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Old 14-04-2012, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Even though they may be good, engineers in SG don't earn that kind of money (300euros per annum). Put it this way: if ur son graduates with an engineering degree, and he is good. Would u encourage him to work in SG? Probably not.

You graduated in the 1980s, where even having a degree is rare. Speaking good English and a foreign language and employed by a German company in the 1980s? Even rarer. You got lucky. Nowadays things are different, graduates are common.

Its not easy to get a work visa to Germany, Australia, US, UK, France, Canada etc, those countries where engineers are respected and paid well. Those countries protect the job market for their own citizens. The routes I have heard of

1) Secure the overseas job first, the company may apply for a work visa for the Singaporean. Chances? Negligible.
2) Singaporean gets a job in an MNC, and then internal transfer overseas. Chances? Possible, but very rare.
3) Send son/ daughter overseas to study engineering. He/ she must secure a job within x months of graduating to get a work visa. Chances? Possible, but expensive for the parent because of the university fees.
4) If your engineering specialisation is in demand by the particular country (skills shortage route), they may have special concession for you, although other criteria may apply e.g. age, English proficiency, the need to secure a job BEFORE getting the visa, you have to go to this particular underpopulated region..... Heard that Australia needs software engineers.
5) Travel via sea rickety ship immigration. (ok , I jest)

Agree with you that Singapore is not the world. For an engineer, the better path in the long run may be to venture outside of Singapore. No matter how hard it is, give it a shot (or two or three or four shots and keep trying).
Yes, I must really count my blessings to be born in that era. But again, you have to know how tough it is to get a degree in the 80s. Now degrees are much easier with the improvement in education and technology, so this generation will definitely suffer quite a bit. Yes, I took up German in my 20s out of interest when i was still an undergraduate. Little did i know what I learnt out of curiosity makes a big difference to my future. I was very, very lucky. Very lucky.

It's hard to go overseas, but it's not impossible. There are still opportunities, so you have to pull the ropes and make it easier for you to be hit by luck. Networking, is seriously important.

My son will not work in Singapore. He is an engineer-passionate boy just like I was. The west has definitely more opportunities, even today when Europe is facing crisis, it is still more optimistic than Singapore.

I hope my experience in the last few decades definitely paints a better picture for all engineers.


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