Last updated: 30 November 2022
Published on: 21 January 2022
By Kami Navarro
In a world where ‘non-fungible tokens’ and ‘blockchain’ are the terms on everyone’s lips, there’s no denying that the digital future is upon us. From extra efficient invoicing systems to revolutionary robots, Singapore continues to ride the wave of digital transformation with new industry opportunities creating demand for homegrown tech talent.
In particular, the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative provides a plethora of programmes to train, upskill and reskill both existing tech veterans and digital newbies alike. With these in-demand tech skills in hand, professionals are poised to remain competitive in the Republic’s increasingly digital economy.
One such TeSA beneficiary is 44-year-old Mr Rohaizan Hassan, who made the switch from a career in manufacturing to digital banking thanks to the TeSA Mid-Career Advance programme. Designed to support mid-career professionals looking to pursue a career in tech, the programme hires and trains Singaporeans aged 40 and above for in-demand tech roles in areas like data analytics, software engineering and more.
Read on to find out how TeSA helped Mr Hassan enter the exciting world of banking and tech.
Out with the old, in with the new
After nearly two decades working in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, Mr Hassan revisited his lifelong interest in tech with the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. “I’ve been interested in the tech sector for quite some time, but the push to pursue a career in tech was sparked during COVID-19,” he explained, adding how he was inspired by how companies and institutions alike turned to digital tools to cope with the pandemic.
While looking for opportunities to upskill and remain competitive in an increasingly digital world, Mr Hassan stumbled upon a few openings at DBS. Offered in partnership with IMDA under the TeSA Mid-Career Advance programme, these openings were curated specifically for Singaporeans looking to make a mid-career transition into the technology space. After some quick research on the programme, Mr Hassan seized the chance to apply to a company with a strong digital focus.
“The application process with IMDA was smooth and effortless and the two-year programme timeline is good for us professionals from other industries to pick up tech skills. I found the programme interesting because it was not classroom-based but involved more on-the-job training. I learned both the tech and banking aspects of the role.”
According to Mr Hassan, one valuable skill he gained from the programme was the art of digital multitasking. During his training, he learnt how to nimbly juggle the task of data extraction while concurrently monitoring ongoing jobs to prevent delays in data processing.
Though challenging at first, he eventually blossomed into his current role as a Application Support Engineer at DBS’ Command Centre group, where he helps monitor, escalate and facilitate resolution of application production issues together with various application groups. Coupled with extensive learning resources provided by the bank as well as on-the-job mentoring, Mr Hassan was able to develop a new set of tech skills that allow him to stay in-demand as Singapore marches towards a digital future.
Embracing the spirit of lifelong learning
Given that his background in semiconductor manufacturing and engineering was vastly different from the banking industry, Mr Hassan initially faced a steep learning curve. But with a can-do attitude and a love for lifelong learning, he prevailed with the help of digital tools and online courses.
“Having to understand tech and banking terminology was challenging. Luckily, DBS helped me understand some of these terminologies when applied to production issues. I also overcame this challenge by enrolling in online courses available on the intranet.”
He also shared that his manager and colleagues gave him a helping hand by clarifying details and easing any doubts he had about the production process. By successfully shifting into a career in tech even after a fruitful stint in manufacturing, Mr Hassan is living proof that it’s never too late to reinvent oneself and chase new dreams.
IMDA, through the TeSA Mid-Career Advance programme, turns these dreams into a reality, by providing a platform for mid-career professionals to seamlessly transition into tech. At the same time, professionals like Mr Hassan add to a growing talent pool of reskilled individuals ready to contribute to Singapore’s digital future.
“The economy is always evolving and professionals need to be open to moving into new industries to stay competitive,” he concluded.
Looking to make the big move into the tech sector? The TechSkills Accelerator Mid-Career Advance programme offers opportunities for Singapore citizens aged 40 and above to be reskilled or upskilled with in-demand tech skills at established companies. Find out more about the programme here.