Singapore Poly launches first artificial intelligence diploma for full-time students

Speakers at a panel discussion during the inaugural Singapore Polytechnic Artificial Intelligence Symposium held at the Concorde Hotel on Oct 18, 2019.
Speakers at a panel discussion during the inaugural Singapore Polytechnic Artificial Intelligence Symposium held at the Concorde Hotel on Oct 18, 2019.ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ

SINGAPORE - Students fresh out of secondary school will from April next year be able to take up a full-time diploma programme in applied artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics at Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

The polytechnic, which will take up to 80 students in the first batch, will be the first of the five polys here to offer such a programme.

Currently, such courses are offered as specialist diploma programmes, which are for existing diploma or degree holders - usually adult learners - to deepen their knowledge and skills.

The new diploma course was launched on Friday (Oct 18) during the inaugural SP AI Symposium held at the Concorde Hotel, where there was a showcase of AI-related projects done by students and industry partners.

Students enrolled in the programme will learn to apply AI and big data to solve current challenges across industries such as finance, information technology and commerce.

SP principal and chief executive Soh Wai Wah said it is meant to support the rising demand in AI-related roles and skills, such as data analysts and machine learning engineers.

"SP aims to produce the next generation workforce that will be able to tap the latest technologies to take Singapore forward," he added.

On Friday, the polytechnic signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), which will see graduates from this course, as well as those from its specialist diploma in data science programme, receive exemptions for SUTD's ModularMasters in Data Science programme.

The ModularMasters upskilling programme is for adult learners who may not have a basic degree, but have relevant technical work experience and meet the entry requirements.

 
 
 

Students in the programme can accumulate subject credits from a series of "stackable" courses and receive a certificate from the SUTD Academy at the end.

SkillsFuture Singapore chief executive Ng Cher Pong, who was at the symposium, said the institutes of higher learning are key partners in the SkillsFuture movement.

"Over the past few years, they have stepped up efforts to build up a pipeline of local digital talent, focusing on both full-time pre-employment training and also short, industry-relevant modules targeted at working adults."

AI has become an integral part of daily life, he added, and technological advancements in the area can be disruptive and lead to fundamental changes.

"As a result, AI, together with data analytics, robotics and automation, is crucial to the restructuring of our economy - especially as we move towards becoming a Smart Nation."