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Is it a "MUST" to have at least a degree in singapore?

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Postby QRM » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 11:43 am

I have to admit having a recognised professional qualification, does make life easier when it comes to opening doors. A large part of it is to do with the alumni networks from colleges, which is why its worth going to a college with a long history.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 11:57 am

Splatted wrote:don't bother getting a degree by distance learning... Kind of looked down upon in sg. they're considered as good as having found your degree in a box of cereal.


and don't forget about that it also matters where you went everyday for your cereal (re: in sg, it matters from which institution you got your decoder ring--er, i mean your degree). that's why i think a lot of singaporeans got their degrees from abroad, from australia, for example, given the stiff competition for slots in the top schools.

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Postby MinSG » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 1:42 pm

IMHO, getting a degree certificate serves 2 purposes. 1st is to get to know and understand the foundation and basic rules of the subject during your study. 2nd is to get a certificate and compete with your competitors when applying for a job.

If you can find a job that you like without degree certificate, I suggest that you take part time course and learn on the fly. When you can apply what you learn in the course to your work, you will grow much faster. This may even stimulate your brain to come up with some creative ideas to start a business.

Anyway, my view is that getting a degree certificate will not only give you a piece of paper but also widen your knowledge. Hope this helps.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:12 pm

Interesting. I find it just the opposite. At least when it come to local degree holders. Most of their thought processes are just a myopic as their eyesight. Most degree holders here, I find, are rather inflexible as they grew up learning that there is only one correct answer and that is found in the 10 years question crib book. Most cannot think outside of the box and when something fall outside of the narrow parameters that they learned, they are witless. Whereas, the guy who came up through the ranks and got his hands greasy as as technician not only know how it works, he can also fix it and can tell you what will 'actually' happen in normal usage.

As was already mentioned by someone else here, a degree only say the person has the capability to learn or regurgitate answers. It's doesn't tell you if that person has the ability to think. The best Singapore engineers? They are the Polytechnic diploma holders who went on to the UK or Aus to get a 3 year BSc degree. Much better than one's who did the normal 4 years local route to the same degree.

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:23 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Interesting. I find it just the opposite. At least when it come to local degree holders. Most of their thought processes are just a myopic as their eyesight. Most degree holders here, I find, are rather inflexible as they grew up learning that there is only one correct answer and that is found in the 10 years question crib book. Most cannot think outside of the box and when something fall outside of the narrow parameters that they learned, they are witless. Whereas, the guy who came up through the ranks and got his hands greasy as as technician not only know how it works, he can also fix it and can tell you what will 'actually' happen in normal usage.

As was already mentioned by someone else here, a degree only say the person has the capability to learn or regurgitate answers. It's doesn't tell you if that person has the ability to think. The best Singapore engineers? They are the Polytechnic diploma holders who went on to the UK or Aus to get a 3 year BSc degree. Much better than one's who did the normal 4 years local route to the same degree.


you're preaching to the choir, brother :?

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:29 pm

From my experience: In Singapore people typically receive with the degree narrow, specialized knowledge. This is a knowledge often not supported by understanding of basic relations for the studied subject. Very extensive, but extremely focused and isolated. It seems to be based on memorization. People can successfully defend a PhD where the subject would be (imaginary example for illustration only) Mechanical properties of the AT-33R sprocket under partial atmospheric pressure and surely they will know everything about its mechanical properties (under partial pressure) but they won't know where this part is actually used.
So for me majority of degrees here are only to have a certifying paper, less of the knowledge, negligible when it comes to problem solving skills in a broader context.

SGBoyxxx, you do not need a degree to be financially successful but if you are not a strong individual with a lot of persistence and good ideas then it is simply easier to get a degree and follow the crowd. It opens many doors and you do not need to prove each time that you know what you know. It is simply purely pragmatic approach.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 2:56 pm

nakatago wrote:
you're preaching to the choir, brother :?


Yeah, but I can't sing! :(

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Postby Plavt » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 3:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
nakatago wrote:
you're preaching to the choir, brother :?


Yeah, but I can't sing! :(


We all know that. :P

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Postby Plavt » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 3:14 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Interesting. I find it just the opposite. At least when it come to local degree holders. Most of their thought processes are just a myopic as their eyesight. Most degree holders here, I find, are rather inflexible as they grew up learning that there is only one correct answer and that is found in the 10 years question crib book. Most cannot think outside of the box and when something fall outside of the narrow parameters that they learned, they are witless. Whereas, the guy who came up through the ranks and got his hands greasy as as technician not only know how it works, he can also fix it and can tell you what will 'actually' happen in normal usage.

As was already mentioned by someone else here, a degree only say the person has the capability to learn or regurgitate answers. It's doesn't tell you if that person has the ability to think. The best Singapore engineers? They are the Polytechnic diploma holders who went on to the UK or Aus to get a 3 year BSc degree. Much better than one's who did the normal 4 years local route to the same degree.


In short a degree is merely a qualification, experience and practical knowledge counts for far more. Even here in the UK it is puzzling how somebody who leaves University with a degree in electronics more often than not doesn't know how a fridge works as one example.

However, having a degree is becoming or has become the 'standard' requirement for many jobs worth thinking about, the result is so many people are acquiring degrees that they (in the words of a teacher friend) have acquired their own hierarchy - some are worth something and some are not.

Maybe you agree disagree but as Sms statement would seem supported by the fact a good number of successful doctors in a variety of locations in Asia are trained in the UK, USA and Australia.

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Postby BigSis » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 3:26 pm

I can see a world in the not too distant future where lawyers and architects will be earning average wages and plumbers and roofers will be on megabucks because there will be so few of them left :D

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 4:03 pm

I think plumbers already have hourly rates exceeding those of Doctors, at least in the US that is. Damn the Unions! And don't even talk to me about having to have a septic tank pumped out down on the farm!

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Postby MinSG » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 4:17 pm

The problem most degree holders have is that they don't understand the real purpose of getting a degree cert. Like sms mentioned, degree holders just want to show their learning capabilities and perhaps use the cert to find a better job. In fact, the degree cert shows how good you understand the foundation of the studied subject and how good you can prove your own thought.

I graduated in UK and my professors always told me that there was not only one answer to a question but the main point was I must prove that my answer was right. Agree with sms that most should think out of box. Anyhow, in order to achieve the "out of box" target, you need to start from the basic and make enhancements from there.

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Postby QRM » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 5:28 pm

BigSis wrote:I can see a world in the not too distant future where lawyers and architects will be earning average wages and plumbers and roofers will be on megabucks because there will be so few of them left :D


Happens already I remember in London, my fellow architect chums complaining that the tube or bus driver taking them to work every morning is earning more thank they do. (no architect unions)

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Postby BigSis » Wed, 25 Aug 2010 8:50 pm

QRM wrote:
BigSis wrote:I can see a world in the not too distant future where lawyers and architects will be earning average wages and plumbers and roofers will be on megabucks because there will be so few of them left :D


Happens already I remember in London, my fellow architect chums complaining that the tube or bus driver taking them to work every morning is earning more thank they do. (no architect unions)


True - a friend of mine got a job driving the tube trains and he was on good money.

I noticed that a few of the old tech colleges in the UK are now doing courses for things like plumbing, mechanics and decorating. That makes me happy - not everyone is university material and not every job needs it.

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Postby Asdracles » Thu, 26 Aug 2010 11:59 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The best Singapore engineers? They are the Polytechnic diploma holders who went on to the UK or Aus to get a 3 year BSc degree. Much better than one's who did the normal 4 years local route to the same degree.


In my university years we used to say about items like the fridge:

An Engineer knows how it works
A Physicist knows why it works
A technician knows how to repair it if it doesn't work

Who do you think will get more job calls?

And yes, yes, I studied Physics, nobody is perfect, even me....


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