Fulfilling Media Ambitions with the New DCIM Programme

The pioneer cohort of the DCIM programme is well into its first trimester. We speak to two Year 1 students to find out how their experience has been thus far.

A new degree programme — the Bachelor of Science with Honours in Digital Communications and Integrated Media (DCIM) – was launched in AY2020. The first-of-its-kind in Singapore, the three-year programme aims to bridge the gap for talent in the local digital communications sphere.

As Singapore undergoes a digital transformation, there is an increasing demand for media professionals with relevant digital skills and mindsets in the market to keep up with the changing media landscape.

Under the DCIM programme, students will be trained in three key areas of Digital Web Analytics, Integrated Media Management, and Digital Media Production, equipping them to work in a variety of fields, including advertising, media, corporate communications and public relations.

Acquiring media skills to chase dreams

It was her desire to work in the media profession that brought Maria Carla Kirsten Melicio Panganiban (left), a Year 1 student, to join the programme.

“When I was young, I watched the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, and it made me aspire to become a fashion magazine editor. It is still my dream till this day, though I’m keen to work in Marketing and Communications as well. I’m excited to be in this programme as it’s a step for me towards achieving my dream,” said Kirsten.

Just over a month since the start of the first trimester, Kirsten has had a positive experience thus far. “The programme equips us with valuable skills that are sought after by employers. I’m enjoying the modules that we have for this trimester, although some of them can be rather challenging.”

First trimester modules for the DCIM programme include Media and Communications Theory, Introduction to Research Methods, Fundamentals of Digital Web Analytics, and more.

“The workload is much heavier, compared to what I went through in polytechnic,” said Kirsten, who is also a Communications and Media Management graduate from Temasek Polytechnic. “We were used to being spoon-fed at the polytechnic, but at SIT, we are taught to be independent and use our own initiative, which trains us to be more effective at what we do.”

A degree that integrates traditional journalism with technology

“I grew up with a huge passion for cars — I actively participate in go-kart endurance races and I have also started my own automotive blog (tiny.cc/drivetribesean), where I write reviews for cars,” said Sean, a graduate from the Digital Film and Television diploma at Temasek Polytechnic. “Coming from a media background, I wanted to pursue a degree programme that integrates traditional journalism with the latest technology.”

For Sean Loo (right), another Year 1 DCIM student, the degree programme is a step to help him achieve his aspiration of becoming a successful automotive media journalist.

“As the world goes through digitalisation right now, I wanted to enter an industry that is not only relevant, but which I have the passion for,” commented Sean.

However, Sean had some apprehension when he first signed up for the programme. “Initially, I was worried that I would lag behind in class, having had a two-year break from studying while I served National Service,” said Sean. “However, the DCIM professors, Dr Jiow Hee Jhee and Dr Charles Carroll, were really friendly. They took the time and effort to get to know us, and they are always approachable when we face issues. They made my return to school life so much more enjoyable and dispelled my initial fears.”

Adapting well, despite physical restrictions due to COVID-19

“The new DCIM programme is taking off well,” said Associate Professor Jiow Hee Jhee, Programme Director, DCIM. “We have a wonderful pioneer batch of students who, despite having little physical contact with one another due to COVID-19 restrictions, bonded well with one another over social media. This is testament to the kind of digital-savvy graduates we want to develop.”

“I am heartened to see how well they are getting along as a cohort. Students have mentioned to me that they are learning many relevant new things in this programme, which brings me great delight,” added A/Prof Jiow.

Having had a head start into the programme, Kirsten has a piece of advice for fellow SITizens – “I think it’s absolutely essential to have proper time management — I personally use a colour-coded calendar and a to-do list application on my laptop, which I abide by religiously.”

Sean has a tip to share as well, “Be open to learn, and try to be active in engaging with your professors and peers — they can make school life much more enjoyable for you!”

Click here for more information on the SIT DCIM programme.