04 February 2018
Traditionally, the government has supported a sound education is the STEM subjects — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, as these subjects will always have economic value and they form the knowledge foundation of the 21st century workforce.
Nonetheless, there is increasing awareness that soft skills are also important in employers’ hiring decisions and in the continued employability of graduates, regardless of industry.
“Beyond mastery of knowledge, today’s working professional also needs to learn evergreen skills such as communication, teamwork and leadership,” says Associate Professor Themin Suwardy, Dean of Postgraduate Professional Programmes at Singapore Management University.
SMU attempts to furnish its students with these crucial soft skills by having the majority of its classes taught in an interactive, seminar-style format.
During seminars, students and professors discuss course material in a small class-size setting. Students are encouraged to participate by offering their own viewpoints, bolstered by the course material. Their perspectives are continually challenged by opinions offered by fellow students as well as by lecturers.
SMU also offers its students the unique opportunity to attend its Professional Development Series (PDS), a suite of interactive workshops intended to help students develop skills outside of their specific disciplines.