SMU and NCS to nurture software engineering talent through the University’s first SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree

SMU and NCS to nurture software engineering talent through the University’s first SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree

The School of Computer Science and Information Systems (SCIS) of SMU and NCS Pte Ltd, a leading technology services company with a presence in Asia Pacific, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the degree in Science (Software Engineering) SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree. The degree aims to form a talent portfolio with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the demand for talent in software engineering.

Both parties also signed an agreement to establish the NCS Scholarship and the NCS Awards to recognize SCIS outstanding students.

Professor Pang Hwee Hwa, Dean of SCIS, and Mr. Howie Lau, Managing Partner, Corporate Development and Partnerships, NCS Pte Ltd, formalized the collaboration and gift at a signing ceremony at SMU on July 4, 2022 .

Professor Pang said: “SCIS has been expanding our IT offerings and undergraduate admission steadily to help meet Singapore’s ICT talent demand. We have and continue to work with agencies and companies with ideas. to bring practical relevance to our students ’learning journey and show future students the exciting paths that await them when they graduate with a computer science degree.The NCS Scholarship and Awards we are launching today, along with the col · NCS collaboration in our BSc (Software Engineering) SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree will further encourage our students to climb new levels of academic excellence and provide them with opportunities to experience first-hand exciting careers at NCS and the larger computer industry. We are thrilled that NCS has chosen to partner with us and look forward to a successful and lasting collaboration. “

Howie Lau said, “At NCS, we are committed to building a fantastic place for talent to grow and thrive professionally. Our partnership with SMU in the University’s first SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree reflects our commitment to fostering technological talent and build skills prepared for the future, providing software engineering talents opportunities to engage in exciting and impactful work at NCS.

Collaboration in the Degree in Science (Software Engineering) CompetencesFuture Degree of Work-Study

Experts in the field of NCS will be appointed to provide feedback on the degree and future work of the degree (Software Engineering), to jointly teach software engineering courses as adjunct professors of SMU or guest speakers, and jointly brand and co-certify a “Certificate of Achievement” to undergraduate students who have completed an apprenticeship with NCS.

Each apprenticeship will be a 10 to 52 week stay in a software engineering role, with the SMU student working on a software engineering team. NCS will designate at least one practicing software engineer or someone with the same ability as each learner’s mentor. The mentor will be, among other things, responsible for the technical and professional development of the learner during the learning period, and will conduct regular feedback sessions to help the learner understand their job performance.

NCS Scholarships and NCS Awards

NCS will establish NCS scholarships and awards at SCIS with the goal of motivating undergraduate students at the University to achieve academic excellence.

“We are thrilled that NCS supports the NCS Scholarships and Awards at SCIS. The NCS Scholarship and Awards are a testament to the organization’s commitment to this partnership and its support for building a talent portfolio for the nation.” , said Professor Pang.

The NCS Scholarship will be awarded to outstanding three-year students enrolled in the Work-Study program; the NCS awards will be presented to the best SCIS students in the courses “Introduction to Programming”, “Technologies and Digital Business Transformation” and “Computational Thinking”.

About the degree (Software Engineering) SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree

Launched in March this year, the BSc (Software Engineering) SkillsFuture degree and work degree is the first degree of SMU work-study. It is a full-time four-year degree program that combines face-to-face learning with structured on-the-job training. It has a rigorous 52-week apprenticeship where students work in development teams under the tutelage of professional software engineers. SCIS will host its inaugural batch of 40 students from the 2022-2023 academic year (beginning August 2022).

  • Strong collaboration with the sector: The degree curriculum is developed after extensive consultation with practicing software engineers in Singapore and will be updated periodically to keep up with market trends. The courses will be developed jointly and taught jointly by SCIS faculty and practicing software engineers from our reference partners. In addition to GovTech and NCS, SCIS also wants to collaborate with other industry partners.
  • One year learning: Undergraduate students in the Software Engineering (BSc) SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree will embark on a one-year apprenticeship, which has credits, after completing a set of 12 required courses that cover the essential skills of ‘software engineering. The courses are organized into three clusters: Computing Foundations, Software Development and Solution Management.

Learning aims to meet the demand of future students seeking an applied computer science degree with a significantly longer learning period than that offered by a regular internship.

Learning will allow them to learn industry best practices from experts in the field and give them an edge in their career. Working in development teams, students will innovate software solutions under the tutelage of professional software engineers. They will be able to strengthen and expand their technical and soft skills with practical experience, become familiar with the culture of organizational work and improve their professional opportunities with a deep knowledge of the sector and a personal professional network.

  • Entry / extinction model: At any time, a student is a full-time apprentice at work or a full-time student taking courses at the SMU.
  • Curriculum co-design with partner companies: SCIS will work very closely with some partner anchoring companies. In addition to hosting most of the apprentices, the School will work with senior software engineers from its partners to refine and evolve the curriculum.

The basic courses can be slightly adapted to the specific needs of the partner company. For example, if an associate is a financial institution, ongoing projects can be contextualized with banking scenarios in order to familiarize students with knowledge of the domain.

  • Joint teaching of courses with associated anchoring companies: Associated companies will be invited to appoint senior software engineers to teach selected core courses as adjunct professors.
  • Result of the program: The curriculum is designed to encourage complete graduates equipped with comprehensive development skills and software engineering principles for the design, development, testing, and maintenance of software systems. Graduates are also expected to be versed in cybersecurity, clean coding, DevOps, and modern agile software development methodologies, while possessing strong communication skills and the ability to work productively on a software development team.
  • Potential job functions: Software Engineer, Software Developer, Software / IT Analyst, Programmer, Software Tester, DevOps Engineer, Software Designer, Computer Solutions Architect, Software Architect.

For more information on future degree studies and work, visit

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