After spending 17 years in Singapore, I felt that Penang was calling me; she has always attracted renegades, problem-solvers and visionaries and it felt right to come home. My career in the digital technology sector has included stretches as a software application engineer, digital product designer, product manager, adjunct lecturer and startup founder. I must also add that my experiences as an early key employee for two notable tech startups have given me the edge to thrive in today’s digital economy - Viki.com was acquired by Rakuten for USD200 million and RedMart.com was acquired by Alibaba’s Lazada for USD30 million.
Although I benefitted from my life and career experiences in Penang and Singapore, I feel that the role of my formal education didn’t prepare me adequately for the tech workplace. I recognised early on that learning by doing was the key to my growth and I believe that today’s tertiary education pedagogy is outdated. There is a severe mismatch in quality of tech graduates being produced versus the actual demands of the tech industry. As the rate of technological development continues to accelerate faster than traditional schools and universities can deal with, certain subjects become obsolete once students graduate from a 3- or 4-year programme. These are the reasons that motivated me to start Forward School.
Today’s digital economy requires a rare combination of qualities: advanced technical skills, a high-level of foresight and adaptability.
Our mission at Forward School is to equip our students with the necessary digital and future skills, to nurture confident, competent and imaginative professionals brave enough to pursue their ambitions.
At Forward School, we do two things extremely well. First, we are committed to getting you hired by training you in the digital skills and confidence you need. Second, we can accelerate your career by teaching and exposing you to new tools and methods so that you can produce results and bring greater value to your workplace.
National and international demand for students with innovative digital and creative skills will only continue to expand as industry 4.0 (i4.0) sweeps the globe. The challenge is not just for individuals to keep pace with technological developments but for learning institutions to lead the way. I set out to design a new, revolutionary technology school that I wish had existed when I was a student. I am glad it now exists in Penang and soon it will also be found throughout South-East Asia’s major cities.