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The theme of this year’s EDspiration Career Seminar - The Future of Jobs - was well impressed upon students as they attended sessions with distinguished speakers and visited scholarship booths set up at the Concourse to expose them to post-junior college options in various educational institutes. The process of choosing universities and deciding on career paths is one filled with doubt and uncertainty for most students, and even more so in today’s rapidly-developing world. As made known to students before EDspiration began, the 4th industrial revolution has changed the way we work and think, making it even more essential than before that students are prepared to make informed decisions about their future paths. The invited speakers, all well-established professionals in their respective fields, spoke to students, aiding them in making these decisions as well as addressing their concerns and doubts by relating their own personal experiences. The speakers included Mr Jamin Tan (Policy Advisor from Google), Mr Chang Zi Qian (Co-Founder of Intellex), Ms Zheng Dixin (Assistant Brand Manager of Procter & Gamble), Ms Goh Chiew Tong (Digital Journalist of Channel NewsAsia) besides others. Universities such as National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also sent representatives to advise NYJCians about the university application process and course requirements.

“The speakers were confident and cleared a lot of my doubts,” said Joseph Tan (1728), with regard to the panel discussion jointly hosted by NUS’s Faculty of Arts and Social Science and Yale-NUS. The university representatives keenly introduced campus facilities and details of different courses and programmes. They also answered students’ doubts regarding career prospects for arts degree holders with encouraging and reassuring words. Speakers convinced students that the skills picked up would be useful in the upcoming ‘innovative world’. “Interdisciplinary work is the key to innovation - it would never be purely scientific or arts-focussed,” stated Associate Professor Loy Hui Chieh, Vice Dean of External Relations and Student Life, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (NUS).

Similar reassuring sentiments were echoed by other speakers. “Dr Shim said that being passionate about video games helped her with programming and codes later on. That really resonated with me,” said Tan Yun Han (1728), who had attended the panel discussion on Information Technology courses offered by SMU and NUS. A common topic that was raised during the university panel discussions was the uncertainty of what courses to pursue in the future, and whether chosen courses would be practical or allowed one to be employable. Regarding this, speakers replied with similar convictions: passion, interest and knowing one’s strengths are most essential in choosing and preparing for one’s future path.

In addition to the talks and panel discussions, overseas education and scholarship booths were set up to inform students of some of the opportunities available after the ‘A’ Levels. There were 22 booths in total, including scholarship booths by the Republic of Singapore Air Force and Singapore National Cooperative Federation.  Overseas universities such as the University of Melbourne and the German Academic Exchange Service (DADD) as well as local universities such as Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), NTU, NUS and SMU set up booths as well. These booths were especially beneficial to students who might not have heard of certain scholarships or considered an overseas education. Thus, they learnt they have more options now.

At the end of the day, we believe NYJCians gained a much clearer picture of the paths they wish to carve for themselves and left with less doubt. The event was greatly beneficial in providing plenty of resources to help NYJCians decide on their future courses of study. Not only were they less worried about future jobs, they were also more aware of how to move forward despite the uncertainty of the future.                                                                                                                                                                 

Iffah Umairah Md Farid (1728)