graduates is their difficulty in preparing professional reports and presentations that are professionally formatted,” he said.
“My message to you students therefore is, that you must take this opportunity to acquire knowledge and skill to use Microsoft Office as an effective tool and contribute positively to the industry,” Mr Kumar added.
According to a USP student volunteer, Iveri Naba, it has been proven that candidates with certification are likely to be hired than people without certification.
“Candidates are able to learn the computer skills many companies are looking for. They are able to differentiate themselves from other applicants because they have gained the valuable experience and confidence. There are also high chances of getting promoted in the workplace and through this programme, candidates have access to genuine resources rather than obtaining illegal copies of software,” Iveri said.
Close to 300 students attended the launching of Microsoft Initiative at USP.
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