Uni lecturer shares 3 ways studying tech at the tertiary level prepares students for the working world

How beneficial is it to study tech at university? We ask Associate Professor Roberto Dillon.

| Siti Hawa | Sponsored | May 20, 2022, 11:26 AM

It’s no secret that the demand for tech talent in Singapore is constantly growing.

According to the Robert Walters Salary Survey, strong demand and an increase in salary for tech talent is expected in 2022 due to a shortage of talent.

Thus, it is not surprising that many individuals are looking into studying tech and entering the tech domain.

If you are one of them, you might be wondering how studying tech will benefit you.

In this article, we speak to a university lecturer, Associate Professor Roberto Dillon, who shares with us three benefits of studying tech at the tertiary level.

For the uninitiated, Roberto lectures game design and project management classes at James Cook University, Singapore (JCU). 

He is also active both as an indie developer and as an academic in the field of game design and development.

His games have been showcased at various international events and have clinched top positions on Apple's App Store and Google Play across multiple countries and categories. 

One of Roberto’s games, Robin Hood: Give and Take, clinched top game in one country and top five game for kids (ages nine to 11) in 12 countries on the App Store.

Here’s what he has to share:

Build theoretical and practical foundational knowledge

Roberto pointed out that there is a difference between studying tech at the tertiary level, compared to mid-career.

Those studying tech mid-career usually take life-long learning short courses and are taught more advanced topics and tools that can be applied in a professional context.

In comparison, students studying tech at the tertiary level are able to get a more comprehensive education which encompasses both foundational and technical skills. 

This includes “foundational knowledge, both theoretical and practical, upon which to build technical skills that will serve them (students) for life”.

Roberto also emphasises the importance of foundational knowledge.

“To give a head start in a tech career to young, aspiring students, there are no shortcuts and building a solid theoretical foundation is paramount,” said Roberto.

Gain hands-on experience through lab-based classes, projects and internships

Studying tech at the tertiary level allows students to learn through lab based classes and work collaboratively on projects.

For example, universities like JCU offer a variety of lab based classes, projects and internships which gives students hands-on experience.

“Every student in our School of Science and Technology has a chance to work on industry relevant projects under close staff supervision. In addition, eligible students can also take internships in local and international companies for hands-on experience,” said Roberto.

These lab based classes, projects and internship opportunities will equip students with hands-on skills to prepare them for the working world.

Networking opportunities

Studying tech at the tertiary level also means that students will have plenty of networking opportunities.

For instance, students in relevant programmes at universities like JCU are able to become members of the Singapore Computer Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and more.

This allows students to connect and network with other like-minded individuals in the tech field.

In addition, students are often given the opportunity to meet industry experts:

“We regularly bring industry expert speakers in the classroom to share their successful stories,” said Roberto.

Lastly, students are also encouraged to seize opportunities like scholarships and keep a look out for relevant tech-related events.

“I personally encourage students to get out in the "real" world, to apply for scholarships and attend suitable conferences whenever possible.”

These opportunities can help to smoothen the transition from student to working professional.

JCU Singapore Future Scholarship 

Studying tech at university can help students to hit the ground running when they eventually embark on their tech career.

Those interested in studying tech can also consider applying for the JCU Singapore Future Scholarship (SFS), offered by the Singapore Campus of James Cook University.

The scholarship provides free education to Singapore citizens in core areas towards Singapore’s future development. 

Find out more about the JCU Singapore Future Scholarship here.


Top photo via James Cook University and Emile Perron/Unsplash

This sponsored article in collaboration with JCU made the writer learn more about the tech industry.