SINGAPORE: TAKING ENGINEERING EDUCATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Singapore – one of the leading countries for quality, transnational education in Asia, is an attractive choice for overseas education for international students. Engineering majors have a wide range of specialisations, offering diploma and undergraduate students a myriad of career opportunities worldwide. Indeed, job prospects in engineering are getting brighter and engineering graduates are highly sought after, feels Dr Tham Yieng Wei the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

A dynamic Engineering sector in India

The Indian Engineering sector has witnessed a remarkable growth over the last few years driven by increased investments in infrastructure and industrial production. The engineering sector, being closely associated with the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, is of strategic importance to India’s economy.

India on its quest to become a global superpower has made significant strides towards the development of its engineering sector, appointing an Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) as the apex body in charge of promotion of engineering goods, products and services from India. Spending on engineering services is projected to increase to US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020.

The capital goods & engineering turnover in India stood close to US$ 125.4 billion towards the end of 2016 – 2017. India exports its engineering goods mostly to the US and Europe, and now also Japan and South Korea, as well as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, which have recently emerged as major destinations for India’s engineering exports.

The engineering sector in India attracts immense interest from foreign players as it enjoys a comparative advantage in terms of manufacturing costs, technology and innovation. Coupled with favourable regulatory policies and growth in the manufacturing sector, foreign players have been encouraged to invest in India. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into India’s miscellaneous mechanical and engineering industries stood at around US$3,296.07 million between April 2000 to December 2016, according to data released by the Department of Industries Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Why Singapore for an Engineering Education?

Local universities and Private Education Institutions (PEIs) in Singapore, alongside the government provide numerous programmes and incentives in promoting the field of engineering and developing talent for the industry. These measures include scholarships for local and international students to pursue higher education in engineering, new career paths for engineers, and a boost in the salaries of engineers as well as a clear career advancement roadmap.

Students from India can gain a quality, internationally accredited engineering degree in Singapore with top private education institutions. Just in April this year, Singapore was ranked No. 1 in all the test subjects of the Programme for International Student Assessment, ahead of school systems across Asia, Europe, Australasia and the Americas.

It may be a small country, but in higher education and research, Singapore is a big hitter. A whole series of global reports have recognized Singapore as a world leader in research and innovation over the past few decades. In recent years, it’s been ranked seventh in the 2015 INSEAD Global Innovation Index, third in IMD’s 2014 World Competitiveness Rankings and second in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2014-15.

Within this context of global competitiveness and innovation, local universities and PEIs in Singapore are also gaining growing recognition in the global education market. Singapore’s two leading universities are now both ranked within the world’s top 15, and PEIs are offering quality internationally accredited academic programmes in partnership with top global universities. The city itself is ranked 14th in the QS Best Student Cities 2017, reflecting its combination of educational excellence, high quality of life, and diverse student community.

Engineering programmes offered by local universities and PEIs provide a well-balanced combination of theory and practice, with well-equipped engineering labs and workshops, industry-standard machinery, and highly qualified and industry experienced teaching faculties.

An engineer’s training equips one to be a strategic systems thinker and a value creator. It also encompasses transferable skills like problem-solving, and numerical and analytical skills. These skills make engineers highly valued in non-engineering sectors too, opening career opportunities for them in finance and banking, even policy development.

High-tech multinational companies based locally have leveraged the engineering talent base here. Seagate, a leader in storage solutions, has opened an R&D Centre for 500 researchers to focus on developing the next-generation 2.5-inch storage drives. Keppel Corporation, an offshore engineering company has established a corporate research laboratory with the aim to create new solutions while nurturing research engineers for the offshore industry. In addition, young engineering graduates are also increasingly drawn to joining or creating technology start-ups.

Such companies, including technology start-ups with their potential to grow globally, creates many rewarding career opportunities for young engineers willing to take up global challenges. Additionally, opportunities for engineering graduates will continue to grow as more investment is poured into research and more effort expended on technology commercialisation.

In a nutshell…

From a broader perspective, engineering helps make lives better. There’s no doubt that engineers play a crucial role in transforming the global economy and our society; and so, the right education and access to opportunities can set your ambitions to becoming a global engineer on the right path towards success.

(The author is the Head of School of Engineering at MDIS)

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