Ngee Ann Poly offers students path to broader job prospects

Scheme lets them take minor in areas like data analytics, Internet of Things

A graduation ceremony in progress at Ngee Ann Polytechnic yesterday. Under the Personalised Learning Pathway pilot programme rolled out last month, students can take minors through four pathways including social leadership and global readiness. PHOTO
A graduation ceremony in progress at Ngee Ann Polytechnic yesterday. Under the Personalised Learning Pathway pilot programme rolled out last month, students can take minors through four pathways including social leadership and global readiness. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) can now take a minor subject from a different discipline under a pilot programme, to expand their knowledge base and widen their job prospects.

About 1,000 current second-year students will benefit from the Personalised Learning Pathway pilot rolled out last month, said the polytechnic in a statement yesterday.

The minors can be undertaken through four pathways: professional skills, entrepreneurship, global readiness and social leadership. Students can choose from 10 minors in areas such as data analytics, Internet of Things, foreign languages and global readiness skills.

Each minor will require the completion of three learning units. Each learning unit ranges from 45 to 60 hours over a semester.

At the end of their three-year diploma programme, students will be awarded a minor certificate on top of their diploma.

The pilot is expected to be fully rolled out in the 2023 academic year for all full-time diploma students at NP.

By then, all new intakes of NP students will have to complete at least one learning unit from the programme as a minimum graduating requirement.

In a speech at an NP graduation ceremony yesterday, Education Minister Lawrence Wong said that the new pilot programme would help to strengthen students' career resilience to pivot more easily to new growth sectors and enable students to seize new opportunities in the future economy.

NP principal Clarence Ti said the future workplace will be more complex and diverse, and every student has his own aspirations.

The polytechnic hopes the new programme will give students an edge in the future economy as they chase their dreams, he added.

"It will open doors to more career or academic opportunities for them, as well as strengthen their personal and career resilience."

The pilot has allowed Mr Randahl Ng, 18, to pursue his interest in community service and volunteer work on top of his diploma in business studies.

Under the social leadership pathway, he will be taking units on connecting with communities and leadership development.

"I feel that this will help me when I join the business world... and need to encounter different communities of people," said Mr Ng, who is keen to start his own cafe or be a coffee bean supplier in the future.

For Mr Jonaven Koh, 19, who is studying real estate business, the new pilot gives him a chance to pick up entrepreneurship skills.

He is running a business selling flavoured artisanal ice cubes with some former classmates from the Institute of Technical Education.

He plans to take the accelerator programme and incubation learning units to help him grow the business further and reduce the number of trial and error processes he has to go through.

He added that the minor will complement his diploma in real estate business, which will let him pick up knowledge on business law and property management - knowledge he will need to run his business in the future.

Last year, NP introduced the Career Jumpstart package for graduating students that allowed them to take two free continuing education and training courses that the polytechnic offered. It also provided them with access to a directory of jobs and opportunities to work with start-ups.

This will also be available to the 2021 graduating cohort.

Mr Wong said the global economy will eventually recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and present many exciting opportunities in areas such as sustainability, automation and digitalisation, including the increased use of cloud computing and artificial intelligence solutions.

"I am confident that for all our students, your training in NP has prepared you well to ride the wave of change and to seize these emerging opportunities," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2021, with the headline 'Ngee Ann Poly offers students path to broader job prospects'. Subscribe