Ernest Teh cannot believe the opportunity to pathway into a bachelor's degree in information technology at UOW, and ultimately work in the field of cybersecurity.
The Malaysian-born student believes he is one of the luckiest people alive to be studying at UOW College.
The 24-year-old had been looking for a change in his career after three years as a Master Trainer at Flextronics, a manufacturing company that specialised in medical equipment.
“I taught new employees about the equipment, and was a supervisor,” he says.
But although he was earning a good salary, and moving up the career ladder, something was missing.
Pursuing a passion for IT
Computers and information technology had always been his passion and he knew the need for well-qualified workers in the cyber-security field was only going to grow.
So, he decided he would look around to see where he could study, ultimately choosing Australia because of its reputation as an educational centre of excellence.
He contacted an education agent, an organisation that helps international students find and apply for study abroad.
“My agent recommended UOW College,” he says.
“I decided to apply because there were so many things that attracted to me it. The College looked different to all the other places.
“I feel so lucky that [the College] picked me to come.”
A welcoming educational experience
Ernest says the College and Australia has exceeded all his expectations.
After studying in both the Philippines and Malaysia previously, he says the College’s approach to teaching, especially for international students, has made the transition from Singapore so much easier.
“I was nervous when I came over and didn’t think I was ready to explore a new place,” he says.
“But I have made new friends from Pakistan, India and Cambodia.
“The teachers at the College are very supportive and will answer my questions every time. They are very patient.
“There are places to learn IT in Singapore, but I wanted to come to Australia because it has a good reputation and I now know all the people here are very kind.”
Embracing life in Wollongong
Ernest is living with new friends in and enjoying not just the academic program at UOW College but is embracing the social opportunities that the College and the larger University of Wollongong campus provide.
“Wollongong was different to the other universities I looked at,” he says.
“It has everything – a gym, a pool, the Uni Bar. I have made lots of new friends and am enjoying going out.”
When he completes his Diploma, Ernest will complete his bachelor's degree in information technology at UOW, and ultimately work in the field of cybersecurity.
“It is a really good job, good pay and there is a high demand for people in this field,” he says.
“My family is so proud of me for coming to Australia. I never expected to get this opportunity to study in Australia.”
Learn more about the Pathways Programs available at UOW College.
Diploma of Information Technology