Onwards And Upwards With A Postgraduate Qualification

The postgradasia team has a chat with Prof Haslinda Yusoff, Dean of Institut Pengajian Siswazah (IPSiS) at UiTM to hear about the practical aspects of undergoing postgraduate study.
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“This is my eighth month as the Dean of IPSiS,” Prof Haslinda humbly explains as we took our seats in one of IPSiS’ sprawling meeting room. As someone from an accounting background (Prof Haslinda herself holds a PhD in Environmental Accounting and Reporting) it becomes very obvious to us that she is relishing every challenging bit of her relatively new role.

We asked Prof Haslinda the first question that popped into our minds: Why do a postgraduate degree?

“Speaking as a lecturer, having a postgraduate qualification such as a Master’s or a PhD is always on our minds. Those are our targets, so to speak. A Master’s degree is a minimum requirement for one to be hired as an academician in a university, and we are highly expected to acquire a PhD degree, too,” she explains.

“In a broader sense, however, I would still argue that a postgraduate qualification is beneficial to just about anyone. It can enhance your knowledge, skills, and expertise in a specific area of your choosing.”

“Back then, many people had the assumption that a postgraduate is a nice-to-have option. But in the competitive times that we live in today, acquiring knowledge to an advanced level makes you more valuable compared to others.”

There is a perpetual debate on whether an MBA, Master’s or PhD brings any real value in a non-academic setting. Does a postgraduate qualification help those who are planning to embark on a more of the corporate pathway?

“Postgraduate is not just for those with academic ambitions,” Prof Haslinda states. “The learning processes and experience at the postgraduate level only helps you develop your technical skills, but soft skills and critical thinking as well. All of these qualities can then be brought back to your community, company, and industry sector.”

“Remember, it is not just about you having an additional qualification on your résumé, but about enhancing your capabilities as an employee and your productivity to your organisation. It brings about a real impact to the industry you’re functioning in.”

Last but not least, we asked Prof Haslinda for advice for postgradasia readers, especially those who aren’t convinced of taking on a postgraduate course:

“It is perfectly normal to think that you don’t have the time to do a postgraduate course, or have too many commitments and priorities to juggle. But think about how much it can enhance your competitiveness and marketability to employers.”

“People usually ask me: ‘Should I study first, or work first?’ And I always reply: ‘Why should you choose?’ If you feel like you don’t want to lose the momentum as a student, then go ahead and pursue your postgraduate study right after your undergraduate. If you have financial commitments and need to work for a while, go ahead and do that. But don’t stop there. Consider the various modes of study available here at both the Master’s and PhD level.”

 

What are the modes of postgraduate studies available in UiTM?

Master’s Degree

  • Research
  • Mixed-mode
  • Coursework

(All available in full-time or part-time)

Doctoral Degree

  • Coursework (DBA)
  • Research

(All available in full-time or part-time)

What is IPSiS?

IPSiS stands for Institut Pengajian Siswazah or Institute of Graduate Studies. Founded in 1997, it is UiTM’s nerve-center of graduate-level education in the institution.

Visit ipsis.uitm.edu.my for more information.