By Gwen Sin
Professionals, Managers and Executives (PMEs) in Singapore can now look forward to be more future- ready as NTUC LearningHub Private Limited’s executive continuing education arm, Next U® has rolled out new business analytics and cloud computing courses with the Singapore Management University (SMU) on 14 September 2011.
In total, 14 new short courses in Business Analytics, Cloud Computing and Business Processes & Systems were launched. The courses will be innovatively focused on Information Technology (IT) and Systems education into business scenarios and settings.
Trainees who have completed the programme will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from SMU. Some of the short courses can also be combined for credit exemptions for similar modules from SMU's Masters in IT for Business (MITB) programme. In addition, union members will be entitled to further funding of up to S$250 per year, under the Union Training Assistance Plan (U-TAP).
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was inked between Next U® with SMU’s School of Information Systems (SMU SIS) during the launch. Signing the MOA were NTUC LearningHub Chief Executive Officer Zee Yoong Kang and SMU SIS Dean Professor Steven Miller. NTUC Director for PMEs & Legal Services and Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC Patrick Tay was also present to witness the ceremony.
All partners were full of praise on the efforts made to raise productivity standards in Singapore. Mr Tay said: “The Labour Movement aims to co-create and facilitate touch points which will have positive impact on the PME community in Singapore. One key pillar is in the area of professional development which involves training, up-skilling and the career development of our PMEs. It is with this perspective in mind that the LM is forging partnerships and forming alliances with industry partners and key stakeholders to leverage on each other’s strengths and assisting PMEs and helping them enhance their careers and pay prospects.”
Added Mr Tay: “It is also an exciting opportunity to be in partnership with SMU, as we know IT is one of the highly demanded skills in this new economy. SMU is well-known in integrating business, IT and related practices in a practice-based kind of learning environment.
It enhances the outreach to our PMEs as most of them are constantly looking into continuing education. The approach towards acquiring some of these skills from the courses will definitely serve their learning needs. Some of the lecturers who are conducting these courses are also practitioners themselves. It will be insightful and add on to a strong resume for our PMEs in the IT world or in the business environment.”
NTUC LearningHub CEO Zee Yoong Kang commented: “We are delighted to work with Professor Steven Miller and his team to deliver a series of professional short courses designed to enable professionals to up their game in business analytics, cloud computing and business processes and systems.”
This partnership is in line with Singapore’s Intelligent Nation 2015 masterplan of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), which emphasises the importance of preparing companies and PMEs to harness the benefits of IT in business process management.
"Private and public sector leaders often tell us that our SMU SIS degree programmes excel at preparing people to create and use IT applications in business settings in innovative and value-creating ways. We are repeatedly asked by organisations if we could provide their employees with short-course versions of our curriculum content and expose them to our innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Through this partnership with NTUC Next U®, we can respond to these industry requests in much more scalable and effective ways. This is why we have embraced this partnership.”
SMU SIS Dean and Practice Professor Steven Miller
"The main draw for me to attend this event is the potential of the collaboration. There are always two sides to the whole IT industry. There are technical practitioners wanting to learn more about the business areas, while business partners will want to understand what technology can provide. There is a gap between these two, which these courses will hopefully help to bridge. Seeing NTUC LearningHub and SMU working together feels exactly like the matchmaking was done right. I also believe a lot of innovation will come from such cross-disciplinary learning and explorations to come up with brand new solutions.”
Elixir Technology Chief Executive Officer Lau Shih Hor