Timid About Tech? Meet The Trainee Who Traded Drills For Digital

18 Apr 2020 Posted in ⟨Stories⟩

The oil & gas industry has played a critical role in Singapore’s economic past. But as industry veteran and current NTUC LearningHub trainee Noel Alex realised, technology is paving the way of the future and the time to prepare for it is now.

“I have been working for an American company in the Oil and Gas industry for 15 years providing real-time recording solutions for oil rigs and drills,” reflected Noel. “But recently, due to the rapid digitalisation of the world, I have considered a career switch in order to keep up with the times.”

Although the change may seem quite dramatic, Noel has already begun making that switch and we caught up with him to learn more about how he made the decision, what he looked for when searching for a course and how NTUC LearningHub has been helping him to make the transition.

Saying “Yes” to New Skills

Learning new skills may seem daunting, particularly if you have been working in the same industry for 5, 10 to 15+ years. So how do you even will yourself to take the leap back into education?

“It all starts with a winning attitude — believe you can, and you can!” advised Noel. “While it may be difficult to get started, having the correct mindset works wonders.”

Of course, while it may begin with mindset, Noel has learnt that it needs to lead to action in order to keep up with the rapid changes arising from technological evolution.

“Developing your skills is crucial to professional development and we should all take the chance to upgrade ourselves whenever possible.”
Noel Alex


“Adaptability is definitely one of the key skills that the trainers have tried to impart to us,” recalled Noel. “Developing your skills is crucial to professional development and we should all take the chance to upgrade ourselves whenever possible.”

Equipped with a newfound set of digital skills, Noel is deliberating on returning to the oil and gas industry as he has found that his newly acquired skills have opened him up to new career opportunities that were previously unavailable.

“I’m definitely still interested in working in the Oil & Gas sector, but I’m also open to doing contract work or even freelancing,” said Noel. “Other industries that I’m interested in also include Logistics, Supply Chain and A.I.”

How to Choose A Course That’s Right for You

So you have decided that you want to make a career switch, and that learning new skills can make it happen. However, the next dilemma arises: what should I actually learn?

“Definitely take into account the course duration, fees and relevance,” advised Noel. ”Whether the subject is appealing to me and whether the skills learned are those that will benefit my career trajectory are all important factors too.”

Consequently, choosing what to learn requires not only an analysis of your personal needs, but also of the greater trends in the market. And at the moment, the trend is towards digital.

“I prefer attending more digitally-skewed courses such as SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace,” beamed Noel. “The knowledge I pick up from it are most relevant to the current work climate.”

But it’s not just about the course topic, duration and fees. Noel also noted that it’s important to find a course that connects with your level of knowledge, skills and experience.

“I like that SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace demonstrates and explains which digital tools are currently being used in the workplace. This is especially useful as a refresher course for older workers like myself!” said Noel.

The NTUC LearningHub Advantage

Ultimately, there are many training providers that Noel could have upskilled at. So why, out of all the options did he choose NTUC LearningHub?

“I was drawn to the wide selection and variety of courses that NTUC LearningHub has to offer,” reflected Noel. “The course consultants are also extremely professional and friendly, recommending courses that are specially tailored to your needs, your requirements and what you’re searching for.”

Given that any form of upskilling requires a significant amount of time and money, expertise and reputation were also critical to ensure that Noel received a positive return on investment.

“The course consultants are also very knowledgeable and able to answer the many questions I have patiently and easily,” said Noel. “Compared to other training providers, I would say that NTUC LearningHub is the most reputable of them all and definitely a trusted option in my eyes!”

The most important thing is that Noel took the leap to develop his skills —- a decision that has rewarded him with the freedom and opportunity to pursue the life and career that he desires.

“Taking courses at NTUC LearningHub has allowed me to stay relevant and learn more about the fields I’m interested in,” said Noel. “And of course, it has also equipped me with the skills to make a career switch!”

This year, NTUC LearningHub celebrates 15 years of transforming people through accessible and affordable education. Since 2004, we have fulfilled over 2.4 million training places and transformed over 21,000 organisations.

Regardless of collar, age or nationality, we are here to help you upgrade your skills to keep up with a rapidly changing workforce. For more information on how we can help, talk to our friendly Course Consultants at NTUC Trade Union House, Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, LHUB@Tampines Mall or any of our roadshows islandwide.

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