To live is to learn. Remaining relevant in a knowledge economy entails keeping abreast of developments in your field.
In Singapore, the opportunities for self-renewal and education are plentiful – as part of a national culture that values learning.
The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has launched the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) as part of its efforts to provide comprehensive, sector-specific training. In particular, the Professional Skills Programme is targeted at professionals, managers, executives and technicians who wish to upgrade their skills in a wide spectrum of industries or in generic skills such as Leadership and People Management.
Often, companies provide career training but for many individuals, personal interests and objectives form the motivation for embarking on self-registered training stints. The private sector offers an abundance of professional development programmes, from executive training to life coaching.
Upgrading your qualifications not only enhances proficiency and knowledge, it is still an invaluable tool in climbing the proverbial corporate ladder. Some world-class private universities have set up campuses in Singapore, including the INSEAD, ESSEC Business School, Digipen Institute of Technology, SP Jain Center of Management and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. These make excellent avenues through which to garner your Masters degree or other qualifications.
SIM University is the only local tertiary education that caters exclusively to working adults and professionals. It offers a comprehensive buffet of programmes, from Masters and PhD programmes to short courses. Its sister institution, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), offers degree and professional programmes in conjunction with premier overseas universities, such as RMIT, University at Buffalo, University of London and University of Sydney.
Although the four local autonomous universities - National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) - cater primarily to undergraduate education, you will find some high-quality post-graduate programmes here, which live up to the sterling reputation of these institutions. Research and scholarship opportunities are also available to post-graduate students.
Learning often extends beyond the classroom, especially from networking with industry experts. The most targeted networking platforms tend to be those offered by professional associations, as they offer opportunities to meet leaders and peers in specific professions or industries.
These associations cater to a wide variety of interests and needs:
Key Chambers of Commerce and Other Business Networks
Accounting and Audit
Banking, Financial and Insurance Services
In addition, the Singapore Professional Centre also maintains a list of professional associations in Singapore.
Universities, too, provide first-rate networking opportunities, usually via alumni events – staying involved with your alma mater or the university that you’re furthering your education with may be the best avenue for networking.