Finding balance between work and study

Published by Afterschool.my on Feb 15, 2019, 06:21 am

Competition is high in the Malaysian job market and elsewhere in the region. Keeping ahead of your peers is important if you wish to achieve success in your career of choice. Gone are the days when you could easily differentiate yourself from the crowd with just a master’s degree.

With a significant rise in master’s degree holders in the job market, modern recruiters are placing more emphasis on candidates with both academic qualifications and work experience.

Kamariah Mohd Noor, vice-president (Operations & Learner Experience) at Open University Malaysia (OUM) says, “Those who partake in part-time education are usually already fully engaged at their place of work. The knowledge that they gain within the scope of their studies, when added to their work experience, will certainly add value to their qualifications.”

She elaborates on what makes OUM the university of choice for working adults in Malaysia. “Our delivery and support system is specifically set up for learners engaged in open and distance learning. OUM’s learning materials are interactive, making independent learning practical and manageable.

“We also have a network of qualified tutors all over the country, specially appointed to deliver courses at learning centres nationwide,” says Kamariah.

Nawwal Syafiqah Muhammad Rushdi, general manager at Makang Sedak Signature and currently pursuing a diploma in management, says, “At first, it took me about two to three months to adapt to OUM’s learning methodology. However, after that phase, I began to realise that OUM was the best choice when it comes to pursuing my studies.

“I can choose what and when I want to learn, according to my own schedule, while also being able to focus on my work. For instance, two hours daily spent learning through myINSPIRE, OUM’s online learning platform, is enough for me."

OUM’s online learning

Datin Suriani Abdul Rahman, who is pursuing a master’s degree in management while also working as a talent head of strategic management at Radio Televisyen Malaysia, says flexibility is what she finds most beneficial about studying at OUM.

“Since the time table for the entire semester is given well in advance, we can plan our schedules accordingly. This makes it easier to plan for classes, assignments and prepare for the entire semester.

“Through myINSPIRE, I can also choose to learn and even submit my assignments from anywhere. I am free to work, travel or pursue other activities while still improving myself.”

“The quizzes and coursework given as part of the course are also very helpful to me, as they help me better understand the subject matter. The time given to complete each task is very manageable, too.”

R. Chandra Vani, an alumnus of OUM who works as a senior system analyst, says the flexibility of her learning experience allows her to balance between work, studies and family.

“OUM provides a family-friendly learning environment.  As a mother of four, I was still able to pursue my dream of obtaining a degree while working and spending quality time with my family.”

Chandra Vani also attributes her successful career move to OUM. After graduation, Chandra Vani, who worked at a government department as a programmer, applied for the post of system analyst and got the job on her first attempt.

“My role in my current department is very challenging. However, I will continue utilising the knowledge I gained in OUM to support my work here,” she adds.

With 33 learning centres throughout Malaysia, flexible entry via accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL), affordability and blended learning approaches, OUM provides much more than just flexibility of learning for working people.


Through myINSPIRE, OUM facilitates learning through e-modules, e-forums, video lectures and live forums. For administrative support, the MyOUM app pushes important information including tutorial schedules, examination timetables and results and course registration information.

Embracing digital applications have further benefitted OUM learners and allow the university to fully embrace its creed of opening minds and transforming lives.


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