4 August 2009 - Remarks By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister, Ministry Of Information, Communications And The Arts, As Guest of Honour At The National Infocomm Scholarship Award Ceremony 2009, The Asian Civilisations Museum
Remarks By RADM(NS) Lui Tuck Yew, Acting Minister, Ministry Of Information, Communications And The Arts, As Guest Of Honour At The National Infocomm Scholarship Award Ceremony 2009, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 At 5.00 pm At The Asian Civilisations Museum
Scholars and parents,
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. It gives me great pleasure to join you today at the annual award ceremony for the National Infocomm Scholarship. I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the 26 scholarship recipients. You have been carefully selected and you have the potential to become infocomm leaders of Singapore.
2. With the award of 26 scholarships today, a total of 181 National Infocomm Scholarship awards have been made since the launch of the NIS in 2004. This is an encouraging response to the NIS which aims to build a strong pipeline of future infocomm leaders.
3. The NIS is an attractive scholarship offered in partnership with the private sector. This must be due, in part, to the unique and conscientious mentoring and nurturing opportunities which this scholarship programme offers. The internship and subsequent employment opportunities, offered by leading infocomm companies, multinational corporations and government agencies, have helped to build a pool of competent infocomm manpower. For example, Lin Zhihao, one of our National Infocomm scholars who recently graduated from NUS, was attached to Symantec India from September 2008 to February this year. During his six-month stint, Zhihao became part of the infocomm security response team that engaged in challenging jobs, such as analysing hackers' behaviour to create solutions that can counter malicious online threats and attacks. Another scholar, Wang Mo, had the opportunity in 2007 to serve her attachment at NCS's Chengdu office in China where she played a pivotal role in the development of a HR system and a portal to promote partnership for the enterprises in the infocomm industry.
4. Like Zhihao and Wang Mo, by being a National Infocomm Scholar today, you are part of an industry that is dynamic, exciting and rewarding. The ICT sector in 2008 registered $58 billion in revenue, a 12.4 per cent increase over 2007. It is a broad-based industry that offers multi-faceted career opportunities. For example, you could be part of a team managing a complex infocomm system that drives the operations of the busiest sea or air ports, or, you could be a techno-strategist and utilise your technical knowledge to develop sophisticated IT systems to assist doctors in providing efficient and effective care to patients. Infocomm is a key enabler in many, if not all sectors, from retail, financial services and healthcare to education, defence and government.
5. As you embark on your University education, I would also like to encourage you to consider three things that can help maximise your experience as an infocomm scholar.
6. Firstly, besides focusing on your studies, I urge you to also sign up for practical courses and participate in projects that will challenge you to better conceptualise and develop innovative infocomm solutions. Seek an internship with your sponsor organisation or through your university. Internships present eye-opening experiences and teach you lessons beyond what you can learn in school. You can also acquire industry-relevant skills while studying. As an NIS scholar, you can choose to attend development courses ranging from vendor-specific expertise to the soft business skills. This will serve to further enhance your professional capabilities beyond your university education.
7. Secondly, I would also like to encourage you to stay abreast of the latest infocomm developments and keep pace with technology changes so that you can be in a better position to benefit from potential career opportunities. For example, IDA, together with the industry, has recently identified key emerging infocomm segments that require high-end manpower capabilities both globally and locally. Some of these niche technology areas include application development, Cloud Computing, Green IT, infocomm security and network engineering. So do take note of industry developments and leverage on opportunities as you may have to prepare yourself for a rapidly-evolving industry.
8. Lastly, we encourage you to stay in touch with your sponsor organisations and IDA, to get their advice on career issues and key developments in the infocomm space, during and after you graduate. The National Infocomm Scholarship has an impressive line up of partnering organisations who are leaders in their respective infocomm and end-user sectors. Do reach out to these industry stalwarts to grow your capabilities, enhance your infocomm knowledge and build your infocomm network. In this regard, I am pleased to note that IDA will be inviting you to regular networking sessions and industry events, including during your university vacation periods.
9. I would like to thank the partner organisations of the National Infocomm Scholarship, for without them, the success of NIS would not be possible. Even during the current economic situation, you continue to stay committed to investing, grooming and developing our scholars. This testifies to your conviction that ensuring a pipeline of infocomm talent is critical to the continued success of your organisation.
10. Once again, I congratulate all of our National Infocomm Scholars today. I wish you every success in your studies and an exciting and rewarding infocomm career ahead.
11. Thank you.