Mr Darren Ng, who was awarded the NCPS (now known as SG:Digital Scholarship), believes in continuous learning
Jan 10, 2019
Most people stop after one postgraduate degree. Not Mr Darren Ng, who was awarded the National Cybersecurity Postgraduate Scholarship (NCPS), which is now part of the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship offered by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), to do a Master of Science in Security by Design (MSSD) at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
The 27-year-old completed his postgraduate study last year, and enjoyed the course so much he plans to take on another master’s degree in either mathematical finance or business administration.
Now working at sovereign wealth fund GIC as an associate under the business partnership and solutions-global trading unit team, Mr Ng shares a little of what the experience was like.
What inspired you to pursue the MSSD offered by SUTD?
I was an undergraduate student at SUTD but my bachelor’s degree had been focused on artificial intelligence.
I wanted to explore and gain expertise in an area of computer science that was relatively new to me.
The master’s programme touched on what I was interested in — blockchain technology which is fundamentally based on the Merkle tree data structure. The Merkle tree data structure is also applicable to cyber security.
Moreover, the master’s programme also covered foundations in cryptography such as hashing algorithms.
What modules or lessons in particular did you find compelling?
The domain of cyber security is large. My interests are mainly in systems security and advanced secure software engineering principles.
I have taken courses relating to the fundamentals of blockchain technology, like the Merkle tree data structure and how it can be applied as an alternative to the current standard of certificate authentication.
These modules are also relevant when designing complex technological trading systems within the financial sector.
Why do you find it necessary to pursue further studies?
Firstly, graduate courses dive deeper into the field one is studying. It provides a specialised set of domain knowledge that an undergraduate level does not.
For careers such as mine, having an in-depth quantitative degree allows me to understand other quantitative concepts with greater ease. It also allows me to apply what I have learnt in college at work.