UniSIM to offer two new full-time degree courses

They are in business analytics and early childhood education; intake will also go up

UniSIM, set to become Singapore's sixth autonomous university next year, has been offering business analytics as a part-time course, but will offer it to full-time students too due to the high demand for such graduates.
UniSIM, set to become Singapore's sixth autonomous university next year, has been offering business analytics as a part-time course, but will offer it to full-time students too due to the high demand for such graduates.ST FILE PHOTO

SIM University, set to become become Singapore's sixth autonomous university next year, will add two new full-time degree programmes and raise its intake from 420 this year to 580 next year, The Straits Times has learnt.

Besides the previously announced degree course in early childhood education, UniSIM will also offer 40 places in a four-year direct honours course in business analytics from July next year.

UniSIM officials said the university had been offering the course to its part-time students since 2007, but decided to offer it to its full-time students as well because of the high demand for graduates in the field.

According to the Economic Development Board, analytics has been identified as a growth sector that will contribute $1 billion to the economy by the end of next year.

There will be a need for an additional 2,500 analytics professionals in the next five years.

UniSIM provost Tsui Kai Chong said: "In today's world, with its ever-increasing amount of data, businesses that can uncover hidden patterns, correlations and new business opportunities from the flow of information will have a competitive edge in the market.

"Those with the computational and analytical skills, able to find these insights in masses of data, will be sought after."

He gave examples of e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Alibaba.

"They have a mountain of information about their users and the transactions that they have made. They analyse the data to predict what you might want to buy next and in what price range."

Professor Tsui said UniSIM students taking up the course will be equipped with fundamental business knowledge such as management, accounting, marketing and operations. They will also be trained in various data analytics techniques - such as data mining and text mining, as well as the latest software used in the field.

When they graduate, they will be able to apply the skills they have acquired to a broad spectrum of organisations and sectors, including government, healthcare and medicine, community, business and social services - essentially any organisation with a lot of data that requires analytical insights.

He said that as with all other UniSIM courses, the emphasis will be on "industry-relevant, applied, hands-on learning".

Students will spend up to 24 weeks doing work attachments, where they will handle industry-linked applied projects for industries that range from government, education and healthcare to retail and transportation.

Applications open next month, and both A-level school leavers and polytechnic diploma holders can apply.

They will have to go through the same four-step selection process that all other UniSIM applicants are put through, including a cognitive abilities test, a group interview and an individual interview.

Polytechnic diploma holder Casey Wee, 22, who is keen on studying business analytics, said he will opt for UniSIM because of its emphasis on real-world experience through work attachments.

"One of my friends who had done the part-time business analytics course at UniSIM went on to work for an IT company that he interned with.

"That's the strength of UniSIM - the 24-week, real-world work experience that it makes a requirement. That will really give me the edge when I go out to work."

Correction note: In an earlier version of the story, we said that students taking up business analytics at UniSIM will spend up to 24 months doing work attachments. This has been corrected. They will spend only 24 weeks doing work attachments.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2016, with the headline 'UniSIM to offer two new full-time degree courses'. Subscribe