As the world continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, higher education is fast becoming the compass that guides graduates toward their professional destinations. The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), known as Singapore’s university of applied learning, released its latest graduate employment findings in the annual Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey (JAUGES), compiled from March 1 to May 14, 2023.
The survey found that 9 in 10 of SIT’s graduates gained employment within 6 months, with 86.6% securing full-time permanent (FTP) roles. Those employed in FTP positions have seen their median gross monthly salary rise to $3,950, with graduates from Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation leading the pack, commanding a median monthly salary of $5,500.
SIT’s signature Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) is pivotal in providing students with invaluable real-world experience and a seamless transition into the professional world, with 1 in 2 graduates receiving job offers from their IWSP employers even before graduation.
The numbers may speak for themselves, but the journeys of three remarkable SIT alumni — Amir Rafie, Ryan See, and Chandelle Chong — are great examples of the university’s commitment to nurturing talent at the intersection of their passions and expertise. While Amir and Ryan’s stories underscore the importance of resilience and seizing unexpected opportunities, Chandelle’s journey is a testament to the transformative force of following one’s heart and embracing lifelong dreams.
Amir’s Journey: Coding to Victory
Amir Rafie is a shining example of someone who possesses unyielding determination and is a strong proponent of constantly seeking to improve oneself. These qualities earned him the coveted title of valedictorian in his cohort. Amir graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation and a minor in Mathematics. He also made the Dean’s Honour List for six consecutive semesters.
A childhood passion for gaming ignited Amir’s educational odyssey – he yearned to understand his favourite games both as a player and creator. This journey of self-discovery had its roots in the Robotics Club during his formative years in primary school.
“I was already interested in the development process of video games, watching video documentaries online on how some of the games are made. It was also inspiring to know that Cat Quest, a small but popular video game, was created in Singapore by graduates of my degree programme,” said Amir.
Today, Amir belongs to a cohort that not only enjoys the distinction of earning the highest median gross monthly salary at $5,500, but also a remarkable 100% employment rate upon graduation. However, all that hasn’t come easy for Amir.
“One of my biggest challenges was entering this programme without any formal programming background. I was also extremely unfamiliar with the game development process and game engines. This proved to be a problem during my school projects, which involved developing games,” he said. It was his dedication and ability to adapt quickly that not only helped him conquer these challenges but also propelled him to become an outstanding graduate in his field.
Amir’s transformative experiences during his IWSP were pivotal to his success. Initially, he served as a student software engineer on a research project at SIT before landing the role of a learning tech programmer for SMRT. During his IWSP, he was involved in creating training software on Unity, a game development platform that enables users to develop, run, and display gameplay logic and graphics for use in virtual reality. Through these roles, he honed the ability to adapt swiftly to novel environments while acquiring new knowledge and skills.
After graduating, Amir joined Blackmagic Design, a distinguished digital cinema company and hardware manufacturer, as a software engineer. Despite being offered a full-time role following his IWSP stint at SMRT, Amir chose a divergent path, driven by an insatiable curiosity to explore software development in the realms of graphics and image processing.
Looking to the future, Amir harbours ambitions of carving a niche in the vibrant video game industry, aspiring to be a game programmer or producer. His personal credo is simple: to be a better version of himself with each passing day. Amir’s story is not just one of academic excellence but also a testament to the boundless possibilities that await those who dare to dream.
Ryan’s Journey: Head for the Cloud
In a world where family tradition often dictates one’s career path, Ryan See’s story is proof of the power of resilience, adaptability, and the pursuit of one’s passions. Growing up in a family where many members worked in accounting, it seemed destined that Ryan would follow suit. However, fate intervened.
Ryan’s entry into finance hit a hurdle when he could not secure a spot in an Accountancy diploma programme. Undeterred, he opted for a Diploma in Financial Informatics in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Little did he know that this would lead him to a career at the intersection of finance and technology.
While grappling with the challenges of mastering IT, he found solace in the systematic approach required to create tangible solutions. Ryan began to view every problem as an opportunity waiting to be addressed through the medium of programming. His passion for software engineering ultimately propelled him towards the Information and Communications Technology (Software Engineering) degree programme at SIT.
“I enjoy going through a systematic way to produce something usable that solves problems. It was rewarding to start with a blank piece of canvas, type what seems to be gibberish to others and produce something that solves problems,” said Ryan.
Today, Ryan is an Associate Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s foremost cloud computing provider. In this role, he applies his expertise to design innovative solutions for customers, harnessing the power of cloud technology to optimise their application workloads.
The pivotal moment in Ryan’s journey unfolded during his IWSP at GovTech. As a software engineer, he worked on a decentralised blockchain application designed to digitally issue and authenticate documents related to shipments and cross-border trades. It was later used in facilitating the world’s first live electronic transferable record (ETR) cross-border trade, supported by a statutory law framework established by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
Ryan’s remarkable journey indicates the limitless possibilities that unfold when one pursues passion and purpose. Furthermore, his initial struggle ultimately paid off, as graduates in SIT’s ICT (Software Engineering) programme command some of the highest monthly median salaries.
“I have always thought that the ‘Able to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn’ trait in the SITizen-DNA resonated with me. Especially in the ever-evolving field of IT, I’m always presented with new challenges and problems where there may not be an existing solution, but what was used to build the solution could be leveraged differently to help tackle the situation,” said Ryan.
Chandelle’s Journey: Cargo in the Sky
Since her childhood days, Chandelle Chong has been captivated by the world of aviation. Growing up as a frequent visitor to airports, she watched in awe as airplanes gracefully took flight. Little did she know that her childhood dreams would one day become her reality.
In 2022, Chandelle graduated from SIT with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Air Transport Management (ATM). The 26-year-old now lives out her passion as a Senior Associate within the Cargo Business Division at Changi Airport Group (CAG).
Chandelle, alongside her colleagues at CAG, plays a pivotal role in overseeing the intricate day-to-day operations of air cargo, collaborating closely with the air cargo community to achieve operational excellence. Her job scope focuses on spearheading digitisation initiatives and developing innovative solutions to enhance the efficiency and productivity of Singapore’s vital air cargo hub.
Chandelle’s thirst for aviation knowledge led her to enrol in aviation-related programmes at the polytechnic and university levels. At SIT, she actively participated in projects that scrutinised and improved airline operations, culminating in her final-year project — a comprehensive evaluation of Jetstar’s frequent flyer programme.
Her IWSP stint at dnata further honed her operational and management skills, specifically contributing to enhancing the company’s Hermes 5 cargo management system. “I served as a bridge between the staff, management, and the Hermes 5 team by bringing the staff’s concerns and needs to their attention,” said Chandelle. “Through this IWSP, I’ve acquired change management and people management skills. I was able to learn more about cargo operations to supplement what I learned in university.”
Chandelle’s leadership qualities have not gone unnoticed. She served as the vice president of the SIT Helix organising committee, where she led her team in a transformative shift from a physical orientation programme to a virtual event amid Covid-19 restrictions in 2021. Additionally, she demonstrated her leadership prowess as the captain of the SIT tennis team for two years, an experience that bolstered her tenacious spirit.
Much like the airplanes that once held her spellbound from behind the glass walls, Chandelle envisions her aspirations taking flight through continual opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills as she progresses in her dynamic career. Her journey is a shining example of how one’s childhood dreams, coupled with unwavering determination and leadership, can culminate in a fulfilling career that soars to new heights.
Not just an education, but a career journey
Together, these three stellar graduates represent a tapestry of possibilities nurtured by SIT, fostering a diverse community of graduates who embody the spirit of adaptability, resilience, and limitless aspiration. Their varied experiences remind us that the pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds, and there is endless potential in those who dare to dream beyond the ordinary.
With a commitment to real-world experiences and a legacy of graduates who excel in diverse fields, SIT can offer you a unique path to your dreams. Start your journey with SIT by visiting https://www.singaporetech.edu.sg/undergraduate-programmes.