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Singapore is well on its way to becoming a Smart Nation with the rise of automation and Industry 4.0. In order to get there, however, more skilled engineers are needed in the electronics and info-communications technology (ICT) sectors.

As a specialized university that trains talent for the digital economy, this is where DigiPen (Singapore) comes in. DigiPen (Singapore) offers five bachelor’s degree programs, out of which three are jointly offered together with Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). The three joint programs include two degree programs in computer science and one in engineering — the BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation, BS in Computer Science in Interactive Media and Game Development, and BEng in Systems Engineering (ElectroMechanical Systems), also known as the SEEMS program.

Graduates from all three programs are trained in computer science theory, physics, and mathematics. They are also strong programmers and developers who are able to apply their knowledge to our nation’s growing semiconductor industry, thanks in large part to DigiPen (Singapore)’s applied learning approach. As part of the curricula, students from our joint degree programs must undergo the Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP). The IWSP is an uninterrupted, eight-month (two trimesters) work placement program that provides students with unique learning opportunities, allowing them to integrate theory and practice in a professional work setting. In doing so, students develop deep specialist skills in their chosen fields. As part of their IWSP studies, DigiPen (Singapore) students have gained valuable experience at electronics and ICT companies both large and small, including semiconductor manufacturers.

An area where DigiPen (Singapore) graduates are poised to shine in is research and development (R&D). SEEMS graduates, for example, are able to work as firmware developers. Their knowledge of how hardware and software components integrate help them to easily develop and optimize system-on-chip (SoC) integrated circuits. SEEMS graduates can also work in the processing and fabrication of wafer chips as test or process engineers, thanks to their extensive knowledge in handling complex mechanical and electromechanical systems.

In 2019 alone, seven SEEMS students completed their IWSP at various semiconductor companies. Jacky Chan and Jarren Ling were at ASM Front-End Manufacturing Singapore; Andy Lam and Neo Yi Feng worked and studied at GlobalFoundries Singapore; and Keryl Tham, Sayyed Amir Zaini, and Tang Jing Guang were at Skyworks Global. During their IWSP attachments, these students helped to enhance the wafer etching process, facilitate automated data collection during statistical process control, and assisted in the fault detection of etching equipment.

Additionally, DigiPen (Singapore) graduates are equipped to contribute toward the application of semiconductor chips for new technologies. For example, when it comes to virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and computer vision applications, DigiPen (Singapore) graduates are able to convert software code or designs into physical electronic chips.

As the electronics and ICT sectors continue to grow, DigiPen (Singapore) remains committed to providing a hands-on education that will train skilled talent for the digital economy.