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Malaysia Needs Additional 12,000 Data Scientists

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PUTRAJAYA – An additional 12,000 big data scientists are needed within the next five years to spur Malaysia’s data-driven economy, says Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

He said in 2014, there were 4,000 big data scientists in this country and the government was fully aware of the increase in demand from the commercial and public sectors for the services of data scientists.

To address the shortage of big data scientists, he said the government had embarked on various initiatives, including establishing big data competency centres in the institutions of higher learning nationwide.

“Ultimately, we aspire to compete in data economy on a global scale. The establishment of the centres is the manifestation of our aspiration to nurture such ecosystem, aimed at stimulating research and innovation, on top of fostering public-private partnership.”

He said this at the launching of the International Conference on Soft Computing in Data Science 2015 and the 2nd International Conference on Statistics in Science, Business and Engineering 2015 organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), here, today.

Idris said the data competency centres were already established in five public universities, namely Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan.

He said big data analytics held enormous potential in various fields, ranging from bio-informatics to medical and health-informatics, genomics, food security, climate and resource efficiency, as well as intelligent transport systems and smart cities.

“It is even more critical for Malaysia to be on board this global trend of acculturating big data analytics, as we need the resources and expertise to give us the competitive edge in spurring research, development and innovation, which will in turn raise the nation’s productivity,” Idris said. – BERNAMA


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