SCALE With Us - Stories From the Data Literate


Course Participants: Tan Jun Wei, Zan Yeow Jie Hao

12 October 2020 — After graduating from NUS with a Mechanical Engineering degree in June this year, Zan Yeo secured a position as an Assistant Manager at Land Transport Authority (LTA).

While waiting to start work in July, he decided to pursue a Professional Certificate in Data Literacy for Non-Data Scientists offered by NUS SCALE. The five short courses covered content related to data analytics and visualisation that he found to be “useful foundational skills” that are “very related and transferrable” to his current job.

Data literacy is one of the top skills necessary for the current digital era as businesses across all sectors are incorporating data analytics to better manage their operations. At LTA, Zan is responsible for using data analysis to identify areas of improvement pertaining to MRT reliability. He acknowledges the need to equip himself with these skills as the “world is slowly or already transitioning into a fully digitalized approach on many jobs”.

“With [the courses], I am more prepared with a head start instead of struggling in the initial stages.”

The NUS Class of 2020 first-time graduates received four virtual vouchers each. These vouchers will defray the course fees of various Continuing Education and Training (CET) programmes offered under the Resilience & Growth Initiative 2020. The initiative provides an opportunity for fresh graduates to upskill themselves while job hunting and transitioning to the workforce.

Likewise, Tan Jun Wei, a Business student specialising in Management, used the R&G virtual voucher to learn new data skills as this was “an opportunity not to be missed”.

Despite having little prior exposure to data, Jun Wei wanted to “understand data better” in order to be able to present data findings effectively at work.

“[The courses have] allowed me to gain further insight into various other functions for analysing data. In particular, I enjoyed learning about Tableau and Orange.”

In today’s dynamic world, learning does not stop at your university education. Moving forward, Jun Wei predicts that we will see “a workplace that is ever-changing in nature”. Lifelong learning will become the norm as we adapt to the changing needs of the economy.

“The idea of continuous learning should be a given. As long as we live, we should never stop learning as there is always new knowledge out there for us to explore.”

To be an effective problem solver, one has to integrate knowledge and skills from different disciplines. As a Mechanical Engineering student, Zan recognises the need to be versatile and learn new knowledge from other fields, such as “business and computer skills”.

 “To progress in their career, [people in my generation] have to be knowledgeable, hardworking, hungry for improvement and keep up to date, so that they can be a better candidate than others.”

23 October 2020