Physical distance is no study barrier
MR TYRONNE Thomas was like any other conscientious student. He attended lectures, handed in his assignments on time and also participated in class discussions.
The only differences? His classroom was his bedroom, his lectures were streamed via his laptop, and his lecturers were in Singapore, some 2,700km away from his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The 27-year-old senior software engineer was a student at the Informatics Global Campus - an e-learning platform that allows people living outside Singapore to take courses from private-education institution Informatics Academy here.
Even though Mr Thomas could not be physically present at his lectures, the distance was never an obstacle.
"Any time I had a problem, the Informatics teams in Singapore and Sri Lanka would help and guide me," said Mr Thomas. "I was always able to get swift responses to my queries."
Most of his lectures were streamed live online and he could even raise questions during classes, via a classroom live chat. And what if he still had questions about the lessons? No problem, he could clarify them with lecturers in his hometown during the three-hour weekly tutorial sessions for each subject, held at the Sri Lanka Informatics centre just 5km from his home.
First introduced to Informatics by friends six years ago, Mr Thomas has not looked back since.
After completing a diploma and advanced diploma in computing in 2007 and 2008, respectively, he went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing (Top Up) from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. He graduated in June 2010, after completing his studies via Informatics.
Mr Thomas also won a prize in April 2010 for his final-year project for Tea Survey and Analysis Co, titled Integrated Information System, which was judged the best among those submitted under the various collaborative programmes offered by the University of Portsmouth's School of Computing.
The education he obtained at Informatics has boosted his career prospects, he said. Since he graduated with his degree, Mr Thomas has moved up the ranks at information-technology company Direct FN, rising from associate software engineer to senior software engineer over the last 31/2 years.
He hopes to head back to school in two years' time, to fulfil his dream of becoming a software architect - someone who makes high-level design choices and dictates technical standards.
And when that time comes, Informatics will be first on his list of school choices, he said. "It's a good place to study, to meet like-minded people, and, at the same time, grow in knowledge," he said.
The lecturers have good credentials and the course contents, especially those in computing, are up-to-date with the latest technologies at that point in time. Subjects like object-oriented programming (OOP) in Java, OOP design patterns and software development methodologies are very helpful.
Why did you choose computing?
I have wanted to do computing since I was in high school. I like programming because it is interesting and challenging. At the same time, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction when I see others using software that I developed.
Would you recommend Informatics to your friends?
Yes, the flexibility to study across borders and a wide range of courses are reasons why I would recommend Informatics to my friends.
For more information on the courses offered at Informatics Academy, visit www.informatics.edu.sg
BROUGHT TO YOU BY INFORMATICS ACADEMY