The design sector is constantly evolving, and designers now play expanded roles in the economy as they are increasingly employed beyond design services. This means designers would need to deepen both technical craft skills as well as broaden skillsets in adjacent domains such as business, innovation and technology to function effectively within design and/or non-design sectors. These skillsets are articulated in the Skills Framework for Design which can be found here. It provides information to enable individuals make informed decisions on education, training and career development in design.
You can tap the SkillsFuture Study Awards (SFSA) to support your professional development needs to deepen or broaden your design skillsets. Each successful award recipient will receive a monetary award of $5,000, on top of existing Government course fee subsidies, to support their skills acquisition journey. No bond is required.
Additionally, online courses are also now eligible for support, if training providers are able to meet the criteria.
For more details and to apply, please click on the button below.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about SFSA. For other enquires related to Skills Future Study Award for the design sector, email firstname.lastname@example.org
What courses are eligible for SkillsFuture Study Award for the design sector?
A whole range of courses! Depending on whether you are looking to deepen your skills as a professional or to widen your skills, you may consider courses from both the Institute of Higher Learning (IHLs) or from private providers. What is important is to demonstrate how this course will you grow in your career plan. On top of the courses offered by the Institutes of Higher Learning and from private providers, online learning courses are now eligible for support*. You may also refer to the Skills Framework for Design, which has information to help individuals to make informed decisions as they chart and grow as a design professional.
Emerging design areas include:
Supportable courses may include certificate courses, diplomas, degree programmes, postgraduate programmes (include specialist diplomas/graduate certificates) and executive education programmes. However, post-graduate and executive education programmes will only be considered for non-designers, who can demonstrate evidence in their career plan and CVs their intent and ability to advocate and champion design adoption in their organisations.
- Courses from the experience-making cluster (e.g. Design Strategy, Service Design, User Experience/User Interface Design, and Design Research etc);
- Design courses which incorporate business (e.g. Systems Thinking, Organisational Transformation) and/or innovation (e.g. Innovation management) and/or technology (e.g. Drones, Artificial Intelligence) aspects
*Subject to the online course providers being able to meet the eligibility criteria to conduct synchronous and/or asynchronous online learning.
Do I have to be enrolled in the course before I make my application?
No, you do not have to be enrolled at the point of application. However, you will have to submit supporting documents to show your enrolment by the closing date of that application period. Otherwise, your application is considered an incomplete application and will be closed.
Do I have to be nominated to make an application?
No, you do not have to. However, it will be great if your organisation could write you a nomination to show your contribution. Nominated applicants be considered more favourably.
I do not have 3 years working experience. May I still be considered?
Unfortunately, as this is an award for early mid-career applicants, you may wish to apply when you have gained a minimum of 3 years working experience.
What happens if my course fees are less than $4,000?
You may choose to add on another course such that both the course fees add up to a total of more than $4,000.
Is SFSA only for people wanting to be UX designers?
No, it’s for design and non-design professionals! If one is a design professional looking to deepen their skills in the design discipline they are currently in, (say an architect looking to take some in-depth architectural programme) or looking to widen their skills (say a designer who needs to take on some business or leadership skills since they run their own consultancy and have staff under them), they can do so. A non-designer may also apply for SFSA if they can demonstrate how the programme can help in their career plan to advocate and champion design adoption in their organisations. For non-designers, do note that the course should be either a post-graduate or executive education programme.
Must we get a job immediately if not we won’t get the subsidy? If not, do I have to pay back?
No, this is an award to encourage upskilling and whilst it is a bonus if one can get a job after the programme, there is no penalty if one does not. In fact, one does not need to be currently employed to apply but needs to have prior 3 years working experience.
What if I want to take up a UX course but want to do UX writing or content/research/ strategy-related roles - would I still be subsidised?
It depends! If one can demonstrate how the programme can help deepen or widen their skills as a designer and what it is relevant for them, it is possible.
When will SFSA open again (is there a predictable period)?
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