GROWING demand for security services has seen Saito College, primarily a design school, branching out to offer a security management course for local and overseas students.
The college, founded in 1988 by Tetsuo Saito, has emerged as one of the most reputable design and professional colleges in Malaysia.
The global billion-ringgit security industry has also become more significant in Malaysia due to the growing demand for greater security in both the private and public sectors.
However, the local security industry suffers from a lack of professional development or a career structure. It is learnt that there are half a million employees in the industry today but the security staff are either drawn from ex-police or ex-armed forces with little or no academic security background.
Realising the vacuum in this area and the common misconception that the security industry is only about security guards, Saito College decided to offer security management courses in 2007.
The security industry covers, among others, risk and crisis management, and computer security.
Saito College Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Datuk Kamaruddin Mohd Ismail said Saito College started by developing security management programmes to support the local and regional growth of an international security solutions provider.
From there on, the college took the opportunity to leverage on available resources and knowledge of the security management industry and expanded into the niche sector.
Today, the college offers a Diploma in Security Management programme which is a full-time two-and-a-half- year course.
Kamaruddin, who is also a senior lecturer of the Diploma in Security Management programme, said the course is approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and is recognised by both the government sector as well as private organisations.
He said the programme opens up opportunities for the diploma holders to join the uniformed and other governmental services.
"Saito is the pioneer group to offer a comprehensive programme in the security management for both the private and public sector," he told Business Times recently.
To-date, the college has up to 1,500 students enrolled in the diploma programme.
The programme was also given a boost when the Royal Police Force (PDRM) plans to recruit up to 200 diploma holders as assistant investigating officers with the rank of sergeant this year.
"It is a tremendous boost for the programme. We are now experiencing a big demand for the course not only locally but also from overseas," he said.
In the pipeline, Saito College plans to develop a centre of research and learning studies in security management by 2014.
"Once we have firmed up our base, then we will certainly set up the centre of research and learning studies," Kamaruddin said.
To enhance the marketability of its future human resources management diploma graduates, Saito College have tied up with reputable and established corporations to provide real life experience for its students.