Job placement an advantage with SAP university alliance
May 06, 2012
What difference does it make for a student if he or she learns solely from the classroom and decides on work experience only after graduation?
A lot, according to information technology practitioners in the group Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing - University Alliances Program (SAP-UAP). If members of the alliance will have their way, application of information technology at the workplace during the incumbency of the students' studies will boost their chances at employment. Industry absorption has also been the consensus at the University of the Cordilleras College of Information Technology and Computer Science (UC-CITCS). The edge established by immediate employment of UC graduates in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) is the reason why it is the only university in North Luzon that integrates SAP courses in its BSIT curriculum.
UC-CITCS Dean Nancy M. Flores said UC's membership in the alliance is pivotal in accessing licensed business and enterprise resource software. She explains that these software are industry tools that are already at the disposal of students even while in the classroom. However, Dean Flores explains that "functional education" is another important focus of the program which is why "aside from curriculum mapping, student and faculty development through actual exposure in the operations of industry partners is important so that both instruction and training matches the industry requirements."
The introduction of business software solutions Enterprise Central Component 6.0 (ECC 6.0) as well as Advanced Business Applications Programming (ABAP) provides students with effective tools to go through corporate apprenticeship under the SAP-UAP's Advanced Work Appreciation Program (AWAP), Dean Flores said.
UC's SAP-UAP industry partnership with Texas Instruments Philippines, Inc. (TIPI) yielded former apprentices who are now gainfully employed. Aristide Tao-ey who works with the Petroleum Authority of Thailand as an ABAP developer said his apprenticeship with TIPI reinforced the training he obtained from UC.
"Work at TIPI is project-based and requires a lot of system applications," Tao-ey explains. "Here is where I relied on prior UC learning." Tao-ey, who enjoyed a three-month paid apprenticeship at TIPI supervised by UC mentors, said enhanced learning by UC and SAP-UAP provided him with a "career path" that is aligned with his BSIT course.
Loida Betiz, former TIPI apprentice and now ABAP programmer in the same firm said the program presented her with the "bigger picture" in business processes. She said her incentive in UC's involvement with the SAP-UAP was that she does not see herself as "just an isolated programmer" but rather an active participant in corporate decision-making. Betiz says, "Dallas (TI's main corporate headquarters in Texas, USA) takes my suggestions seriously."
Tao-ey and Betiz belong to the roster of 29 more UC graduates recently deployed in transglobal companies operating locally as well as overseas. Dean Flores reports 13 are associate software engineers, 14 are ABAP programmers, while two provide IT technical support. Dean Flores explains SAP-UAP has provided UC's IT students and faculty members with what she describes as "scaffolding" on which business processes can be provided with IT solutions on a collective level. She said programmers must know how to "link things" in business transactions that occurs in different departments.
At least nine course tracks in SAP ECC 6.0 and ABAP have been integrated in UC's BSIT program since its membership with SAP-UAP in 2009. Along with monthly progress monitoring called "revalida," Dean Flores reports the program has been responding to industry standards and requirements such that corporate establishments trust SAP student apprentices with their system. Corporate confidence is high enough to employ graduates at the end of the apprenticeship period, she said.