25 Mar 2017

Going further with higher educationMDIS in the News

The demand for higher education in Singapore will continue to see exponential growth, says Ms Jesline Wong, director of communications at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS).

"This corresponds with more sectors transforming themselves and equipping workers with relevant skills," she adds.

According to Ms Wong, 42, the private education sector will continue to play a role in providing higher education for the working adults.

"This is especially prevalent in adult learners who may feel that equipping themselves with a degree or master's degree will open doors to career advancement," she says.

The majority of MDIS students are working professionals studying part-time, says Ms Wong.

While there are no age restrictions when it comes to motivated learning, most adult learners are in the 25 to 40 age group, she adds.

Business courses are popular among local and international students at MDIS, as are tourism and hospitality and media and communications programmes.

Stepping stone to success

For many adult learners, the prospect of going back to school after years in the workplace is an enticing one. Apart from earning a good qualification, further education confers other benefits.

"Your network is also your net worth. Who you know is as important as what you know. Further education helps you build your connections and establish mutually beneficial and enduring relationships, that will, in turn help you grow professionally. It also helps you to expand your sphere of influence and seize opportunities," says Ms Wong.

Further education also helps to sharpen creative and critical thinking skills, which will help improve a person's marketability in a time of rapid global changes and disruptive technology.

"A degree can provide benefits such as enhanced personal development through soft skills learnt in school and self-actualisation through the pursuit of lifelong learning," she says.

Useful checklist

For those thinking about going back to school, Ms Wong suggests compiling a checklist before they make a commitment.

The most important question to address is whether you have time. Most basic degree programmes take three years, while a master's degree programme usually takes one to two year.s If you are studying part-time, it will take longer.

There is also the opportunity cost, especially for those who want to study full-time. Some programmes, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), can be costly, and those considering it may have to manage their finances prudently or seek financial aid such as sponsorship.

"Taking up a graduate or post-graduate programme is a big commitment in terms of time and money, so you should carefully consider how you will be able to benefit from it,"advises Ms Wong.

Once you have decided to study, start researching the programmes that interest you, as well as the institutions that offer them.

"A reputable or internationally accredited institution ensures that you receive an education that is current, industry-relevant and equips you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace," says Ms Wong.

Home ground advantage

Before embarking on a new learning journey, students should consider the advantages of furthering their education locally.

"Singapore has a strong brand name in education, with many top local and global universities in the country. Being at the centre of Asia and a financial hub, opportunities here and in the region abound for graduates," says Ms Wong.

Singapore's strong business fundamentals continue to attract foreign companies, investors and entrepreneurs, she adds.

"All these add up to increased opportunities for graduates and professionals here."


Source: The Straits Times, 25 March 2017 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.