ITE to prep students for future with new courses
It will also expose all students to data analytics
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) has identified that there will be a rise in hybrid jobs.
Such jobs merge or combine two to three niche skill sets into one.
Announcing its sixth five-year road map yesterday, ITE chief executive Low Khah Gek said this means that employees in future workplaces will be required to multitask across different roles.
To prepare its students for such trends, ITE will introduce new courses in fields such as data engineering.
All students - ITE has about 28,000 students across its three campuses at any one time - will also be exposed to data analytics in class from this year.
This exposure can range from an introduction on how to consume and use data at an individual level - for example, tracking daily expenditure - to specialised modules that teach students to develop software and algorithms.
At the moment, ITE offers only one hybrid course to its students, a Higher Nitec in engineering with business.
But it offers its students a flexible curriculum that allows them to mix and match contrasting modules.
Ms Low told The New Paper: "We want to prepare our students for a fast-changing work landscape, taking into account changing job roles and skill demands."
Ms Skye Toh, 20, a first-year student, is taking a Higher Nitec course in engineering with business. She said the hybrid course offers her a taste of how two contrasting industries can give the best of both worlds.
With her business and engineering background, she and a group of friends from ITE designed and pitched an in-ear thermometer for the army in a competition organised by the Nanyang Technological University.
The device fits into a soldier's ear to allow supervising officers to monitor the body temperature accurately.
"I get to learn how to design products and develop ideas on how to market them to consumers. In a way, I can increase my skills to better help me carve a career path," she said.
Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar, an assistant professor in Singapore Institute of Technology's design and specialised business cluster, said that job hybridisation has happened across many sectors now.
Dr Intan, who is also an MP from Ang Mo Kio GRC, said: "New graduates are expected to be able to hit the ground running and able to multitask and learn on the job.
"For companies and organisations, this has become an expectation, particularly with higher demands placed by consumers and clients for more efficient processes."
Ms Low also said that by 2025, there should be about 40 work-study diplomas offered, which should take in about 1,000 students a year.
Only 24 such courses are offered now for about 500 students in the coming intake in April.
The work-study diploma programme, which was launched in 2018, typically lasts between 2½ and three years.
Students are hired by partner companies as full-time salaried staff, and 70 per cent of the curriculum time is for on-the-job training.
They are awarded diploma certificates after the stint.
ITE's previous road map was set out in 2015.
59% of ITE grads went on to higher education: Survey
The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) yesterday shared the results of a graduate employment survey, which tracked a same batch of graduates from 2007 to 2017.
A total of 3,500 ITE graduates were surveyed. And more than half, or 59 per cent, of them went on to higher tertiary education.
It showed that 5 per cent of the graduates went to a publicly funded university while 10 per cent went to a privately funded or overseas universities.
Meanwhile, 25 per cent went to a polytechnic to pursue a full-time diploma and 19 per cent went on to pursue a diploma not offered by polytechnics.
Their median salaries have more than doubled from $1,200 in 2007 to $3,000 in 2017, the results showed.
Second-year ITE student Mohamad Saiful Mohd Sani, 24, who is pursuing a Nitec course in business services, said that furthering one's studies would be a ticket for better opportunities in the workforce.
He hopes to pursue a diploma in business studies in Ngee Ann Polytechnic upon graduation.
"I think career progression would be better with a diploma or a degree. Salary-wise, it would be more competitive too because you get an equal chance among others who have higher qualifications," he said. - TATIANA MOHAMAD ROSLI