Ahmed Salleh Mohamed Bashir did not subscribe to a common misconception that a private degree would put one at a disadvantage in their career. In fact, he chose to study Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in The University of Newcastle, Australia (UON) at PSB Academy and graduated in 2014.
“I felt that the education I received from PSB Academy and UON is comparable to the kind of education I would get if I were to study in a public institution, which tends to design their curriculum to skew towards our local students’ aptitude for higher learning,” he said. “I have gained a world-class education from a renowned overseas university that has built its reputation for many years. Even though I didn’t get a chance to study on its Australian campus, the degree which I was awarded is equivalent to theirs and relevant to my career.”
Ahmed considered himself a late bloomer as he did not follow the normal academic pathway to complete his formal school education like his peers. It took him until his young adulthood, at the age of 22, to realise why education was important to his career and life, and then he slowly embarked on this lifelong journey to complete his education. When Ahmed turned 40, he enrolled for a 3-year IT degree with UON at PSB Academy upon the recommendation of one of his friends. “I joined because I heard about how established the school is and how we would be taught under the same curriculum and awarded the same degree as our Australian counterpart,” he said. “UON ensured that their students get the same experience as those who studied in the Australian campus.”
However, Ahmed’s success did not come easy. Due to personal struggles at home, Ahmed had to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) twice during his six years of studying at PSB Academy’s campus at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee at that time. Even while Ahmed was studying it was not an easy journey, “If there is any skillset that I have gained and excelled throughout my learning journey in UON and PSB Academy, it would be the Database Management Systems module, as I spent more time and effort revising the module after failing twice.”
Ahmed was thankful for the successful completion of his degree course. “The fundamental knowledge I’ve gained during my university years truly shaped my understanding of how data is stored and manipulated in databases for future uses. In fact, I applied this knowledge during my 6-month stint as a part-time IT developer at Singapore Polytechnic in 2014, the same year I graduated.”
Ahmed was also grateful for the favourable environment and the support and guidance of his lecturers. He enthused, “Half of my success in my graduation relies on the conducive study environment that I had at PSB Academy.” He revealed that during his IT project, one of his lecturers even loaned his own laptop to him so that Ahmed could finish his project on time. “What I love and will miss the most during my studies at PSB Academy are my UON lecturers. They shaped me. They made sure I got a world-class education, and I did.”
Ahmed had indeed come a long way since then. Currently working as an IT Desktop Support Specialist at a leading Hybrid Data Cloud IT company, his position required him to have a sound understanding of IT technical terms and troubleshooting skills. “The foundation in IT education that I received from UON has moulded me to be the technical-savvy worker I am today. My degree has helped me in my career growth, and I am now recognised for my technical expertise,” he said.
Ahmed was proud of how far PSB Academy had come since the 1990s. He recalled, “When I enrolled for my programme, I already had the utmost respect for the academy due to its long tradition of producing some of the best graduates in Singapore. Even though it is a private education institution, PSB Academy has been gaining strength from year to year. I am blessed to get the kind of education from these two institutions.”
Being a lifelong learner, Ahmed had always striven to improve himself in whatever he did. “It is imperative that we must always have this hunger for knowledge throughout our lives. The quest for excellence in pursuing our life goals. Why? If we keep this burning passion to always source for higher learning, we shall always constantly improve our lives, elevate our social status and indirectly influence the people around us positively,” he declared.