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Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

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coblos
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Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby coblos » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 3:53 am

Hi guys, let me begin my story, I'm an Indonesian residing in Singapore since 1.5 yrs ago with a DP (my wife works here).
I have 3 yrs exp as a field engineer in an oilfied service MNC in australia, after I just graduated from my uni in Indonesia.
I also had some other internship exp, which in total would be like a year or so, so in total my exp is like 4 years.
Now I've been working as a forex trader since Nov 2015 (~1.5 year), it's nice to learn the knowledge and stuffs, but to be honest I'm still yearning to return to a corporate lifestyle :D
Trying to achieve a stable income monthly in forex is not an easy thing, it indeed requires a lot of experience, sweat and blood :p

As I previously posted in this forum, it's been hard for me to land a job in Singapore, very very hard.
Even when I applied to a non-engineering role.
My wife and family don't really approve this kind of forex trader thingy, so I feel the peer pressure to find a job. They do understand my struggle with it though.
I can see that I already applied to almost 400 vacancies from linkedin alone, I made massive change on my resume to make it a lot better.
I already tried the "networking way" by actively involved in my university alumni organization, got some of my colleagues asking for my resume. You know people said connection might give us a job in tough times.
But yeah, it seems if the job is in Singapore, my exp is not relevant with the job, too different I can say, and they'd reject my application. Or maybe because of my residential status is not PR if the company is a mid-sized local company.
And if the job is in Indonesia, they'd think someone with an international exp like me would be too costly...

*Sigh, at the beginning I feel like by having an exp in a reputable MNC, and getting an assignment overseas, would land me a job easier.
Not many people is selected to work overseas by that company, most are assigned in their home country.
But now it feels like those things are worthless, sometime I feel like my qualification is not as good as I thought.
Especially when some of my friends managed to land a job in Singapore and they're coming from an MNC exp, they're not graduates from top uni in indonesia, etc...
Jealousy and despair mixed and it tastes like a bitter, bitter drink.
I keep telling myself that it's not my fault, it's the job market everywhere which is currently not in a good condition, especially with rising unemployment in many countries since two years ago...

Right now I'm thinking of going back to study. At least I can push the boundary which limit my access to a corporate career. I can gain knowledge, network, and increment in my value.
I'm currently trying to decide whether a master degree in Petroleum Engineering with specialization in Reservoir Engineering is a good option or not.
In Singapore there's only one program similar to my interest, Master of Offshore Technology program in NUS, which is pretty new and kinda like a combination of subsea eng & reservoir eng.
I'm afraid even though NUS is a top uni in the world, that program is not highly regarded in the industry.
I'm looking to attend UiS, NTNU or Aberdeen if I choose to study outside Singapore.

Another problem arise with this master degree thingy, I'm expecting my baby by September this year, which means I will leave them for two years straight if I pursue master overseas.
Bringing them along is not an option, as my wife has already a good career in Singapore and it'll be too costly & too risky if both of us got unemployed.
My wife is very concerned about this, and so do I.

She asked me to consider taking a master degree in Singapore, like mechanical/electrical which still has a better prospect in a wider industry, compared to reservoir engineering.
Some of my senior colleagues also tell me to avoid pursuing a degree in Oil & gas related subject, as there's a chance that the business is still pretty bad in the next couple of years.
Realistically speaking, it'd better if I take renewable energy, or a more general subject like mechanical/electrical eng, as they might have better prospect in the future.
But yeah, I don't feel interested after reading the syllabus and program.

Since I'm not looking into any scholarship (as most scholarship requires me to go back to my country and work there), this will be a kind of important decision in my life.
I will use my saving for the study and yeah I don't want to spend it on a wrong subject, as it won't be like bachelor degree study, lots of efforts required to finish a master program.
And I'm not sure whether a master degree in Singapore would give me an advantage in finding a job in Singapore or not.

TL/DR: A guy in mid 20s trying to decide his one in a lifetime decision :p. Asking some fellow singapore expats about which one will bring a higher probability in landing a job:
1. Will a master degree in mechanical/electrical eng form a reputable Sing uni gives me advantage in finding a job in Singapore?
Or it's more about experience as opportunities for master degree holders are still fairly limited ? (which is the case in Indonesia, I got a friend with MSc in Geophysics from Aberdeen Uni ended up working in a local bank, got no option anymore).

2. Or should I better apply for PR? I know from reading discussions in this forum & previous replies on my thread I would have a slim chance in getting a PR (I'm not Chinese and not employed in Singapore). But some of my wife workmates who is not chinese, not having an employed spouse managed to get a PR. That's why my wife thinks we should try for it, hoping to get it approved, and hoping for the situation to change (a lot of hopes :shock: )

I really appreciate any advice/critic .
Sorry for the very long post.
Thanks! :)

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby MrEgon » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 8:48 am

Why cann't you do 1 & 2 together at the same time?

PR will definitely increase your oppertunity to get a job. If you don't get PR, at least you know you have tried.

Anyhow you don't have a job now, so what do you do every day? Maybe apply another degree.

Sorry, didn't finish your long post and directly jumped to the 2 questions.

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 9:02 am

A Master's degree can increase your income (value to the company). I don't believe it can help land a new job - except perhaps in certain financial fields.

A pHD is really something you only want to do if you have a passion and ability to research a new field - it's not something that has a commercial return typically.
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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby coblos » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:09 am

MrEgon wrote:Why cann't you do 1 & 2 together at the same time?

PR will definitely increase your oppertunity to get a job. If you don't get PR, at least you know you have tried.

Anyhow you don't have a job now, so what do you do every day? Maybe apply another degree.

Sorry, didn't finish your long post and directly jumped to the 2 questions.

I'm a forex trader on a daily basis, using the money which I received when I resigned from my old company. Since we got paid in USD and the amount is pretty big, it enables me to do a trading partnership with citibank (the minimum amount of fund to trade in a bank is pretty high, compared to an ordinary broker).

Thanks for the suggestion anyway, I'm still considering which option is the best for the longer run.
I'm just afraid after spending more than 30k for a master degree in let say, mechanical eng, i still can't get a job.
Honestly studying petroleum is more enjoyable for me and I will feel more ready if I end up with no job either :mrgreen: .

There's no guarantee that I will get a PR, so it's pretty much a game of which option has better trade off...

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby coblos » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:26 am

PNGMK wrote:A Master's degree can increase your income (value to the company). I don't believe it can help land a new job - except perhaps in certain financial fields.

A pHD is really something you only want to do if you have a passion and ability to research a new field - it's not something that has a commercial return typically.


Yeah, I read somewhere in this forum about someone planning for an MSc in NTU hoping to get a job in Singapore, and people suggest that it won't make any difference as experience is still much more regarded, unless the job specifically requires a master degree holder.

That's why I'm still refraining myself into applying for master degree in Singapore.
Especially with this PR thingy, which I can't really control. The only advantage that I have is if my child is a boy :p

I don't want to end up in a situation where I already finished my master in singapore, in a subject which I don't really love (which means I might struggle in the course of the study), and I can't get a PR, and I can't get a job.

I also already considered of taking a non-engineering degree like MFE or MBA.
I kinda like investment & trading world, but not as deep as the complicated MFE.
It's also hard to get accepted in those programs in top Sing uni like NUS or NTU.
And certainly they're more expensive than an engineering degree in singapore (slightly more expensive than studying in norway/germany).

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:28 pm

Coblos - I don't anwer PM's that are of general interest. You asked:

Hi PNGMK, thanks for your reply in one of my post regarding networking events.
To be honest I'm new in this thing, when I was still working in the field, I barely had enough time to attend SPE events and stuffs.

I read the ads about OSEA last year somewhere in the internet.
Correct me if I'm wrong, regarding OSEA, I'm under the impression that those kind of conference/seminar is more suitable for those who's still actively involved in the industry (either work or study), especially because there's a fee involved to attend the seminars (and yeah that OSEA Passport is bit pricey).
You know as a 26 years old guy who just graduated some 4 years ago, I'm still trying to decide whether that kind of thing would be a good investment or not.
To be honest I was a bit confused which seminar should I attend, since it was either a bit far from my interest or it was too complicated to be beneficial for me in the mid-term back then haha.

Since I'm no longer actively involved in the petroleum exploration industry, I think it's better for me to attend an event like the FPSO Friday which I assume is "lighter" than OSEA or Seapex/SPE event.
At least to know people from the similar background or similar interest.
I visited the website already, and there's not much info about the upcoming event beside the date.
Is there any specific discussion each week?
Or is it a more serious discusson/seminar like in OSEA?

One more, I'm currently trying to decide whether a master degree in Petroleum Engineering with specialization in Reservoir Engineering is a good option or not.
I'm looking to attend UiS, NTNU or Aberdeen since the option on that subject in Singapore is very limited.
There's only Master of Offshore Technology in NUS, which is pretty new and like a combination of subsea eng & reservoir eng.
I'm afraid even though NUS is a top uni in the world, that program is not highly regarded in the industry.

Do you think taking a master degree is a good choice if my goal is to resume my career in oil & gas by 2020 or so?
Some of my SLB senior colleagues keep telling me to avoid pursuing a degree in Oil & gas related subject, as there's a chance that the business is still pretty bad in the next couple of years.
Realistically speaking, it'd better if I take renewable energy, or a more general subject like mechanical/electrical eng, as they might have better prospect in the future.
But I don't feel interested after reading the syllabus and program.
Since I'm not looking into any scholarship (as most scholarship requires me to go back to my country and work there), this will be a kind of important decision in my life.
I will use my saving for the study and yeah I don't want to spend it on a wrong subject, as it won't be like bachelor degree study, lots of efforts required to finish a master program.

I really appreciate any advice/critic from you.
Thanks! :)


You really need some career coaching. In general my advice would be;

1. Avoid a career that is likely to be automated in the next decade.
2. Look for a career where niche skills are still rewarded.
3. If possible find a career where professional certification can be used as a barrier for cheap entrants cratering the pay scales (i.e. Indians) - this sort of career would be law, medicine, chartered suveyor, registered professional engineer.
4. Oil and Gas will recover. I agree that a general Oil and Gas degree is not as valuable as a specific reservoir or petroleum eng degree.
5. Alternative energy is not the bid employer yet - but where I work I see a massive swing in our fortunes in that direction. However if you have no passion then it's pointless.
6. NUS Is NOT a top uni in the world. It's not possible for any uni in a country that has press censorship to become a top uni.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby Wd40 » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 7:45 pm

You should have got yourself a PR in Australia. These days having a residency is very important to get a job in a country or you should already have a lot of experience. My suggestion would be, be location agnostic. Find a job in your domain whichever location you can find it. Singapore is certainly not the place to start off your career as a foreigner. It is a good place if you already have companies willing to offer you a visa. So I think you should leave Singapore.

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby Wd40 » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 7:58 pm

Not related to this thread or OP, but I just read this article about how bad things are for young Americans.

Young White America Is Haunted by a Crisis of Despair https://bloom.bg/2oHhyTv


It is not easy to make a living these days and things are only going to get worse. Make hay while the sun is shining.

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coblos
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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby coblos » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 9:44 pm

PNGMK wrote:Coblos - I don't anwer PM's that are of general interest. You asked:

Hi PNGMK, thanks for your reply in one of my post regarding networking events.
To be honest I'm new in this thing, when I was still working in the field, I barely had enough time to attend SPE events and stuffs.

I read the ads about OSEA last year somewhere in the internet.
Correct me if I'm wrong, regarding OSEA, I'm under the impression that those kind of conference/seminar is more suitable for those who's still actively involved in the industry (either work or study), especially because there's a fee involved to attend the seminars (and yeah that OSEA Passport is bit pricey).
You know as a 26 years old guy who just graduated some 4 years ago, I'm still trying to decide whether that kind of thing would be a good investment or not.
To be honest I was a bit confused which seminar should I attend, since it was either a bit far from my interest or it was too complicated to be beneficial for me in the mid-term back then haha.

Since I'm no longer actively involved in the petroleum exploration industry, I think it's better for me to attend an event like the FPSO Friday which I assume is "lighter" than OSEA or Seapex/SPE event.
At least to know people from the similar background or similar interest.
I visited the website already, and there's not much info about the upcoming event beside the date.
Is there any specific discussion each week?
Or is it a more serious discusson/seminar like in OSEA?

One more, I'm currently trying to decide whether a master degree in Petroleum Engineering with specialization in Reservoir Engineering is a good option or not.
I'm looking to attend UiS, NTNU or Aberdeen since the option on that subject in Singapore is very limited.
There's only Master of Offshore Technology in NUS, which is pretty new and like a combination of subsea eng & reservoir eng.
I'm afraid even though NUS is a top uni in the world, that program is not highly regarded in the industry.

Do you think taking a master degree is a good choice if my goal is to resume my career in oil & gas by 2020 or so?
Some of my SLB senior colleagues keep telling me to avoid pursuing a degree in Oil & gas related subject, as there's a chance that the business is still pretty bad in the next couple of years.
Realistically speaking, it'd better if I take renewable energy, or a more general subject like mechanical/electrical eng, as they might have better prospect in the future.
But I don't feel interested after reading the syllabus and program.
Since I'm not looking into any scholarship (as most scholarship requires me to go back to my country and work there), this will be a kind of important decision in my life.
I will use my saving for the study and yeah I don't want to spend it on a wrong subject, as it won't be like bachelor degree study, lots of efforts required to finish a master program.

I really appreciate any advice/critic from you.
Thanks! :)


You really need some career coaching. In general my advice would be;

1. Avoid a career that is likely to be automated in the next decade.
2. Look for a career where niche skills are still rewarded.
3. If possible find a career where professional certification can be used as a barrier for cheap entrants cratering the pay scales (i.e. Indians) - this sort of career would be law, medicine, chartered suveyor, registered professional engineer.
4. Oil and Gas will recover. I agree that a general Oil and Gas degree is not as valuable as a specific reservoir or petroleum eng degree.
5. Alternative energy is not the bid employer yet - but where I work I see a massive swing in our fortunes in that direction. However if you have no passion then it's pointless.
6. NUS Is NOT a top uni in the world. It's not possible for any uni in a country that has press censorship to become a top uni.

Thanks! I think you're familiar with petroleum exploration, but isn't a petroleum engineers/reservoir eng a position which won't easily be automated in the next decade?
They're not operating any equipment in the field, they mainly do work in the office. Many analytics, report making, meetings, discussions etc being involved.
And I believe petroleum engineers are more "niche" than let say a mechanical/electrical engineers, when the industry is good.

Field engineers would be automated, maybe in like 50 years or so. But it also depends on the demand from the industry.
Right now when companies are trying to save their money, this kind of remote operation (where tasks in the field are remotely operated from the town) are being implemented in some cheaper projects.
But most oil companies are still not convinced with that, especially with the safety & performance risks in a drilling project.
Operation in a drilling project is not like oil / gas extraction which can be operated automatically by pumps/motor/robot/DCS/scada etc.
It's more challenging & complicated, that's why we got so many hot headed people over there :p

And yeah I don't think this kind of profession in petroleum exploration (reservoir eng, geoscience , pet geo, etc) which usually require an MSc, will be flooded with cheap entrants.
It's not as common as civil/mechanical/electrical eng in a construction project/manufacturing industry.

Ahhh damn, everything is a trade off ey??
Right now those general engineering degree like mechanical and stuff might offer a better career opportunity.
I read the syllabus of MSc mech eng in NUS. Even though it has automation/industry specialization, it still feels like less applicable in the real industry.
It feels like if I ended up with that degree, recruiter will still be like, whoa dude you're too smart for this
Last edited by coblos on Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby coblos » Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:08 pm

Wd40 wrote:You should have got yourself a PR in Australia. These days having a residency is very important to get a job in a country or you should already have a lot of experience. My suggestion would be, be location agnostic. Find a job in your domain whichever location you can find it. Singapore is certainly not the place to start off your career as a foreigner. It is a good place if you already have companies willing to offer you a visa. So I think you should leave Singapore.

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Thanks for the advice.
The reason why me and my wife ended up in Singapore is like this: at the beginning I was working in Australia, for 1.5 yr then my wife got transferred to her regional office hub in Singapore.
Then after a year working in the mid of oil glut, I decided to resign and join my wife in SG. (People keep telling me how stupid I was to resign from my job which I fortunately could still keep in the middle of the oil glut, but those people never work in a wireline oilfield service industry where the turnover is pretty high :p)

When I decided to resign, it's clear that having an Aussie PR was not an option.
Preparing a PR application while I was still working 5-6 days in a remote aussie outback was not an easy task. I was not working in an office 8-5, it was usually 12 AM to 2 PM, 4 PM to 4 AM, etc, in the middle of South australian desert.

If I choose to apply a PR, and move permanently there, there's a greater risk for our life, as both of us would be unemployed.
My wife got a decent careet in an large MNC in Singapore, so it'd be unwise if I asked her to resign and find a job in australia with me (which also had to look for a job by then).
I got some of my fellow engineers in aussie who got a PR but are also struggling to find a job.
Most of us who used to work in the field but no more, do some business or pursue master degree.

I know you're under the impression that it seems I only look for jobs in singapore only.
While honestly I already applied to hundreds of jobs overseas. Jobs in indonesia my home country, jobs in some oilfields (which is of course not in singapore).
And during this times, most companies (especially in the oil & gas sector) will try to hire locals rather than foreigner.
Two years ago I could have an oil company hired me to work in australia which is not my country of origin, but now it's almost impossible.
Most of the internationally assigned engineers had been laid off.

Leaving singapore? If I manage to secure a job somewhere else, which could bring more financial benefit for my family, then I will leave singapore.
That's why I'm considering of taking a master degree outside singapore.
It's clear that from the answers in this thread, having an MSc in mechanical won't guarantee an advantage in getting a job in Singapore.

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Re: Pursuing a Master Degree or PR in order to get a job?

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 19 Apr 2017 8:28 am

Dude - your assumptions are way off.
Thanks! I think you're familiar with petroleum exploration, but isn't a petroleum engineers/reservoir eng a position which won't easily be automated in the next decade?
They're not operating any equipment in the field, they mainly do work in the office. Many analytics, report making, meetings, discussions etc being involved.
And I believe petroleum engineers are more "niche" than let say a mechanical/electrical engineers, when the industry is good.


Exactly - ANALYTICS is posing the largest career risk ever to engineers who analyze data by hand with the assistance of machine tools (which is exactly was a petroleum engineer does with computers and 3D Seismic data). Not only is the analysis part at risk of automation so is the design, procurement side etc. The field engineers who run strings on rig floors are LESS LIKELY to be replaced because ROBOTICS (not analytics) is expensive. ANALYTICS is dirt cheap to scale up once it works, robotic isn't so much.

What you might want to consider is a career in big data / analytics as a masters degree.
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