Chua Khiong Kiat wants to address IT problems in the building sector — so he’s gone back to school to learn something new
By Liling Koh
January 12, 2021
Having spent more than eight years in the building and construction industry, Mr Chua Khiong Kiat has noticed areas which can be improved upon. For example, many processes can be automated using systems and technology.
The 30-year-old hopes to create a start-up to provide IT solutions for the industry. But before that, he needs to go back to school.
Two years ago, he completed a master’s in civil engineering at the National University of Singapore. In February last year, Mr Chua returned to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis (GDipSA) at NUS-ISS (Institute of Systems Science at National University of Singapore).
The one-year full-time programme is designed for non-IT graduates who intend to pursue a new career in the IT industry, as well as current IT professionals who want to stay relevant with the latest knowledge and skills. It includes a five-month company internship, where students can apply their technical skills and domain knowledge in a real work setting.
Unfortunately, Mr Chua’s cohort was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. There were three days of lectures on campus, while the rest of the programme was conducted virtually. Mr Chua took the challenges in his stride, saying he found the experience interesting. He also believes online learning has its benefits, such as enabling students to speak up more freely during classes.
Mr Chua is currently on an internship at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He and his teammate have been assigned to revamp an outdated web-based data collection system.
His tasks include gathering user requirements, and proposing and developing feasible IT solutions — new skills which the non-IT graduate has picked up in his postgraduate programme and will prove useful when he sets up his own IT solutions firm one day.