National service is a rite of passage that every Singaporean son has to go through. Typically, a Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) waits until he reaches the Operationally Ready Date (ORD) two years later to continue his education.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. He can maximise his off-duty hours – and enjoy a headstart on his career – by complementing his existing O-Level or A-Level qualifications with a Business Studies certificate or diploma obtained through an e-learning course.
Building fundamental skills and knowledge
This is especially relevant today as business studies give students training in developing abstract and contextual thinking, as well as the applied knowledge to prepare them for the working world, notes Dr Sam Choon Yin, dean at PSB Academy.
He adds: “It is useful for non-business graduates to pursue a business course as business continues to be a critical discipline that offers the fundamental skills and knowledge one requires to excel in the workforce.
“Since business studies include a wide array of topics, from accounting and finance, to communications, economics and marketing, graduates can choose to work in a wide range of industries.”
Studying business also complements other fields of studies. Dr Sam shares that employers may value those who have comprehensive skill sets such as accounting and finance, communications and marketing to enhance business acumen.
“For instance, in a team of IT and other professionals, they should be able to understand the company’s business needs to generate greater business value,” he explains.
A LinkedIn report in April also reinforces that employers prefer to hire people with communication skills, problem-solving skills and strategic thinking, all of which one can potentially learn during a business course.
Getting a head start
Amidst the economic headwinds stirred up by the pandemic, the necessity for people to constantly upskill and keep up with the changing demands of the job market cannot be overstated. Nine in 10 workers in Singapore see the need to upskill to stay relevant, according to a UOB survey.
As such, an e-learning course is an ideal avenue for NSFs to continue their academic journeys. Thanks to rapid digital transformation and how Covid-19 is likely to become endemic in Singapore, learning will increasingly be conducted on digital platforms rather than traditional classrooms.
PSB Academy offers a Diploma in Business Studies (E-Learning) for those who have completed their A-Levels. Students are expected to complete nine modules within nine months, covering subjects such as accounting, finance, business marketing and leadership and management.
O-Level graduates can opt for a Certificate in Business Studies (E-Learning), which offers five modules to be completed within six months before they choose to progress to the Business Studies Diploma.
The learning platform can be accessed at any time and from anywhere, so NSFs can choose to ‘go to class’ when their schedule permits.
“The lessons are delivered in 15 to 30 minute videos, complemented by learning guides, guided exercises and unlimited attempts for practical assessments.
“Feedback from tests and assignments are also provided. Those who need additional help for lecturers can sign up for tutorials to receive direct responses from PSB Academy lecturers,” says Dr Sam.
Students who complete the diploma course can choose to apply for entry to the Bachelor of Arts Business Management (Top-Up) course offered by Edinburgh Napier University. They start their degree directly at academic year three, which can be completed in 12 months, part-time.