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Questionable qualifications ........

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby maneo » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 6:40 pm

TMD wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Yes, I read it on the Singaporeans voice for Singaporeans site. Apparently, the university from which she got her MBA has closed down since and this is what has got the locals angry. IDA has replied that she was hired on the basis of her bachelors degree.

What the locals dont understand is, a degree is not a necessity to get a job. They also made a big hoo-ha in case of the VP of Deutsche bank who came into the news for the wrong reasons. These guys went into this Linked In profile and found that he is from an Indian University. The comment was something along the lines of "We graduate from NUS and NTU still no jobs for us, but someone from 3rd world country university is getting a job".Cant blame them, their education system is such that only top scorers at very young age(PSLE) get to go to university. So they think going to university means mission accomplished.

I wonder what their reactions is going to be when they find out that some high flying expats dont have degrees :mrgreen:


I disagree.

It is precisely the locals understand and appreciate the benefits of academic/paper achievements that allow them to place themselves at level playing field with most of the developed world.

One cannot blame them for holding similar if not higher expectations on non-Singaporeans who have or are looking for job here.

Such "higher expectations" may not be reasonable.
Those without relevant experience rarely can comprehend the value of that experience that they lack.

So, how to get that relevant experience?
That is the question all young job seekers ask.

There are usually a lot of necessary qualities, but never a single one that is sufficient.
The applicant must be sure to show hiring managers what he/she can do to make the company successful, and not to come across as seeming to be asking only what the company can do for him/her.
The applicant must stand out against the competition.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby JR8 » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 7:01 pm

TMD wrote:I disagree.
It is precisely the locals understand and appreciate the benefits of academic/paper achievements that allow them to place themselves at level playing field with most of the developed world.
One cannot blame them for holding similar if not higher expectations on non-Singaporeans who have or are looking for job here.


I disagree back :)
Most tertiary education is worthless for most people. The only routes with value (IMO) can be the vocational or technical ones, medicine, accounting, engineering and so on.
So you have, these days, in some countries an embedded assumption, or at least an aspiration that everyone who isn't completely brain-dead needs to be a graduate. To what ends? So the bloke who'll spend his working life in the photocopy/print room has indebted himself for life getting an MBA?

For many people tertiary education is worthless, and in fact a delay on them productively entering the workforce and building their lives. Presumably Bill Gates concluded similarly when he dropped out of Harvard.

Most of the sharpest and most successful people I've met are not graduates, in fact some of them even dropped out of 'high school'. Don't get me wrong, I know many 'dazzlingly bright' and well qualified people too. [But why spend $250k trying to turn an ox into a cashmere goat?].

I'm reminded of the oft heard cry, from the youngster starting his career in the UK. Decent job, hard-working, any random degree just because getting any random degree was what mattered: And the wails of imagined entitlement, 'Why can't I afford a house [car/millionaires lifestyle etc].... surely I now deserve the moon on a stick. Previous generations had it so easy, life is so unjust'... blah blah.

If SGns can now work on a level playing field with the rest of the world, why do so few ever leave it? Rather most opt to conveniently stay at home, expect a risk-free and pre-determined life path, and demand the equivalent rewards anyway. Sorry, but it doesn't work like that.
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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby JR8 » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 7:09 pm

Oh, and ps.

This news story is just the latest instalment in the 'appease the locals by bashing the foreigners ... [that our policy er, welcomes in]'. Right?

No point complaining here, we all got welcomed in. Go and have a protest march downtown. Oh no, that's not allowed...
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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby Sporkin » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 7:26 pm

Would you rather be operated on by a qualified surgeon or a vet with a preference for people interactions? For certain fields a degree is akin to training and of course actual work experience matters, I would rather have trained AND experienced people writing software for aviation and nuclear reactors.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby maneo » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 8:09 pm

Sporkin wrote:Would you rather be operated on by a qualified surgeon or a vet with a preference for people interactions? For certain fields a degree is akin to training and of course actual work experience matters, I would rather have trained AND experienced people writing software for aviation and nuclear reactors.

For well established fields that is obvious.

However, for newly established or dynamic fields it may take quite awhile for educational institutions to catch up. Those making progress in the field may not have degrees but they know what needs to be done from experience.

It is usually more lucrative to be in the field than to go teach about it in some educational institution.
This occurred in the not-to-distant past for computer technology and semiconductors.
In the early days it was quite common to have experts without degrees.
There was little relevant training to be had in the tertiary institutions.

In an NPR article a software company that works with hospitals found "zero statistically significant correlation between a college degree or a master's degree and success as a software developer."
Over 80% of those hired will have a degree, but those hired without a degree will be just as successful, if not more so.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/12/20/255846145/will-a-computer-decide-whether-you-get-your-next-job

It may be counter-intuitive, but higher degrees may actually inhibit success in business.
Mr. Gates did not need a degree and Peter Thiel took it a step further by creating his fellowship to support students under the age of 20 to drop out of school and pursue other work (e.g. scientific research, creating startups, social movements).

A degree may demonstrate to HR types a willingness in a candidate to "slug it out" but it is no guarantee of success once hired nor is the absence of a degree a guarantee of failure.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:14 pm

maneo wrote:
TMD wrote:I disagree.

It is precisely the locals understand and appreciate the benefits of academic/paper achievements that allow them to place themselves at level playing field with most of the developed world.

One cannot blame them for holding similar if not higher expectations on non-Singaporeans who have or are looking for job here.


Such "higher expectations" may not be reasonable.
Those without relevant experience rarely can comprehend the value of that experience that they lack.

So, how to get that relevant experience?
That is the question all young job seekers ask.

There are usually a lot of necessary qualities, but never a single one that is sufficient.
The applicant must be sure to show hiring managers what he/she can do to make the company successful, and not to come across as seeming to be asking only what the company can do for him/her.
The applicant must stand out against the competition.


That's the usual catch-22 situation any hirer will be in.

However, when comes to judgement call based on experience vs education qualification, any hirer will still need some measurable credential to make an informed decision.

And this don't get any easier when some candidates don't cooperate while hiring company or HR themselves have preferential treatment for certain category of candidate.

Take the above factor into consideration in Singapore open-market context, the concern over "Questionable qualifications" can become very sensitive and politicised, not just about "who is more qualified" for the job.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:17 pm

TMD, you sound almost like you have a chip on your shoulder like most of the oppies out there. You didn't come here via FB did you, perchance? You almost sound like you came right off the pages of TRS or TOC. You definitely show signs of entitlement complex in your last three paragraphs. The more you write the more it shows.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:23 pm

JR8 wrote:I disagree back :)
Most tertiary education is worthless for most people. The only routes with value (IMO) can be the vocational or technical ones, medicine, accounting, engineering and so on.
So you have, these days, in some countries an embedded assumption, or at least an aspiration that everyone who isn't completely brain-dead needs to be a graduate. To what ends? So the bloke who'll spend his working life in the photocopy/print room has indebted himself for life getting an MBA?

For many people tertiary education is worthless, and in fact a delay on them productively entering the workforce and building their lives. Presumably Bill Gates concluded similarly when he dropped out of Harvard.

Most of the sharpest and most successful people I've met are not graduates, in fact some of them even dropped out of 'high school'. Don't get me wrong, I know many 'dazzlingly bright' and well qualified people too. [But why spend $250k trying to turn an ox into a cashmere goat?].

I'm reminded of the oft heard cry, from the youngster starting his career in the UK. Decent job, hard-working, any random degree just because getting any random degree was what mattered: And the wails of imagined entitlement, 'Why can't I afford a house [car/millionaires lifestyle etc].... surely I now deserve the moon on a stick. Previous generations had it so easy, life is so unjust'... blah blah.

If SGns can now work on a level playing field with the rest of the world, why do so few ever leave it? Rather most opt to conveniently stay at home, expect a risk-free and pre-determined life path, and demand the equivalent rewards anyway. Sorry, but it doesn't work like that.


I am curious what is the probability of an ivy league dropout blossoming into another Mr Gate or Mr Job in the US in the last 20 years ?

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby JR8 » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:49 pm

TMD wrote:I am curious what is the probability of an ivy league dropout blossoming into another Mr Gate or Mr Job in the US in the last 20 years ?



Probably higher than a SGn who can't write basic English correctly, but who has been been led to believe that he's owed the world on a plate. After all, you're competing with the world now, if you can hack it.
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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:54 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:TMD, you sound almost like you have a chip on your shoulder like most of the oppies out there. You didn't come here via FB did you, perchance? You almost sound like you came right off the pages of TRS or TOC. You definitely show signs of entitlement complex in your last three paragraphs. The more you write the more it shows.


I have none at all. On the contrary, I am more surprised by your usage of the word "oppies" which I understand is the local slang for folks from opposition parties in local political arena.
Goes to show how "localised" you have become after settling here and having a family with sons serving in national service, which I certainly would salute them for.

That aside, perhaps you have misunderstood me for sharing what I had observed from the ground. An observation which I notice is not going down too well for some non-locals in Singapore.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 12:13 am

JR8 wrote:
TMD wrote:I am curious what is the probability of an ivy league dropout blossoming into another Mr Gate or Mr Job in the US in the last 20 years ?


Probably higher than a SGn who can't write basic English correctly, but who has been been led to believe that he's owed the world on a plate. After all, you're competing with the world now, if you can hack it.


I admire the confidence in your assumptions. Yes, I too would like to believe that locals are less capable than those Ivy league dropouts. And I agree that local English proficiency certainly cannot match those of native-speakers.

And that same story applies to non-locals making a living here, mostly whom I gathered fail to even bothered to learn any of the 3 other official languages.

So let's call this even, shall we ?

On hindsight, if the largely non-English speaking population from a generation ago were capable of doing so much within the last half century, I am sure they are more than capable today in taking on a world which is increasingly multi-lingual.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 7:01 am

Again, your observations from the ground are just what ground? From my work with the ground I don't quite agree with your prognosis. However, you are entitled to your opinion. My opinion comes from over 6 years working directly with the ground in Aljunied where I live, via the RC/CC/PA. The largely non-Englishs speaking population from a generation ago were capable of doing so much because they were being led and trained by foreign talent, This is why Singapore has the problems today. Instead of slogging it out the hard way over 200 years or so, the talent was brought in to get it done, using the local population as labour on the behest of the Government of the day. Now that it has been laid in you laps without really struggling for it, it looked easy to you, so now you all don't understand just what has happened, except that the world is now your oyster, without having to work for it. Even LKY understood that he could build a 1st world infrastructure in a hurry, but it would take a longish period of time to elevate the population to that same social level. Sadly it's taking a lot longer that he envisioned.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby nakatago » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 7:03 am

TMD wrote:And that same story applies to non-locals making a living here, mostly whom I gathered fail to even bothered to learn any of the 3 other official languages.


I'd understand why an expat would learn Mandarin--and in fact, many of them have and from what I gather, are better than the locals--but why would expats learn Tamil or Bahasa Melayu? By extension, I have also met locals--as in born and bred who can't speak squat of the language whatever race their IC indicates. By further extension, there are also locals who can't speak their mother tongue, can't speak English but can only speak Singlish.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby maneo » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 8:23 am

TMD wrote:
JR8 wrote:I disagree back :)
Most tertiary education is worthless for most people. The only routes with value (IMO) can be the vocational or technical ones, medicine, accounting, engineering and so on.
So you have, these days, in some countries an embedded assumption, or at least an aspiration that everyone who isn't completely brain-dead needs to be a graduate. To what ends? So the bloke who'll spend his working life in the photocopy/print room has indebted himself for life getting an MBA?

For many people tertiary education is worthless, and in fact a delay on them productively entering the workforce and building their lives. Presumably Bill Gates concluded similarly when he dropped out of Harvard.

Most of the sharpest and most successful people I've met are not graduates, in fact some of them even dropped out of 'high school'. Don't get me wrong, I know many 'dazzlingly bright' and well qualified people too. [But why spend $250k trying to turn an ox into a cashmere goat?].

I'm reminded of the oft heard cry, from the youngster starting his career in the UK. Decent job, hard-working, any random degree just because getting any random degree was what mattered: And the wails of imagined entitlement, 'Why can't I afford a house [car/millionaires lifestyle etc].... surely I now deserve the moon on a stick. Previous generations had it so easy, life is so unjust'... blah blah.
...


I am curious what is the probability of an ivy league dropout blossoming into another Mr Gate or Mr Job in the US in the last 20 years ?

Other successful entrepreneurs without degrees include Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Steve Wozniak, David Ogilvy and Ralph Lauren. Outside the US, Sir Richard Branson achieved quite a lot without a degree.

Maybe less well known are Dustin Moskovitz (FB), Sean Parker (Napster), Shawn Fanning (also Napster), Kevin Rose (Digg), Theodore Waitt (Gateway Computers), Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular), David Neeleman (Jet Blue), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Wayne Huizenga (Waste Management/Blockbuster/AutoNation), Marc Ecko.

More recently are Evan Williams (Twitter), Jan Koum (WhatsApp), David Karp (Tumblr), Bram Cohen (BitTorrent), Ben Kaufman (Quirky/Kluster), Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Ashley Qualls (Whateverlife.com) and Barbara Lynch (restaurateur).

Those that can be greatly successful probably won't need a degree.
They already have the intelligence, drive, hard work and skills they need.
This seems to be the basis for Peter Thiel’s fellowship.

It’s not a question of probability; rather it is a question of innate qualities, qualities that are difficult to acquire if you do not have them.
For those that will be mediocre, those whose best fit will be as a cog in a machine, a degree will likely be necessary.

However, though the college experience should have helped build analytical skills and provide intellectual capital to help them perform better (assuming that they were fully engaged as students), having that degree is no guarantee of success. Some people can get a degree (even a difficult engineering degree) through hard work, yet lack the intelligence or drive needed to succeed.

If the hiring managers are good they will be able to see past the paper. They will see in a candidate’s CV and interview whether or not the candidate will help make the company successful. If candidates don’t have the intelligence, drive, hard work and skills they need, and if they don't stand out from the rest, then they don’t deserve the job.

If someone without a degree does have the intelligence, drive, hard work and skills needed, then they do deserve the job. Companies need to hire those that will help the business thrive.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby the lynx » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 9:20 am

The real problem isn't just about foreigners with dubious papers/papers from degree mills. One should really question, why is IDA and the affected authorities defending the decision of the hiring manager? Questionable qualification issue is rife all over the world - even in USA and other first-world countries. So if I'm the stakeholder, my focus would be on the flawed process that allowed this to slip through the cracks. Are there not checks and such in place as part of the SOP? Where is accountability?

And if one is really good and worth his/her salt, s/he shouldn't have even considered a degree mill or dubious institutions in the first place.


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