The global competition to attract and retain tech talent has become increasingly tough. A steady pool of engineering talent is needed within the Government to lead and drive digital transformation in the public sector to achieve Singapore’s Smart Nation goals. In support of this, the Government launched the Smart Nation Scholarship in 2018 – a scholarship that is for budding technologists who are passionate in using tech for the public good. Jointly offered by the Government Technology Agency (GovTech), Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), this scholarship seeks to develop and nurture a pool of next-generation technology leaders who will be able to architect and spearhead digital transformation.
Bringing in students and developing them into young tech leaders have always been the focus of GovTech. As the lead agency driving Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative and public sector digital transformation, GovTech is also the Centre of Excellence for Infocomm Technology and Smart Systems (ICT & SS). Its role is to develop the Singapore Government’s capabilities in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence, Application Development, Sensors & IoT, Digital Infrastructure, and Cybersecurity.
Hear from GovTech team on some tips to ace your Smart Nation Scholarship application in the following Q&A
What are the most important qualities that you look for in applicants?
We look for candidates who are passionate about technology and aspire to build a career in this field. They must be motivated to work in the public service and use technology for the benefit of the public.
Can you share an example profile of a successful scholar to illustrate what you look for in applicants?
Strong scholarship candidates are able to clearly articulate and demonstrate their interests in technology and why they want to pursue a technology-related career. Proficiency and knowledge in various aspects of technology – although not compulsory, will be an advantage because it gives a clear indicator of their interest and proactiveness.
The right candidate would have also thought through why he/she is passionate about technology and how he/she can make a difference to GovTech, the community and Singapore.
What are some of the most attractive benefits of the scholarships you offer?
Besides sponsoring the course fees and key activities during the course of study, what differentiates GovTech from other scholarships will be the career and development we could offer. Career and personal development start when one embarks on the scholarship, way before he/she graduates. GovTech has a dedicated team who journeys with the scholars and advises them on their developments. All these aim to help the scholars achieve a head-start even before they graduate.
Upon return, our scholars will embark on their career with our exclusive Technology Associate Programme. This two-year leadership trainee programme will develop their technical and professional competencies.
Smart Nation Scholarship is one of the very few scholarships that offer the option for mid-term scholars to backdate their scholarship start date. This allows scholars who are already halfway through their university education to receive full funding for their tuition fees.
How is a typical interview with a scholar like? What are the stages and requirements?
The scholarship selection process is holistic and comprises of both assessment days and individual interviews. As the scholarship is jointly offered by GovTech, CSA and IMDA, each agency will have their agency-specific assessments.
In GovTech, candidates will attend GeekInsider, a one-day assessment event designed to assess candidates holistically.
They will have opportunity to work together in teams and individually, take on technical tests, network with GovTechies and immerse in our culture. We also encourage candidates to ask questions and use this time to experience and understand GovTech.
What career opportunities and prospects do your scholarships provide?
The Smart Nation Scholarship develops and nurtures technology talents and leaders within the public service. They will be groomed to undertake key technical positions within each parent agency, and will be involved in projects that have a nation-wide impact.
INTERESTED TO BE THE NEXT SMART NATION SCHOLAR AND MAKE AN IMPACT FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD WITH YOUR PASSION FOR TECH?
APPLY NOW at go.gov.sg/smartnationscholarship