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Old 04-04-2011, 10:08 AM
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Default sees tespit

Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Well I am a JC student and my views (hopefully not naive) are:

I always thought DSTA is a good place to start off one's career... as there are chances to utilize your engineering skills in defense systems (be it in DSO or DSTA, coming up with our unique defense technology etc...).

There are also chances for project management, using your technical skills plus managing people. Being a scholar, one will be given high profile projects, sent to courses and opportunity to rise faster than others. Though 6 years is long, at the end of it one should be in mid-management? Staying there long term maybe can rise to the position of director?

Even if one decides to leave, wouldn't the skill sets that he acquired there in terms of managing projects be sought after in the private sector? (though technical skills might not be relevant as defense systems are very niche and specialized in nature). What about being a technical consultant? CIO/CTO/COO of some organizations? or starting your own business engineering some products and selling it back to the SAF/DSTA? Aren't all these feasible career paths given's one good profile?

Well those are my thoughts, though i am not too sure whether those are right given my very young age. Is there any comments and advices on my views? is dsta scholarship really not worth taking up? it is a scholarship i am considering for too.
You are right in that at the end of 6 years, you'd be in middle management.. typically DSTA staff start at grade 6. If as a scholar you do well, in 4-5 years you would make grade 8 (senior engineer) and would have held the title of "project manager". Note that this title is not taken lightly in dsta context because it sounds trivial but you bear full responsibility for your project. You would then likely be seconded out (perhaps DrTech or MINDEF) or rotated within DSTA (unless of cse you express a strong desire to continue what you are currently doing) for more exposure to upper management (more "tests" for you). The main thing they are looking out for is your ability to make things happen out of your own initiative. Because that's the kind of leadership that they want. (actually what all organisations want)

Ok i have not heard of DSTA people becoming technical consultants on their own and providing services back to MINDEF (maybe i havent seen widely enough) though i have heard DSO people forming their own technical consultancies.. examples are LOOP (RF electronics), Dr Chew Siou Teck (icredo) and Dr Anthony Ng (d-crypt) and provided services back to the defence industry. But note that these people are very very established in their chosen fields, very well-known in the defence circle before striking out on their own. It may sound glamorous having your own consultancy but i've heard its very very tough to survive outside. nobody owes you a living.

again like i mentioned in my previous posts, you take up a scholarship BECAUSE you've already decided to make it your life-long career. Example, a teaching scholarship from PSC because you've already known early on you really really want to be a teacher or DSTA scholarship because you want to be an engineer in our defence industry. The scholarship thus makes your original choice sweeter because it gives you a headstart over your peers who want the same thing.

Its NOT the other way around where you become an engineer in the defence industry because because you took up the DSTA scholarship for watever reasons like: to study overseas, to make your parents proud, to go one up over your non-scholar sibling or whatever.
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