Ahead of the learning curve

Source: TODAY Online

NUS-ISS' Graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis gave this Arts student the confidence to make a career switch.


Mr Chen Mushi Luke was studying for his arts degree at the University at Buffalo when he applied for the Institute of Systems Science at National University of Singapore's (NUS-ISS) Graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis (GDipSA) in 2014. He had learnt of it through a friend who knew of his interest in computers.

Making the switch
He pursued the graduate diploma after completing his degree and is now chief technology officer at digital lifestyle publication, The Smart Local (TSL) and mentors GDipSA programme interns.

Mr Chen cites timeliness as a key factor for choosing the GDipSA - some of his peers  had taken four years to graduate with honours for one discipline, but he was able to learn two disciplines in that time.

"The course offers a five-month industrial attachment, and that was important to me," he said. "His internship at Integrated Health Information Systems earned him the Accenture Best Internship Project Award. The two batches of interns he mentored at TSL received the same recognition.

Said Dr Esther Tan, GDipSA programme chief: "The GDipSA programme transforms someone without IT knowledge into an IT professional in a very short period of time. Of these 12 months, seven are dedicated to intensive lectures, workshops and projects."

On the tech beat
Mr Chen provides technical support and develops solutions for TSL and its subsidiaries: Eatbook.sg, MustShareNews.com, Snatch.sg and Zula.sg.

"I do technical and non-technical work, which includes systems analysis, business analysis, project management and research and development. I am also involved in areas such as tech human resource." He credits the GDipSA programme - and lecturers willing to share their experience and knowledge - for equipping him with the skills to fulfill his responsibilities.

Pushing boundaries
The GDipSA syllabus offers students two tracks: Mobile or web. Mr Chen chose the former, but also borrowed materials from classmates on the web track to expand his skillset. He also incorporated mobile and web integration during his Application Development project to test his limits.

For Mr Chen, learning should never stop. "Read the news daily across all industries. Think of how that can be applied in a business context," he offered. "IT is a tool and skill that can be applied to all industries. A person with multidisciplinary knowledge can provide a wider perspective - think GovTech, or HealthTech. I hope my juniors will push their limits, too, and stay hungry for knowledge."