Although we now have access to smart gadgets and various tools of communication, it is the technical skills of the people involved that make the products and services tick.
INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) products are all around us, especially computers and mobile devices, and most people cannot live without these gadgets as they have all become tools for communication and work.
However, so little is known about how these devices work and who designs and develops the systems.
What makes ICT the most familiar stranger?
The reasons could be because of our own perception of whether ICT is important or otherwise.
Also, is the subject given the emphasis it deserves in our schools?
Many countries realise the relevance of ICT in today’s new age era which is why it is a subject throughout the years of study from kindergarten right up to Year 12.
Countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, realise the importance of ICT and expose their school-going youth to ICT.
In Malaysia, ICT education hasn’t been given the emphasis it deserves although recent efforts have been made to give more importance to the subject.
In the science stream, most students tend to choose the more secure subjects such as biology, physics and chemistry and not many students go through proper ICT lessons before joining college or university.
Information Technology (IT) emphasises on the storage, retrieval, process and discovery of meaningful information.
An example would be a local supermarket that sells groceries to the local community.
The cashier or point of sales system that scans the bar code and processes the bill is an IT product. The inventory system that records the quantity of all groceries is an IT product.
The expert system that gathers the above information and predicts the best-selling product for the coming quarter is again, an IT product. This is a general IT system.