SMU to include IT course in revised curriculum next year

The Singapore Management University campus in the heart of the city.
The Singapore Management University campus in the heart of the city.PHOTO:SMU

Responding to changing industry needs and in a bid to "future-proof" its students, Singapore Management University's (SMU's) School of Information Systems (SIS) will have a revised curriculum from next August.

This will offer more flexibility for students to either pursue deep technical skills or a balance of technical and business skills, and emphasises creating innovative computing and information solutions for business and society.

Students will need to take a core curriculum in the first two years of study, which focuses on combining business with IT.

New courses include information systems and innovations, and business process analysis and solutioning, where they will learn to model and analyse a business process, and apply a methodological approach to translate business process change requirements into concrete IT solutions.

The demand for infocomm professionals in Singapore is outpacing supply, with 30,000 new infocomm jobs expected by 2020.

Said Professor Pang Hwee Hwa, the dean of the School of Information Systems: "IT will be the central nervous system of not just most businesses, large and small, but also of metropolitan cities around the world and small city states, such as Singapore. The emergence of new industries such as fintech, widespread use of analytics across industries are demanding a new breed of employees who can use IT skills to create innovative solutions for business and society."

Starting from the third year of study, students will specialise in either the more business-centric Consultant & Business Analyst Tracks or the more technical-focused Advanced Technical Tracks.

The first has tracks in financial technology, business analytics and digital business solutioning, while the latter has cyber security, application development and cognitive systems .

"The changes to curriculum will offer students more flexibility," said Professor Venky Shankararaman, associate dean of SIS.

This contrasts with the current curriculum, where all students are trained in application development and then choose a second major.

Strong applicants can be admitted directly into integrated BSc-master programmes, where they will complete Master of IT in Business (Analytics), Master of IT in Business (Financial Technology), or Master of Applied Information Systems, in addition to the BSc (Information Systems) in four years.

SMU is also enhancing its undergraduate offerings to include analytics skills in the schools of accountancy and business.

From the 2017 academic year, the Lee Kong Chian School of Business will offer specialisations in analytics, joining the School of Accountancy's new data analytics track that was offered from August this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2016, with the headline 'SMU to include IT course in revised curriculum next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe