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ksl
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Postby ksl » Wed, 12 Aug 2009 10:48 pm

On national day I was watching all the TV programs about Singapore past and future. The Prime Minister openly admitted, that Singaporeans even with high education had difficulty thinking out of the box, and it would be generations before Singapore could rely on its own contribution to development.

Most Countries run the same criteria on education standards for immigration, although that doesn't always rule out the experienced, it is assessed on the data, you supply although there is normally an age limit too.

Unfortunately with education today, it makes a mockery of the MBA's that are churned out for the sake of $. Universities are selling there selves short, because it is commercialism and competitiveness, that keeps you alive, at the sacrifice of students, that in most cases could never practically do the Job.

I was only a 10th grader when I did my 16 week full time export exam with 40 others, all that had degrees cand.mag. • cand.agric. • cand.jur. • cand.med. • cand.med.vet. • cand.merc. • cand.oecon. • cand.polit. • cand.philol. • cand.psychol. • cand.scient. Phd's and Employee Managers with experience. It was the Danish Governments call for an intensive export drive, due to a fall in exports, which Denmark has you may well know, relies on.

Only around 10 qualified in the exam, because all the others lacked practical skills and commonsense.

Yes it very important to have exams, but without the experience they are worthless in the beginning, I notice many Chinese that take Masters degree straight after, they graduate, simply because it is aloud without practical experience. It is a very unwise step in my opinion and would be much better appreciated after a period of time.

The MBA programmes are only good, if you can hack the position, not everyone are Masters at what they do, far from it.

I think the days of bottle feeding are long over and experience counts more than ever today, the weeding out process is still ongoing with regards to qualifications and practical experience, productivity is far more important than the framed degree, in any Companies eye's except the government. :wink:

Where there is a will there is a way...not at all like the chicken and egg.
What came first experience or eduction, we all certainly have a problem without the education in the eyes of bureaucracy, it's nearly always catch 22.

But a catch 22 problem can be solved, I can give you an example in Beijing, when i was asked if i could help a woman and her child leave. Back in 1992, passports were issued by the police, and the woman could not have a passport, without an official invitation, my invitation wasn't accepted, the catch 22, was put there for a reason, to keep them in.

Although I over came the problem by thinking out of the box, and going to the local Danish embassy and requesting some help to solve a catch 22 problem, they then gave me an official invitation, so the woman and child could get the passport and leave.

My own education wasn't structured how it should have been, I did it all backwards in my own time and was penalised for using university terminology on my A and O levels, again conservative bureaucracy, rather than reality of what goes on in the real world.

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littlegreenman
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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 2:17 am

I couldn't agree more with you ksl. This is the a problem these days, there are so many MBAs and CFAs around who know well how to study for exams but none of them know how to work efficiently if it is not studying. I am now back at Birkbeck to do a masters in economics and I have to say because I worked for several years it is a totally different ball game and you actually learn to understand all the interdependencies in the real world unlike many others who finish their education and then only start working who then are struggling to apply their knowledge to real life situations and fail miserably at problem solving.

ksl wrote:On national day I was watching all the TV programs about Singapore past and future. The Prime Minister openly admitted, that Singaporeans even with high education had difficulty thinking out of the box, and it would be generations before Singapore could rely on its own contribution to development.


Another important factor I think is that many Asians do not want to think outside the box because they think if they mess up they get into trouble for not following procedure but if they leave the procedure be and solve a problem successfully there is no immediate pay-off (I am referring to Asian as in geographically in Asia, not the race).

ksl wrote:My own education wasn't structured how it should have been, I did it all backwards in my own time and was penalised for using university terminology on my A and O levels, again conservative bureaucracy, rather than reality of what goes on in the real world.


That is probably why you are more successful than many people who go to world class institutions because you haven't been spoon fed. Many students especially in Singapore are just consuming education. I did my degree part time through distance learning spending my own money (not momy's and dady's). Guess what I, worked my bottoms off and read extra text books that weren't even on the recommended reading list in order to make the most out of my education. That was when I had worked for three years in finance already.

Unfortunately we are a breed which is dying out. Sometimes it sadly feels like either you are mainstream or you are nothing.

My whole department has been made redundant last month. They are all sitting at home now weeping as they can't find jobs (most of them are single or have no children, just like me). I ask why do you not go for further education, that is better than having a year at home in your CV. The replies I get are: my parents won't pay for it (neither do mine) or that it is too much of a hassle and they would have only wanted to do it straight after finishing their undergraduate studies. :(

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winger7
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Postby winger7 » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 10:28 am

Wow thanks for the lengthy discussions guys, I definitely picked up a lot. I suppose it depends on what field you're looking at when it comes to experience and education. Say at a hotel, experience counts more than education. You would certainly be working front line for the first 2-3 years before allowed to make your own decisions in an office!

That is exactly what I did and why I do what I do now, before taking my current job, I was on the look for jobs in Singapore as well, and I did manage to get myself a webcam interview for this education center called ICON+, anyone fimiliar with that? I had to teach Maths and English, and seeing how I can't calculate at all, and they only paid $2000 SGD, and providing I had to pay for rent too, that was way too little and now my current job pays a bit more than that. I moved out to my own place in HK now and I can't even save, so let alone that offer for $2000SGD per month!

But yes I think my education isn't something that stands out, to me my language skills and international exposure is something I hope employers look into. I got hired for my current job because of my background. I'm dual citizenship - Canadian and Hong Kong, and lived in Hong Kong, Canada, Shanghai and Beijing before and I am only 23 years young. :)

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Strong Eagle
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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 11:07 am

The key is: What VALUE do you provide? What am I supposed to make of a CV received with a cover letter that says nothing more than, "I am looking for a job offer"? Straight to the circular file.

Education and experience are two yardsticks to try and determine if you will add value by being a member of the company. Education, especially secondary education, is beneficial because it gives you specialized knowledge and provides new ways of thinking. You still need to leverage this to create value.

Experience gives you the practical know how. It is the very rare entry level sales person that could close a $5 million deal. It takes know how.

So... the question for you when applying for a job is: How do you intend to demonstrate that you provide value.

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littlegreenman
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Postby littlegreenman » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 2:12 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:The key is: What VALUE do you provide? ...


Good one SE. Another question: what can you do that a local can not do. These days where EPs are rare to come by in many situations the government is clearly asking why should we let this person in, what can he do that our locals can't do? This is a factor to consider as well during your job hunt. If you keep all this in mind and do your homework and have a bit of luck then you should be fine.

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winger7
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Postby winger7 » Thu, 13 Aug 2009 2:19 pm

Thanks guys, I guess it's almost like selling myself to what I can do and my strengths, aka presentation. Will definitely come back if further questions develop :)

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Postby irvine » Tue, 18 Aug 2009 3:32 pm

Good discussion. This gives rise to another angle of the story.

Has any of you experience the situation that as an expat, you give 'out of the box' ideas/suggestions/thoughts/proposals/etc, and somehow it is just not welcomed by the local team. This could be due to a number of reasons, eg: plain wrong answer (and that's ok, just move on to build right answers), conservative mindset, resistance to change, etc.

What do you do? Would love to hear your experience of contributing (extraordinary) value to the local company/team and how has the local team reacted?


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