Improving his job prospects

Source: TODAY Online

With his master's degree from NUS-ISS Andrew Chong is able to add more value at work

TODAY_Learning Minds_Andrew Chong

Even though he has a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, senior defence research engineer Andrew Chong, 36, wanted to updated his skills so he could contribute more to the design and development of defence applications at DSO National Laboratories.

With the support of his supervisors, he enrolled in a part-time master's degree course in Technology in Software Engineering (MTech SE) at the Institute of Systems Science at National University of Singapore (NUS-ISS).

What distinguished MTech SE from other similar programmes is the variety of modules offered, such as software quality management, and software analysis and design, said Mr Chong. These modules equipped him with the knowledge to design, build and manage the delivery of robust computing solutions for his organisation. NUS-ISS also helps students stay competitive in an increasingly digitised world.

"Our curriculum is continuously refreshed to ensure that what we teach is not just information from textbooks, but skills that can be used in the workplace," said Dr Leong Mun Kew, deputy director of NUS-ISS.

Going beyond academics
Mr Chong like that MTech SE values professional experience, project deliverables and hands-on skills.

A hallmark of NUS-ISS's programmes are the internships and project modules that get students to deliver real solutions for local and foreign organisations. Full-time students in the MTech SE programme are required to do an eight-month internship, while part-time students have to complete a final-year project.

During the year he spent creating the e-commerce software for his final-year project, Mr Chong honed his soft skills when working with his team.

He said: "As the business analyst for the project, I had to maintain a good relationship between the sponsors and project team, while managing both parties' expectations. I have learnt to be patient, learn from others' experiences and reconcile differences for the project to succeed."

Most of Mr Chong's course mates are also working, and exchanging information and knowledge on current technologies with them help expand his view of the industry and open his eyes to other technologies.

Adding value at work
Since he graduated earlier this month, Mr Chong has expanded his career options and has been given more responsibilities at work. He also understands and appreciates the processes that are implemented in his organisation.

"MTech SE provides in-depth training in different IT aspects. I am taught relevant skills that I can use at work. I was even able to introduce some of the new technologies that were taught for software solutions," he said.