The digital economy has accelerated the recognition that academic qualification alone is not sufficient to create productive employees.
At the 2019 APEC Closing the Digital Skills Gap Forum, Professor Dong Sun Park, chair of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group, skills mismatches hurt workers and the broader economy.
“Productivity declines when key jobs remain vacant. APEC requires more skills training programs to reduce the global shortage of highly-skilled workers, which may soon exceed 38 million people,” he concluded.
His observation is affirmed by the Ministry of Manpower’s latest Job Vacancies report which revealed that [Singapore] employers place stronger emphasis on skills or relevant working experience when hiring – 52% in 2018 compared to 42% in 2017.
Efforts by industry to work together with the education sector may prove invaluable to addressing the skills gap by helping graduates get the necessary skills to be productive employees when they join the workforce.
Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Information Systems will collaborate with TIBCO Software to deepen students’ data analytics knowledge and prepare them with the right digital skillsets for the digital economy.
The MOU will see both parties conduct workshops, masterclasses, and seminars, as well as other practice-based training in technological skills.
TIBCO senior vice president, APJ and EMEA, Erich Gerber noted that Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives reflects similar efforts around the world to transform business models through digitalisation in order to remain competitive and align with critical programs.
Even as he acknowledged that technology, while essential, is only one ingredient. “The others are the talent and the know-how needed to support it. We see TIBCO’s collaboration with SMU as crucial in addressing this digital skills gap. Augmenting students’ capabilities and skill sets with a combination of leading intelligent connected solutions will be a powerful contribution to the developing digital ecosystem of the nation,” he concluded.
The collaboration will see up to 500 students trained on the Digital Business Solutioning track under the Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) degree programme. Students will be provided hands-on experience to deepen their knowledge of advanced data analytics using selected TIBCO capabilities. This includes data analytics, real-time analytics, data science, data virtualization, and API management. The end-to-end TIBCO solutions will allow students to apply real-world solutions during their studies.
Professor Pang Hwee Hwa, dean of the School of Information Systems at SMU said there exists a strong demand in the public and private sectors for graduates with sound knowledge and training in analytics. “Collaborations with industry and technology providers, such as TIBCO, and integrating academic learning with real-world practice are part of our overall efforts to nurture future-ready graduates. We believe this programme will further strengthen our high-quality education for our students and provide them with the crucial digital skills needed in today’s business environment,” he elaborated further.