Informatics Academy
Features | Further Education

Encouraging Professional
And Educational Development

Juggling a highly-demanding job and a part-time education can be challenging. Informatics Academy graduate Hanif Norman tells us how he managed to overcome his challenges, with both his determination and the assistance of Informatics Academy.

As  an institution that prides itself on its strong global presence in Information Technology education, Informatics Academy has come a long way since it was founded over 30 years ago. Its City Campus in Singapore, which recently shifted to the National Library Building, offers both part-time as well as full-time programmes. These programmes range from Diplomas to Postgraduate Degrees and are offered in partnership with several UK universities to provide more opportunities for students to grow academically.

In addition, school activities such as industry trips are incorporated into students' curriculum, allowing them the chance to hone their technical skills as well as receive a well-rounded and eventful education.

An essential education

30-year-old Hanif Norman, who is currently working full-time with ComWorth Solutions, a Japanese telecommunications distributor and reseller, is one such beneficiary – he took up a part-time Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science and Software Engineering (Top Up) at Informatics Academy. The programme is awarded by Oxford Brookes University (Ranked 39th overall in the UK, Guardian University Guide 2015).

Hanif was determined that a degree would be essential for his career development, and wanted a degree that is greatly aligned with his passions. Even as a 14-year-old, Hanif had already determined his future career path as one that would be related to software engineering. After all, he had gained prior experience with QBASIC (a structured computer-based programming language) when he created his own role-play computer game in primary school.

Hanif adds, “The part-time degree programme allowed me to upgrade my knowledge and skills in my chosen field and transfer them to my career. Furthermore, a degree would be a minimum requirement if I ever apply for a visa in the event of a future job posting in Japan.”

Hanif Nor man

Designation: Senior Software Engineer,
ComWorth Solutions Pte Ltd

Studied: Bachelor of Science (Honours)
in Computer Science and Software
Engineering (Top Up) at Informatics Academy,
awarded by Oxford Brookes University, UK.

Hanif tells us that the relatively small lecturer-to-student ratio (with an average of 1:40 for practical-based lessons and 1:50 for lecture-based lessons) allows students greater interaction with lecturers. The wealth of knowledge that these lecturers brought to the table also enhanced Hanif’s learning journey, in addition to his holistic and judiciously-planned academic practicum.

Student-centric dedication

As a Senior Software Engineer with a busy work schedule, Hanif was frequently on business trips during the academic term. Thankfully, Informatics Academy put its utmost dedication in ensuring that his studies were completed smoothly and with minimal hassle.

This is exemplified by lecturers' commitment to ensure that lecture notes, slides and essential lesson recordings are uploaded onto the convenient online student portal. This portal is extremely valuable for students, especially those who hold demanding careers or make frequent trips out of the country. Students who enrol into Informatics Academy can thus be assured of being provided with multiple platforms to learn while they effectively progress in their careers.

Creating fond memories

Even though Hanif has already graduated from Informatics Academy, he still holds many fond memories of his time in the classroom. For instance, his Algorithms and Advanced Data Structure lecturer made effort to empower and motivate students, especially in instances when concepts were hard to grasp. Describing him as “enthusiastic and energetic”, Hanif enjoyed the module thanks to his lecturer’s teaching style.

He fondly recalls, “He was a very 'fun' lecturer, always making lessons engaging to help us better understand what he taught. Every single one of us had to participate – even if you attempted to hide in a corner or at the back of the class, it would be useless because he would point you out and get you involved too!”

"The part-time degree programme allowed me to upgrade my knowledge and skills in my chosen field and transfer them to my career."

In addition, his shared modules (for example, the Software Project Management module) with students from other courses made group assignments more exciting and memorable. Hanif elaborates, “I always enjoyed listening to the interesting facts my group members shared about their respective courses. It was indeed eye-opening to glean meaningful insights from beyond my course offerings.”

“Overall, I’m very glad I chose to pursue my part-time studies at Informatics Academy. I would never exchange my time there for any other academic experience,” he concludes with a smile.