Always wanted to build the next Facebook? Be the next tech startup billionaire?
You might just be looking at a course in Computer Science!
But before you rush to sign up at the nearest college, you might want to do a little research first. A degree in Computer Science requires you to learn new languages (not the spoken kind!) and find innovative solutions to solve complex problems. Do you have what it takes?
This guide will help you navigate through everything you need to know about studying a Computer Science course in Malaysia, as well as some of your career options.
The Basics of Computer Science
What is Computer Science
Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems. It involves the application of computational methods and algorithms to design solutions to solve problems.
Information Technology on the other hand, focuses more on the approach and application of computing technology, especially within businesses and organisations. This is different from Computer Science, which emphasises on mathematical and theoretical foundations of computing.
Computer Science and Information Technology have become a necessity in today’s world. Without it, the world would be completely different. Transportation would not be how it is today, since modern trains and aircrafts are controlled by computer systems. There would be no laptops or smartphones either, so you would not be reading this right now!
What Are the Various Fields of Computer Science & IT?
Computer Science has grown into a multidisciplinary course with various majors and specialisations available. Below are some of the common specialisation fields in Computer Science and IT courses.
|Field||What It Is All About|
|Artificial Intelligence (AI)||Enable computers to “think”, perceive the environment, make decisions and take actions|
|Computer Security||Security for devices (computers, smartphones) and networks (including the internet!)|
|Software Engineering||Combination of computer science and engineering to design and develop software systems|
|Computer Network||Emphasises on data communications and networking technology skills to design, install, configure and maintain network systems|
Studying a Computer Science Degree
What Qualifications Do You Need?
In order to pursue a degree in Computer Science, you will generally need:
(1) SPM / O-Level Qualification
- Minimum of 5 credits, including a credit in Mathematics
(2) Pre-University Qualification
- A-Level: Minimum of 2Es
- STPM: Minimum of 2Cs, including Mathematics
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum of ATAR 60.0
- Canadian Pre-University: At least an average of 55%
- Foundation in Science or IT: CGPA of 2.0 or average of 60%, depending on university
Entry requirements may vary depending on university, so make sure you do your research!
How Long Is a Computer Science Degree?
A Computer Science or Information Technology degree is usually 3 years long.
Here is a summary of your education pathway.
What Will You Study in a Computer Science Degree?
A Computer Science degree will give you fundamental knowledge of programming tools, mathematical concepts and software development technology.
Note that the curriculum for Computer Science and Information Technology courses can be quite similar and there may be some overlap of subjects. This will vary depending on the college and university that you go to.
In general, here are some of the core topics that you may learn in a Computer Science / Information Technology degree, typically taught in the first and second year of your degree.
- Algorithms and Data Structures
- Theory of Computation
- Computer Systems and Networks
- Programming (e.g. C++, Java)
- Database Design
- Systems Development
In your final year, you may be able to take elective subjects to specialise in, such as:
- Image Processing
- Natural Language Processing
- Statistical Analysis
- Mobile Applications Development
At the end of your course, you will be able to analyse, model, design, develop and evaluate computing solutions to develop technological solutions and infrastructure.
Why Should You Study Computer Science?
Here are some of the top reasons why you should study a Computer Science or IT course.
(1) You love to solve complex, challenging problems
A Computer Science degree will challenge you to solve deep, multidimensional problems that require logical thinking and creativity. If you love flexing your brains and are eager to try various experiments to “hack” together solutions to solve complex problems, a Computer Science course might just be the right course for you!
(2) Gain valuable skills to build innovative solutions
Steve Jobs once said that the computer is like a bicycle for the mind — it is the tool that enables us to accomplish many things by multiplying our capabilities!
A Computer Science degree will give you the necessary skills and knowledge to build technological solutions that can change everyday life, from the way we communicate (internet, social media) to the way businesses are run (cash register systems using iPads).
(3) Intellectually challenging and stimulating
A Computer Science course can be quite intellectually demanding, and may not be the right fit for everyone. Finding a computing solution to various problems will test your reasoning, logic and creativity, requiring you to think in both concrete and abstract terms. Nonetheless, it can be very rewarding if you are someone who has a keen interest in this field.
What Skills Do You Need to Study Computer Science?
Here are some of the key qualities and skills that you will need to develop in order to do well in a Computer Science course.
(1) Ability to think logically
Computers work based on a logical sequence of instructions, processing one operation after another. You must be able to structure your solutions to computing problems in logical steps, just as how a computer would process it. Remember that Computer Science can be quite abstract, so the ability to visualise things and processes is important as well!
(2) Solid foundation in mathematics
Fundamental mathematics, particularly discrete math, probability, statistics and logic, is crucial, since Computer Science involves lots of computation. Having a strong mathematical mindset will help you tremendously in coming up with commands, functions and algorithms.
(3) Good problem-solving skills
A Computer Science degree, particularly programming modules, will test your ability to solve various computing problems. You must be able to understand a problem, decompose and break it down into smaller parts, solve these pieces individually and bring it all back together in an elegant solution. In addition, being able to think creatively is important as well, since there could be other ways to solve the problem more efficiently.
Career Options with a Computer Science Degree
Completing a degree in Computer Science will prepare you for a career in IT consultancies and IT service providers,. Organisations in various industries, such as financial services, telecommunications, retail and resources, also employ graduates in Computer Science and IT.
Here are some jobs that are highly related to Computer Science & IT.
- Business Analyst
- Data Mining Specialist
- Software Engineer / Software Architect
- Mobile App Developer
- Game Developer
- Systems Designer
- Network Specialist
- Research Analyst
- Software Quality Assurance Officer
- Enterprise Distributed Application Developer
- IT Analyst / Consultant
- IT Auditor
- IT Project Manager
Where Can You Study Computer Science in Malaysia?
Here are some of the most popular universities for Computer Science in Malaysia.
Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) / Information Technology (Hons)
Intakes: Apr, Jun & Nov
Estimated Fees: RM60,000 – RM65,000 depending on programme
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
For Computer Science, option to specialise in Software Engineering, Information Systems or Game Development
For Information Technology, option to specialise in Data Science, Data Communications and Networking, Security Technology, Information Technology Management or Artificial Intelligence
MMU is ranked in the Top 350 in the world for Computer Science & Information Systems, according to QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016
View other colleges
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (Hons)
Campus: Bukit Jalil
Intakes: May, Sep & Nov
Estimated Fees: RM77,949
Scholarships: Up to 50% tuition fee waiver
Strong collaborative partnerships with industry leaders, including Microsoft, IBM and Google Web Academy
Dual award degree — one from Staffordshire University (UK) and one from APU
Rated Tier 5 (Excellent) out of 6 overall by the Ministry of Education (MQA SETARA 2013)
Bachelor of Computing / Game Development (Hons)
Campus: Glenmarie, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM62,530
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Awarded Entry Point Project (MyGameDev) under Government ETP to spearhead the Game Development Industry
Collaboration with Game Design Studios to develop industry-based curriculum
Dedicated Alienware Lab for game design and game development
BSc (Hons) in Computer Science
Campus: Bandar Sunway
Intakes: Jan, Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM72,700
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Dual award programme with Lancaster University, UK
Participation in competitions outside of classroom