Students to get taste of real-life tech problems

Students from eight institutes of higher learning will soon be able to work with government agencies on actual tech-related problems.

These could include protecting wireless networks from cyber attacks or using video analytics to trace patients during an epidemic.

Yesterday, the schools and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) signed new agreements paving the way for the partnerships.

About 300 students from the Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the five polytechnics will be given hands-on, practical experience through internships, projects and attachments.

The training opportunities open to students will be in areas like cyber security and data analytics. These are among the areas of focus in the digital economy highlighted by the high-level Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) last week.

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, who attended the signing ceremony, said: "We are supporting the CFE recommendations by building on the manpower capabilities that we need for the country, and by deepening the skill sets that we need to help Singapore transform towards the digital economy."

GovTech chief executive Jacqueline Poh said: "This set of agreements will allow us to help develop our next generation of tech talent, which is key to making Singapore a Smart Nation."

SUTD undergraduate Joe Ng, 25, said he is looking forward to working with the public agencies.

He said: "The partnership will allow more people to look at the large amount of data that is available, and come up with solutions that respond to existing problems and, possibly, predictive tools."

Lester Hio

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'Students to get taste of real-life tech problems'. Print Edition | Subscribe