Advice needed for career switch to IT

dandylion

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Hi all,

I am a mech eng diploma and deg holder from NTU and working as a mech eng in a semi-con MNC for about 1 year. Job scopes are - R&D mechanical design (2D drawing, 3D modeling), mechanical testing and troubleshooting, etc.

I am looking to career-switch to IT which I am still unsure which specific field like cybersecurity or software engineer yet. My main motivation for switching careers is due to low salary I am drawing and I do not see future prospects in the field I am in now. I have no particular passion for any field but willing to learn new things such as programming etc. I have no programming background but will have to start from scratch.

Additional background info: age 27(M) this year, currently not married but have BTO in 2026. Come from a low-income family which I am still supporting with my monthly salary. Therefore, I would still need to keep a FT job to sustain myself.


Thus, the advice I would like to ask are:
1) Have anyone managed to switch from an unrelated industry to IT (cybersecurity, software engineer etc)
2) Where can I start to ensure that I am "enough" to be employed? Do you need deg/masters or can you just take on boot camp courses to show you are competent enough?


Below are the courses I researched that I am not sure which would help more. You can pm me via discord as well, IGN: Dandylion#3574










Thank you for your time in reading this lengthy thread. :)
 
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SniperMarksman

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Hey there,

I understand what you mean, I'm also switching from an unrelated field - Civil Engineering in my case to analytics role. Am going for it via the masters route - will start studies this year - because I think in Singapore at least, most employers still prefer the 'have a degree' though General Assembly and the likes of it also serve the same purpose (& are subsidized/funded !)

I guess what u can do now is try those free courses on Coursera etc to see if programming is something you can find yourself doing ? then work from there !
 

wishboy

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1) Yes very possible.
I'm in the process of a career switch to software engineering/development. Degree was in chemical engineering. Currently doing internship as part of the NUS ISS grad dip in systems analysis. Would very much recommend this course if you can afford the 1 year without salary + pay course fee.

2)
For a start, to self-learn coding, I would recommend freeCodeCamp out of the many online resources. It is totally free and provides structured learning pathways.

You can also consider this programme called YouthTech. It at least provides allowance while undergoing training.

Ultimately, for people like us who have no prior experience/qualifications in IT, I think it would be best to get some form of experience or qualification before even any employer would be confident to hire us.

All the best!
 

dandylion

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Hey there,

I understand what you mean, I'm also switching from an unrelated field - Civil Engineering in my case to analytics role. Am going for it via the masters route - will start studies this year - because I think in Singapore at least, most employers still prefer the 'have a degree' though General Assembly and the likes of it also serve the same purpose (& are subsidized/funded !)

I guess what u can do now is try those free courses on Coursera etc to see if programming is something you can find yourself doing ? then work from there !
Hello, thank you for the reply. What do you think of Work-Study Degree (Computer Science) from SIT? it is a 3-year program

also, may i know what masters you are taking and isit FT or PT?
 

dandylion

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1) Yes very possible.
I'm in the process of a career switch to software engineering/development. Degree was in chemical engineering. Currently doing internship as part of the NUS ISS grad dip in systems analysis. Would very much recommend this course if you can afford the 1 year without salary + pay course fee.
Hello, thank you for the reply! will look into it.

May i ask what do you think of Work-Study Degree (Computer Science) from SIT? and NUS Graduate Certificate in Computing Foundation. what made you choose NUSS ISS grad dip instead of masters (MCOMP)?
 

wishboy

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Hello, thank you for the reply! will look into it.

May i ask what do you think of Work-Study Degree (Computer Science) from SIT? and NUS Graduate Certificate in Computing Foundation. what made you choose NUSS ISS grad dip instead of masters (MCOMP)?
The SIT WSDeg looks like a good option if you are eligible and your company is supportive. I like that it alternates between school and work. 3 years seem like quite a long commitment to me though. Must be sure that you can sustain the interest in this field.

Primary reasons for taking the NUS ISS course is that it is designed to target people with (close to) no IT background and that it is full-time. I wanted to focus on studies instead of being distracted/disturbed by work. The school is also constantly revising the curriculum to match what the industry is looking for, therefore less worries about not being able to find a job upon graduation.
Did not consider masters due to cost (at least $40k??) and not fulfilling the admission requirements. They might also be teaching too chim stuff even if can get in and that means a lot more self-learning to cover the knowledge gap.
 

SniperMarksman

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The SIT WSDeg looks like a good option if you are eligible and your company is supportive. I like that it alternates between school and work. 3 years seem like quite a long commitment to me though. Must be sure that you can sustain the interest in this field.

Primary reasons for taking the NUS ISS course is that it is designed to target people with (close to) no IT background and that it is full-time. I wanted to focus on studies instead of being distracted/disturbed by work. The school is also constantly revising the curriculum to match what the industry is looking for, therefore less worries about not being able to find a job upon graduation.
Did not consider masters due to cost (at least $40k??) and not fulfilling the admission requirements. They might also be teaching too chim stuff even if can get in and that means a lot more self-learning to cover the knowledge gap.
If I can add on to what wishboy said,

In addition to what he mentioned, ISS is a renowned & well-respected name in the industry. So you can be sure of obtaining the proper knowledge that is applicable and relevant to the industry. Even though it may seem to 'only' be a graduate diploma vs says a Masters, it is by no means easy also and you really get your hands-on experience doing it.

I agree with what wishboy said that it is more palatable cost-wise and it has an internship component as well !
 

angy

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@dandylion,
Before you embark to your new journey, you really have to sit down and think hard what you want to do.
You are 27 and say you get in, you will be 30 years old when you graduate if you do it full time.

If your only purpose to change career is because of money, then ask yourself,
a. what makes you different from others when you get the Masters?
b. what do you think the IT world will be in 3 years time
c. Are the papers you are going to study be relevant when you graduate?
d. will you wife to be still love you when you finished? LOL

If you get through that far, then decide
a. do you want want to do the networking? MPLS, L2, SD-WAN
b. do you want to do the software connectivity? Salesforce, O365, MS Teams, Splunk
c. do you want to do security? SASE, DDoS
d. do you want to do asset management?
e. do you want to do data storage planning? AWS data lake

The IT world has changed so much that even I am shocked. Everything is moving to cloud. Cloud computing by AWS, Azure, Cloudflare have totally changed the way companies work.

My advice, before you jump ship to another boat and say goodbye to your old 2D and 3D design,
a. ask yourself how is your present 2D or 3D (maybe if you are using Solidworks, Autocad) going to change, if the solution is move to the cloud.
b. go read everything you can about cloud computing. If you catch no ball, and cannot see the forest from the trees, then you are going to struggle when you do your IT course.
 

darkripper

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Try to go for PCP program, it gives you an opportunity to "test-water" before commiting.

A 3 year commitment for a degree is risky:
1) There might be a mismatch of skill being taught and what is needed in the industry
2) Capital expenditure
3) You might end up not liking the job itself.

You can take a look at this program as well, the 2021 batch is opening soon.
 

zarlceiss

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1) Yes very possible.
I'm in the process of a career switch to software engineering/development. Degree was in chemical engineering. Currently doing internship as part of the NUS ISS grad dip in systems analysis. Would very much recommend this course if you can afford the 1 year without salary + pay course fee.
Hi, can I find out about the course fee, more specifically, were you paying the subsizied fees after MOE tuition grant? It seems like Singaporeans cannot enjoy the subsidized rate if they had already used it for their degree.
 

wishboy

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The fee was around $10k. Based on the fee published on ISS website, this is the amount after MOE subsidy (not sure if it is called the Tuition Grant).
 

DataScience

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Hi all,

I am a mech eng diploma and deg holder from NTU and working as a mech eng in a semi-con MNC for about 1 year. Job scopes are - R&D mechanical design (2D drawing, 3D modeling), mechanical testing and troubleshooting, etc.

I am looking to career-switch to IT which I am still unsure which specific field like cybersecurity or software engineer yet. My main motivation for switching careers is due to low salary I am drawing and I do not see future prospects in the field I am in now. I have no particular passion for any field but willing to learn new things such as programming etc. I have no programming background but will have to start from scratch.

Additional background info: age 27(M) this year, currently not married but have BTO in 2026. Come from a low-income family which I am still supporting with my monthly salary. Therefore, I would still need to keep a FT job to sustain myself.


Thus, the advice I would like to ask are:
1) Have anyone managed to switch from an unrelated industry to IT (cybersecurity, software engineer etc)
2) Where can I start to ensure that I am "enough" to be employed? Do you need deg/masters or can you just take on boot camp courses to show you are competent enough?


Below are the courses I researched that I am not sure which would help more. You can pm me via discord as well, IGN: Dandylion#3574










Thank you for your time in reading this lengthy thread. :)
Yes buddy!

To your first question, Yes, yes and YES. I personally know of people whom had a degree in social science, and later on became a data scientist. If someone from Soci can change their field, you are definitely in a better position compared to her. And she is not the only example I know.

To your second question, it is not about whatever degree you possess. Take this from me (someone who already has 2 masters degree). It is a waste of time unless you are passionate about learning the subject in question. These days, especially in the IT sector, employers are looking for hard SKILLS. My recommendations for you is as such:

1) Take a few private courses outside to firstly ascertain that you are indeed interested and suitable for a career in IT. I recommend Heicoders Academy / General Assembly.

2) Thereafter, you need to make use of free online courses on coursera to bolster the knowledge/skills you gained from private courses. At the same time, you need to build mini-projects to (1) enhance your skills, and build your portfolio which is what is going to get you that job!

But but but, if you are interested in cybersecurity, then that is a different thing altogether. Cybersecurity focuses alot on a few standard cybersecurity certificates like OSCP etc, so you need to get those if you want to break into this field.
 
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