Studying Information Technology Management for a Promising Future in Industry 4.0 Cambodia

Yeang Lyhour is a 22-year-old sophomore majoring in Information Technology Management (ITM) at the American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP). During a recent interview, he explained how vital ITM is in a developing country such as Cambodia.    



Heat Vanna: Information Technology Management (ITM) might not be a new major in Cambodia, but I believe that not many students understand exactly what it is. So, would you briefly share with us what ITM is about and why this major matters so much to you?



Yeang Lyhour: From what I have known and learned about it, I believe that ITM significantly focuses on the capabilities of information technology and how it effects business operations. ITM also emphasizes the importance of business processes, strategies and the use of technology to address the challenges of today’s world. Besides technology, this program also focuses on students’ critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills along with knowledge of management principles. For example, I also have a few classes on leadership, business management and economics.



I think that the term “Media Management” applies more to the commercial or advertising fields, undoubtedly the media industries such as newspapers, movies and any other advertising medium.



During my high school years, I was really interested in science, particularly technology. I like exploring new things and I also see how technology has played an important role in my father’s businesses. What attracted me to study ITM at AUPP is that I can develop my management skills and technology-based skills at the same time. Therefore, I think I will be competent enough to assist my father in his businesses in the future.



Heat Vanna: Generally speaking, the term “Information Technology Management” is a bit broad. What do students specifically study in this program?



Yeang Lyhour: Frankly, I heard people talk a lot about the complexity of coding and computer programing in the IT department, especially from my seniors who are also majoring in ITM. Having these technology-based courses at AUPP would be such a new experience for me. At first, I thought [coding and programming] would not really be that complicated. But when there were assignments, I felt I was not ready for this challenge. Luckily, my professors are always there to be advisors and guide me along the way. Since ITM is a dual degree program with [the US] Fort Hays State University (FHSU), I am able to study computer science as well and that will help me have a better understanding of computer programming, computer system analysis or business intelligence analysis. Overall, I think I will largely benefit from this knowledge for the future Industry 4.0, which Cambodia will soon fully adapt and adopt.



Heat Vanna: People say ITM is kind of a complicated major since it involves coding, programming, etc. As an ITM student, what is the major challenge of this major for you? And how have you been dealing with it?



Yeang Lyhour: One thing that I found difficult to deal with at first was the instructions for the assignments. I had not been able to fully understand the instructions because it is quite challenging and competitive. In order to achieve good grades in this, I need to do more research on the topic, ask questions, use available resources such as the FHSU library and sometimes tutorial videos on YouTube, and other materials needed for the course. By doing all these activities in addition to classes, I have now fully managed to understand the assignment instructions and meet professors’ expectations.



Heat Vanna: In your perspective, why is ITM important for Cambodians? Also, does it offer much opportunities in terms of employment?    



Yeang Lyhour: I absolutely agree with the idea that ITM is really important for Cambodians, especially in this advanced-technology world. Certainly, we can see that nearly all firms in Cambodia are set up with technology devices. Apparently, the demand for the knowledge brought by ITM is also significantly increasing as this specific understanding is essential for the competitiveness and well-being of the firms, especially financial security. Plus, Cambodia is a developing country where the implementation of Industry 4.0 is still in a slow phase, during which Cambodians or the younger generations must strive to maintain and develop the skill sets to be able to access more opportunities. I believe that Cambodia is moving forward in establishing more tech companies and, in order to keep on doing so, Cambodians must be fully aware of the digital technologies, the pros and the cons, the cost and the use of technology as well as skill sets.



In terms of employment, as I have mentioned earlier, Cambodia is moving toward fully adopting Industry 4.0, in which Information Technology Management will be prioritized in almost every core sector of the kingdom. Firms are hiring IT people more than ever since everything somehow becomes technology-based, from registering to purchasing. Recently, Cambodia has been developing partnerships with various global tech firms, Huawei for example. Every firm, especially in the business sector, is committed to making revenues through digital platforms during this COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the world is changing rapidly and this change somehow effects the information-systems world. Therefore, being employed in the IT field would provide professionals with continuous opportunities to learn and grow, and especially to have a stable career.  



Heat Vanna: What kind of attributes should one have if he/she wants to take ITM?



Yeang Lyhour: I believe that, in order to be a successful student in an ITM major, there are a few characteristics that the student should consider. Firstly, be curious. In my opinion, ITM students have a higher level of curiosity than other students because they are required to think outside the box and, at the same time, to think strategically about technology. Secondly, be responsible. ITM students may encounter some errors or difficulties when performing coding or programming, for example. Therefore, they have to look for and study both in-depth details and the big picture to identify the areas they need to improve. Lastly, be flexible. ITM students are likely to be introverted, I would say. However, they must learn to build their communication skills and time management with the support of the academic community.


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