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PhD salary

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bgx
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PhD salary

Postby bgx » Fri, 12 Feb 2010 9:09 pm

Hi,

I am getting an interview for a job in an Singapore branch of a European-based civil engineering consultancy. I am sure that the will ask my salary expectation in the interview.

I just completed a PhD at a reputable university in UK (funded by a UK research council and my university). I did an MSc in another country in western Europe prior to the PhD. I only have less than 1 year experience, in a slightly different field though. How does multinational company in Singapore values postgraduate degree from good universities in Europe? Could anyone let me know what salary range I should expect? Can I get something around 4000-6000 ? is there normally allowance included?

Many thanks. Your comments are very appreciated!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 12 Feb 2010 11:47 pm

I'd say 3-4K maximum/month to start. You aren't any different than a new BSc for what it's worth. Especially in the hard engineering sciences unless it's a very niche narrow specialty. With only one year of non-related work experience, the only thing you are showing a prospective employer is that you know how to regurgitate answers in exams. The degrees say you have the potential to be a good engineer, but don't say whether you will be an effective engineer.

But, who knows, I might be wrong. You might get some allowance for housing but I'm betting it won't cover 50% of the cost. Again, what you get is governed a lot by where your passport is from. If the country is on par with a first world country you might see 4-6K, but if its still a 3rd world country or a developing country, it might vary, especially if you have international work experience that is related to your position. As you specified you had a UK degree and a European degree but neglected to give your nationality, I am assuming you are from the sub-continent.......

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Postby bgx » Sat, 13 Feb 2010 3:42 am

Thanks for your reply,

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Especially in the hard engineering sciences unless it's a very niche narrow specialty. W.......


The work is in a very specialised field, especially for sg, and will need the person to occasionally travel to neighbouring countries for projects and presentation to clients. I do have several publications in refereed international journals & conferences in the field. Wondering if these factors are of significance in improving the salary (from 3-4k as you said earlier).

sundaymorningstaple wrote: If the country is on par with a first world country you might see 4-6K, but if its still a 3rd world country or a developing country, it might vary, especially if you have international work experience that is related to your position. As you specified you had a UK degree and a European degree but neglected to give your nationality, I am assuming you are from the sub-continent.......


Yes, I've heard about and feel sad about this. I come from a developing country nearby. 3-4k might be enough for a while, but how will this increase throughout the years? is it realistic to expect this to increase to 6-10k in 3 years if the work runs smoothly? Or is it better to get a work experience first here for a few years?


Thanks.

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Postby beppi » Sat, 13 Feb 2010 11:00 am

bgx wrote:3-4k might be enough for a while, but how will this increase throughout the years? is it realistic to expect this to increase to 6-10k in 3 years if the work runs smoothly?


No, definitely not if you stay in the same place. Salary increases of 10% are possible in boom years, in bad times (like currently) you'd be happy if there's no decrease.
Of course things are different if you change job or function (e.g. with a promotion), but this depends on too many variables to speculate here. In general, an employer will not give a major promotion within the first two years, unless you are exceptionally good.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 13 Feb 2010 12:37 pm

beppi is right, however, once you have, say, two years in your niche field, your MSc & PhD will start to kick in at that point as theoretically, you have now translated that theoretical book knowledge to practical experience. Then it's time to make a decision e.g., put it to your current employer that this is now what you need, or start putting feelers out for somebody else to nibble at. A degree or degrees only get your through the door. Getting that knowledge to the project(s) is what's gonna keep you there and propel you further. A year or two in Singapore won't hurt you if you look at it from a long term perspective (especially if it's with a western MNC). After that I would reckon the world might well be your oyster.

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Postby bgx » Sat, 13 Feb 2010 11:35 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:A year or two in Singapore won't hurt you if you look at it from a long term perspective (especially if it's with a western MNC). After that I would reckon the world might well be your oyster.


I can secure a job here in the UK. However, there are pros and cons in staying here. Since you guys seem to have lived in Sg for long...mind to share why Singapore is not good enough for a long term stay, for reasons other than "it is not your home country"?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 13 Feb 2010 11:53 pm

I wasn't implying that Singapore wasn't good enough for the long term stay, I was just saying that with a couple of years in Singapore under your belt, it would make you that much more attractive to prospective employers as not only do you have the paper you've got experience and international exposure as well. That always will command a premium provided you were not a total screw-up. :wink:
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Sun, 14 Feb 2010 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby bgx » Sat, 13 Feb 2010 11:59 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I wasn't implying that Singapore wasn't good enough for the long term stay, I was just saying that with a couple of years in Singapore under your belt, it would make you that much more attractive to prospective employers as not only do you have the paper you've got experience and international experience as well. That always will command a premium provided you were not a total screw-up. :wink:



:D aha!

Still pondering whether to stay here or go to Sg... :???:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 14 Feb 2010 10:27 am

This is what Australian Civils have been doing up here for years. They graduate, grab a job on local or local+ (possible sharing of vehicle & condo) with a construction company and slog around in the mud for a year or two (locals want to be project managers only and wear a tie and sit in aircon offices so that's how the Aussies manage to get in ;) ). Then they return to Aus or go elsewhere with both experience & int'l exposure. Lots of 'em up here (or were before the recession). They'll probably start returning again shortly.

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Postby the_hat » Mon, 22 Feb 2010 11:09 pm

Your post made me create an account and post a reply. Here it goes: a postdoc in NUS' School of Computing makes 5k/month - I think it's a standard for regular postdocs. I've heard in other faculties it may be less, e.g. Duke-NUS School of Medicine is around ~4.5k. Assistent professors in univs and hired scientists in research institutes get more that that, but I don't know the specifics. Other companies that do research pay similarly, 4-5k. Companies that dun care about research will treat you as a normal graduat, maybe with honors and give you maybe 3-4k. Bear in mind - in SG there are (or at least were b4 the crisis stuff) a lot of companies and institutes that hire phds, and UK diplomas - especially from a good uni is seen quite ok here. Not sure if it makes sense to accept an offer from a non-research-oriented company.
My advice (in rhymes): under 4k, stay in UK :)

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Postby FaeLLe » Sat, 06 Mar 2010 8:25 pm

the_hat wrote:Your post made me create an account and post a reply. Here it goes: a postdoc in NUS' School of Computing makes 5k/month - I think it's a standard for regular postdocs. I've heard in other faculties it may be less, e.g. Duke-NUS School of Medicine is around ~4.5k. Assistent professors in univs and hired scientists in research institutes get more that that, but I don't know the specifics. Other companies that do research pay similarly, 4-5k. Companies that dun care about research will treat you as a normal graduat, maybe with honors and give you maybe 3-4k. Bear in mind - in SG there are (or at least were b4 the crisis stuff) a lot of companies and institutes that hire phds, and UK diplomas - especially from a good uni is seen quite ok here. Not sure if it makes sense to accept an offer from a non-research-oriented company.
My advice (in rhymes): under 4k, stay in UK :)


Mmm thats a poor salary for people with so much of education but then education by itself does not hold much of a stature.

Guess he would / might get better in his home country...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 06 Mar 2010 8:56 pm

The big difference is the fact that the_hat is talking about a soft-engineering discipline and not one of the hard sciences. He shouldn't even be thinking about research at all. Just because he has a PhD doesn't mean he's limited to academia. Ph'd in Civils are eventually worth a good deal of money, especially if his speciality happens to be in environmental civils. Problem is, as I said before, he still has to pay his dues first.


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