Data science: The next frontier , Parenting & Education News & Top Stories

The new normal, as Singapore copes with the pandemic, is scanning a QR code with your phone to check in and out of venues for contact-tracing purposes.

It is all part of the SafeEntry national digital check-in system which logs data such as names, dates and times of entry.

Soon, SafeEntry check-in data will be supplemented with even more information, such as proximity data from the Trace Together tokens which were made available to all Singapore residents on Sept 14.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, such data is potentially powerful — it can not only be used to improve the effectiveness of governments’ frontline responses, it can also help them warn vulnerable communities and better understand the impact of policies such as safe distancing and confinement. This reflects how the power of data can lead to meaningful outcomes, and this requires specialised skills and knowledge to understand and execute the process.

Those looking to stay ahead of the curve should consider Murdoch University’s Master of Science in Information Technology (Data Science), Master of Science in Information Technology (IT Management) and Double Master’s Degree, which includes both the Master of Business Administration and Master of Information Technology (Data Science) programmes, all of which are being offered in Singapore for the first time.

Dr Wang Guanjin of Murdoch University’s Information Technology discipline says the pandemic has “triggered an unprecedented demand for digital technology solutions such as mobile tracking, outbreak forecast, personalised prediction and online delivery”. As such, pursuing a Master of Science in Information Technology provides you an excellent opportunity to delve into an area of interest and expand your technical abilities.

Demand for data scientists and IT management skills

There is no escaping the importance of data today. Dr Wang says: “We are now all living in the information age, which has fast-tracked the production of electronic data. No matter which industry you work in — information technology, health, fashion, food or finance — data affects your life and career.

“Our job is to make sense of the data to make accurate predictions and simulations that can give us insights into our world like never before. Unfortunately, there is still a shortage of qualified data science professionals in the market today.”

Indeed, data scientist and engineer roles are among the Top 15 emerging jobs in Singapore according to the LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report Singapore.

Also, IT managers continue to be in demand, with attractive salaries starting from $72,029 for an early career IT manager, according to compensation software and data company PayScale.

Pursuing a Master of Science in Information Technology at Murdoch University enables IT professionals to expand their technical abilities to advance in a growth sector. PHOTO: GETTY 

Working in a growing industry

According to the Economic Development Board, data analytics is an important growth sector supporting Singapore’s Smart Nation programme. Studies show that the industry contributes at least S$1 billion to the economy each year.

Data analytics, as government portal MyCareersFuture Singapore explains, includes the processes involved in examining data sets to extract useful information via specialised systems and software. The portal states it can help businesses to raise revenues and operational efficiency, and improve marketing and customer service efforts, among other things, which could make them more competitive.

It can help businesses:

  • Raise revenues and increase operational efficiency
  • Optimise marketing campaigns and customer service efforts
  • Respond quickly to emerging marketing trends
  • Develop a competitive edge

Source: MyCareersFuture Singapore

Data scientists and IT managers are required across sectors including:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Transport (includes Land, Maritime and Aviation industries)
  • Government
  • Infocomm

Acquire the skills to qualify for leadership roles in IT

Dr Wang says that the Master of Science in Information Technology (Data Science) Degree programme from Murdoch University gives IT professionals the knowledge and skills to process big data, and students will benefit from an emphasis on Data Resources Management, Business Analytics and Data Analytics. The two-year programme also features topics such as Advanced Data Analysis, Applied Information Security Management and Foundations of Data Science.

On the other hand, students enrolled in Murdoch’s Master of Science in Information Technology (IT Management) Degree programme can gain new applied skills in knowledge management, data communications and business analysis, notes Dr Wang. “They’ll increase their IT knowledge and benefit from an emphasis on professional practice, effective communication and project management using technical and non-technical means,” she adds.

Aspiring chief information officers would do well to consider the Double Master’s Degree — Master of Business Administration – Master of Information Technology (Data Science) programme, which Dr Wang highlights as different degrees that complement each other well. Moreover, she adds that the market needs managers who are technically savvy as well as data scientists who understand how their technical skills can improve business outcomes. This two-year programme will equip students with skills and knowledge in Business Finance, International Business Negotiations, Artificial Intelligence and Data Resources Management.

Murdoch University’s Master of Science in Information Technology programmes will help IT professional develop both their technical and leadership skills. PHOTO: GETTY

Why pursue a Master of Science in Information Technology in Singapore?

Pursuing these programmes will open up exciting career paths for graduates. Singapore is already cementing its position as Southeast Asia’s leading big data hub. Facebook’s US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) data centre will open here in 2022 and Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group and Nanyang Technological University announced a multi-million dollar collaboration in 2018.

Sources further add that “the data analytics industry is central to Singapore’s economy”, and that “the value of regional big data and business analytics services is projected to reach US$27 billion by 2022.”

Dr Wang says: “Our courses are designed to help develop the students’ capabilities and competencies for both technical and leadership skills.” Soft skills, she adds, are especially important for information and communications technology (ICT) professionals, particularly in light of Covid-19 as the world starts to accept that the workplace will not quickly return to what we are used to.

“The way we work has undergone enormous changes, forcing us into different routines and new ways of connecting with colleagues, and bringing soft skills to the forefront of the workplace,” she says. “ICT professionals with these skills will be able to help themselves and their peers adapt to changes more quickly, look for opportunities in uncertain times and, ultimately, progress further in their careers.”

Visit for more information on the Master of Science in Information Technology Degree programmes from Murdoch University at Kaplan in Singapore.

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