NTU's first ICT fair welcomes students from across faculties

24 Sep 2018

By Osmond Chia

Belichia Chan, 22, from Crimsonlogic, believes that the ICT fair pres ents an opportunity for employers to sell a career, and not the company.

NTU held its very first information and communications technology (ICT) fair on 6 Sep, following the increase in demand for employees from the sector.

The fair, which was held at the Nanyang Auditorium saw more than 1,000 student attendees from different disciplines.

Ms See Wai Yen, 40, an NTU career consultant who specialises in the ICT industry, said the job market for fresh graduates in ICT is booming, especially with Singapore’s Smart Nation and digitalisation push.

“The fact that we can have an entire day dedicated to the ICT industry indicates the market trend and where jobs are wanted,” she added.

“We wanted to clear up the misconception that the fair was catered solely for students in ICT-related courses such as electrical and electronic engineering or computer science,” she said.

About 70 companies, including financial technology firms Mastercard and Visa, and social media giant Facebook were present at the fair.

Many company representatives collected resumes from students and answered queries on career prospects.

The companies were encouraged to reach out to students across different faculties to highlight the industry’s inclusiveness, said Ms See. Beyond jobs like software engineering and programming, many marketing and business development positions were also on offer.

Ms Teresa Poi, 28, a spokesperson for artificial intelligence company Yitu Technology, said: “Our company’s main objective is to look for algorithm and software developers in artificial intelligence, but we are searching for marketing and strategy employees from business and humanities faculties as well.”

Many still hesitant

Nevertheless, some students from non ICT-related courses are still hesitant to venture out of their fields of study.

One such student is final-year School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering student Micko Tan, 22, who visited the fair as she was interested in technology and the jobs on offer. However, she found that the jobs on offer were too technical for her comfort.

“I wouldn’t dare to venture into a field out of my course. I feel more at ease being in my area of expertise, so I don’t lose out and start at a disadvantage,” she said.

First-year Nanyang Business School student Muskaan Goyal, 18, also felt she would be at a disadvantage if she applied for an internship position at the ICT firms as she was not familiar with technology.

“At this moment, I don’t have much of a background in tech. I might have to take a few modules on computing before I feel I am ready to try it out,” she said.

But telecommunications company Ericsson’s booth representative, Ms Charlotte Tan, 24, encouraged students to keep an open mind.

The School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences alumnus, who graduated with a degree in mathematics, decided to pursue a career as an integration engineer upon graduation.

“While it was something new, I told myself not to be worried about judgement and be willing to learn,” she said.

“What you learn in school is only a small part of what is possible, so don’t limit yourself and think you’re at a disadvantage.”

Some open to options

Other students, however, have recognised the shift to the ICT sector and want to take this opportunity to find jobs outside of their fields.

Final-year School of Humanities student Charmain Kua, who specialises in linguistics, was at the fair in search of job opportunities in e-commerce. The 22-year-old said she wanted to find out more about the workplace culture at these companies, and whether she would feel comfortable working there.

Another student, Violet Zhang, 22, from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, visited booths like MasterCard, Amazon and Facebook.

Even though she specialises in journalism and broadcast, the final-year student said she wanted to “explore what was outside of the communications industry.”

“Every industry needs marketing and other communications roles so going into an unfamiliar industry does not intimidate me,” she said.

Career consultant Ms See said she hopes to see more students going out of their comfort zones, adopting a positive mindset and being prepared to learn on the job.

“Don’t be misled to believe that you can’t do anything beyond what you study,” she added.