To cater to increasing interest in computing courses and industry demand for IT professionals, NUS announced that it will be offering almost 900 places in computing-related courses for incoming students this coming Academic Year (AY), up from 732 places previously.
The increased intake will apply to six courses, namely Business Analytics; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Data Science and Analytics; Information Security; and Information Systems.
Currently, about 2,300 NUS undergraduates are enrolled across the six courses, with 245 students from other faculties taking them as a Second Major or Minor subject.
Despite the increase in places, the University emphasised that this does not mean a compromise on quality, with students still needing to meet minimum requirements. Approximately 90 per cent of A-level holders accepted into the courses over the past few years obtained mostly As.
NUS Computing Dean Professor Mohan Kankanhalli said that it is no secret that computing is permeating all areas of the economy in the world today and this has led to a huge demand for its graduates.
“When you talk about Smart Nation, or going digital or cashless, when you talk about the underlying infrastructure, it is all computing-based. Therefore, a lot of industries are seeing a demand for computing professionals, including in sectors traditionally not considered to be computing-oriented. Fields like law are also getting transformed by computing…it’s across the board,” he said.
NUS has constantly kept up-to-date with changing industry demands. In AY 2017/18, the Bachelor of Computing in Information Systems programme offered new specialisations in Financial Technology and Digital Innovation. In AY 2018/19, the Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics programme will offer two new specialisations — Financial Analytics and Marketing Analytics.
The growing focus on computing is also evident in the number of internships available. Last year, about 400 NUS students took up computing internships, many opting to start even from their first year. “The reality is that the number of internships is a lot more than the students we have, so they’re spoilt for choice,” said Prof Kankanhalli. A career fair organised by NUS Computing matching employers with technology students has also gone from being held annually to twice a year since 2016.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Chua Ming Quan, who has applied for a place in NUS Computing, believes that computational thinking is an essential life skill and plays a role in every industry. “The diversity of the subject makes a career in computing extremely fulfilling and enriching and offers graduates a myriad of job opportunities. By increasing the places being offered in computing, more students will be able to benefit from it,” he said.