Realising full potential and achieving success in transitioning to software engineering


Odelia Tan

Business Intelligence Application Developer at Elixir Technology
Completed SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme in Software Engineering

Please share with us your professional life’s journey and at which point in your career did you aspire to pursue this programme?

I embarked on my professional journey with a strong background in banking and finance. However, in 2021, I recognised the growing importance of technology in shaping the future of finance. While self-studying programming after completing an intensive course in artificial intelligence, I realised my passion lay in creating innovative software solutions. That was when I decided to pursue the SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme in Software Engineering offered by PaCE@NTU. It offered me a structured path to transition into a new career, one that combined my financial expertise with software development. Despite being unemployed at the time, I saw this as a valuable investment in my future.

What attracted you to your chosen programme at PaCE@NTU?

My decision to choose PaCE@NTU's programme was heavily influenced by the reputation and prestige associated with NTU. As a graduate from a private university, I saw this programme as an opportunity to enhance my credentials by earning a qualification from a globally renowned institution. NTU's strong reputation in computer science and engineering further solidified my choice. It was not just about the knowledge; it was about the recognition and credibility that comes with an NTU programme. Being part of a top-tier university's programme has been an enriching experience that has opened doors and opportunities I previously only dreamed of.

Which aspect of this programme did you like the most?

The highlight of this programme for me was undoubtedly the hands-on projects at the end of each module. These projects were not merely academic exercises but real-world simulations that challenged us to apply our knowledge effectively. Additionally, being part of a programme alongside professionals with industry experience was a game-changer. It exposed me to industry best practices, real-world processes, and networking opportunities that you cannot replicate in a purely academic setting. The blend of theoretical learning and practical application, along with exposure to industry standards, made this programme exceptionally enriching.

Has this programme benefitted you in your career switch or career development?

Absolutely, this programme has been instrumental in my career switch. The inclusion of career coaching sessions from the programme's inception was a strategic move. It prepared us for the job search early on, equipping us with the skills and mindset required to navigate the competitive job market. This early coaching significantly increased my chances of securing a job swiftly before completing the programme. The comprehensive curriculum, coupled with career support, ensured I not only learnt the technical skills but also how to effectively market myself as a valuable asset in the industry.

How did you apply what you've learnt from this programme?

The key takeaway from this programme is the commitment to continuous learning and resilience. It is vital to recognise that everyone's learning journey is unique, and comparison to others can be counterproductive. I have applied this by constantly seeking new challenges, staying curious, and never giving up when faced with difficulties. I have learnt that it is essential to strike a balance between continuous learning and taking breaks when needed. Also, reaching out for help and collaborating with peers is a strength, not a weakness. The programme emphasised the importance of a supportive community, and I have carried that lesson with me.

Will you recommend PaCE@NTU’s programmes to your friends and family?

Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly recommend PaCE@NTU's programmes to anyone with a burning desire to learn and grow. My journey with PaCE@NTU, from course registration to completion, has been incredibly smooth and well-structured. The support I received from the administrative staff and career coaches at NTU has been outstanding. The quality of education and the opportunities for personal and professional development are truly remarkable. If you are looking to invest in your future and expand your horizons, PaCE@NTU is the ideal platform. It is not just about education; it is about transformation and realising your full potential.