New NUS Digital Transformation course to enhance digital skills of Toyama Prefecture government employees

A customised 10-week course covering digital transformation designed by NUS will soon equip employees of the Toyama Prefecture government in Japan with critical skills to play a larger role in digital transformation and FinTech.

The online programme, called Japan Go Digital!, was developed jointly by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and NUS FinTech Lab for the Toyama Prefecture government, in coordination with the Governor of Toyama Prefecture, Mr Hachiro Nitta. It is taught by Associate Professor (Practice) Keith B. Carter from NUS Computing’s Advanced Computing for Executives (ACE) Centre, Adjunct Professor Kotaro Tamura from the Executive Education arm of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) , and other distinguished guest lecturers.

While FinTech and other digital services have been growing exponentially in Japan, there is shortage in local human capital to meet the needs of the government and industry. Commenting on this new initiative, the Governor Policy Bureau said that the Japan Go Digital! course is one of the first steps in bridging the gap which will allow Toyama government employees to grow and guide digital transformation to help their citizens and businesses.

The online programme was launched on 7 September 2021 and was delivered over Zoom in both English and Japanese. It aims to improve participants’ capabilities in data collection and analysis, and will also boost their knowledge of digital transformation and FinTech amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The course addresses the needs of today and reflects the developments of the future,” said Assoc Prof Carter. “More so that being ready for the future, digital transformation is about delighting customers, speeding up business, increasing productivity and creating more jobs than ever before.”

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion jointly issued by ACE and LKYSPP’s Executive Education.

The course began with an introduction that addresses the importance of digitalisation, FinTech and automation focused on digitising and streamlining the COVID-19 vaccination process in Japan.

Over 10 weeks, participants will explore topics including – among other areas – digital payments, blockchain gaming, cryptocurrency, skills development and data-driven decision making and consumer behaviour analytics.

Dr Chan Mun Kitt, Senior Director of NUS Computing’s ACE Centre, said, “While IT is a great enabler, it is also critical for businesses to encourage their employees to adopt a technology-focused mindset.”

Adjunct Professor Kotaro Tamura of LKYSPP said, “The course is designed to help prepare governments and businesses to deal with automation, data, and digital experiences. It will also help the participants diversify their portfolio and enhance their careers.”

LKYSPP Vice Dean (Executive Education), Associate Professor in Practice Francesco Mancini also highlighted the need to seed talent to encourage digital transformation for national policies and regulations.

“Governments, at the highest level, need to develop eco-systems that provide regulations, infrastructure, education, and business support to make the quantum leap from old business models to new digital paradigms that can deliver new jobs and new growth opportunities,” he said.