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Singapore is one of the world’s most developed free-market economies with dirigiste characteristics, such as advanced infrastructure, world-class financial services, and innovative manufacturing.
The country also has no foreign debt and a consistently positive surplus. However, one factor most people don’t talk about is Singapore’s highly educated and skilled workforce.
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As of 2023, the country tops the world for highly skilled workers, especially in finance and STEM areas. Therefore, securing a job and building a career can be quite challenging due to the highly competitive landscape.
Hence, the majority of Singaporean residents, especially graduates and young professionals, need to develop a continuous learning mindset to succeed in their endeavours.
This is where SkillsFuture comes in to offer Singaporeans above 25 the resources they need to develop new and relevant skills for career development.
In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about SkillSFuture Singapore so you too can accelerate your development journey.
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What is SkillsFuture?
SkillsFuture Singapore is a government-sponsored program that allows citizens to acquire new skills and diversify their expertise.
The national initiative is available to students and young professionals above age 25 in every different professional field, from engineering to finance, education, medicine, and social sciences.
Moreover, it is available to professionals of all education levels, from high school graduates to ITE/Diploma grads, and Bachelors/Masters’s degree holders. Simply put, there’s a resource for everybody.
For instance, a young engineer looking to make a mid-career switch to management can opt for finance and project management courses. Similarly, a student graduating from high school can pick up a new skill to find part-time work in a field of interest.
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The core purpose of SkillsFuture Singapore is to equip citizens with the mindset of lifelong learning.
By mastering different skills, professionals of all levels and in any field can make more informed decisions related to their careers.
It sets up a system of continuous learning and training that helps learners unlock new levels of performance in their primary roles or adopt new, more advanced roles.
Today, anyone can benefit from the SkillsFuture program. However, statistics claim that the program is most beneficial for:
- Job seekers
- Small business owners
- Fresh graduates and postgraduates
- Entry/mid-level employees
- Secondary school students
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Understanding SkillsFuture Credits and How to Claim Them
When you sign up for an account on the SkillsFuture website, you receive $500 worth of SkillsFuture credits. Using this credit, you can purchase any SkillsFuture-approved course.
Moreover, the credit has a 5-year expiration timeline so you don’t have to worry about using it right away if you don’t want to. Plus, you can also add your own cash to fund courses once your credit runs out.
Moreover, professionals aged 40-60 can apply for an additional $500 credit top-up for select reskilling programs till 2025.
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To claim your SkillsFuture credit, you simply have to:
1) Sign up for a new account using your SingPass and apply for any SkillsFuture-approved course from the official provider.
2) From your SkillsFuture account, click on the Submit a Claim Button. Make sure you have the transaction invoice or receipt of the course enrollment.
3) Look for the course you enrolled in via the SkillsFuture Database and decide how much credit you want to use.
4) Upload the invoice and other supporting documents and submit the form.
SkillsFuture will then transfer the amount to the course provider.
How to Get Started with SkillsFuture
If you’re ready to take the first step towards upskilling or reskilling, here’s a simple guide to getting started with SkillsFuture:
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Set Your Learning Goals
Before opting for any course, you need to ask yourself some important questions related to your learning goals. For instance, what are your professional goals? Why do you need to reskill or upskill?
Answering these questions and more will help you discover your purpose and narrow your learning path. For example, if you aspire to work in the retail industry, you can learn about marketing, finance, eCommerce, etc.
Once you have a clear picture of what you want to do, you must set short-term and long-term goals to stay on track.
Your short-term goal could be to master marketing in the next six months. Similarly, your long-term goal could be to apply for retail jobs in Singapore.
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Assess Your Skills and Capabilities
Next, you need to discover your niche and assess your capabilities. You can choose which courses will benefit you the most by learning about your strengths and weaknesses.
SkillsFuture also offers a RIASEC test to help people learn more about their skills, interests, and personality.
Find the Right Course
SkillsFuture offers a mountain of credit-eligible courses you can opt for. Therefore, you can easily get spoiled for choice.
Fortunately, the platform offers several features that can help simplify and accelerate your decision-making process.
For instance, the site allows you to compare courses based on ratings from previous participants. Moreover, the search bar allows you to make specific course searches, which can further refine your choice.
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Sign Up For a Course
After shortlisting different courses, you need to check their schedules to prevent any clashes. You can access the course provider’s website to learn about the course dates and other details like fees.
Once you’ve made your decision, you simply have to register for a course and then submit a claim on the SkillsFuture website.
Finding the Right SkillsFuture Courses – A Quick Guide
Did you know that there are currently over 28,000 credit-eligible courses on the SkillsFuture site in every sector? So, even though you have $500 to spend on courses, finding the best course is no walk in the park.
We recommend opting for the SkillsFuture Series, which provides a wide selection of short, industry-specific training programs in digital marketing, data analytics, digital media, and education.
However, if you’re looking to take your time and pick courses with proper research, we recommend considering the following factors before picking any option:
The reason SkillsFuture offers a $500 credit is that most courses aren’t free. Once you open the site, you should see how much each course costs next to them.
If you’re looking to take multiple courses, you should pick your options more carefully. Of course, you can fund courses with your own money if you run out of credit.
We recommend looking for Workforce Singapore-approved courses. These options have been subsidized by the government to make them more affordable for graduates and young professionals with modest budgets.
SkillsFuture allows learners to opt for courses full-time or part-time.
This makes it easier for learners, especially working professionals, to manage their time and responsibilities while continuing to upgrade their skills and capabilities.
Moreover, part-time courses are available during different periods during the day, evening, or even night.
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Most courses on SkillsFuture are available in English. However, you can find courses in other languages, including Chinese, Malay, and Singaporean Mandarin.
Many courses on SkillsFuture come with an eligible claim period. So, you have to be extra vigilant and ensure you don’t end up registering for a course that is not yet or no longer eligible for a claim.
If you do so, you’d end up paying for the course with your own money.
You can find courses that you can complete within a few hours of your spare time.
On the flip side, some courses can take months or even years to complete depending on their length, complexity, and curriculum.
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Most Courses on SkillsFuture will require learners to fulfill a few prerequisites before signing up.
For instance, advanced courses may require learners to have a professional degree or relevant experience in a particular industry.
The Most Popular Courses on SkillsFuture
With thousands of courses, it can be difficult for learners to get started. So, if you’re looking for some help in choosing courses, here are some of our top picks:
Project Management Certification
SkillsFuture has partnered with the Temasek Polytechnic and the Institution of Engineers Singapore to offer an 11-day Professional Certificate in Project Management course.
So, if you’re aspiring to become a project manager, this course can accelerate your journey.
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Digital Marketing Strategy
SkillsFuture has also partnered with Equinet Acadamy to offer a detailed course in digital marketing and advertising for beginners and intermediate learners looking to build a career in marketing.
It teaches learners how to use the most common tools and create basic strategies based on the principles of marketing.
Basic Practical Accounting
SkillsFuture offers a Basic Practical Accounting course in affiliation with ACC Pro Singapore.
It’s an excellent course for non-finance students or professionals looking to learn about basic accounting principles, processes, calculations, and tools.
HTML5 & CSS3 Fundamental
If you’re looking to learn how to build websites using some of the most popular frameworks and languages, the HTML5 & CSS3 Fundamental course by Otgoskills is the right pick for you.
This course will help you understand the building blocks of a website and teach you to make basic modifications to existing websites.
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Are you looking to venture into the world of data science with little or no technical skills?
The Python for Data Science course is offered by SLE-PDS and can be completed in just 14 hours.
Of course, this course won’t make you a data scientist. However, it will help you incorporate Python into basic data analytics for different applications.
So, there you have it – Everything you need to know about SkillsFuture Singapore.
With this information, you can reap the full benefits of this program and accelerate your career development significantly.
Of course, you would still have to do your due diligence when exploring the multitude of resources available. So, make sure you take your time and use the $500 credit wisely.