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settle for an engineering course or retake exam?

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Old 29-02-2012, 12:56 PM
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Lightbulb settle for an engineering course or retake exam?

Hello everyone, I have a place in NUS's mech eng. There are many things on my mind that I wish to get opinions for.

After reading the threads here, it seems, in general, engineers are underappreciated and underpaid. Given that I'm in NS at the moment, I have intentions to retake my A levels to qualify for harder-to-get-in courses such as B A, accountancy. Then again, will such a degree be more valuable?

People say that a mech eng degree is rather flexible. Which industries can they be employed besides the financial sector? Will a 2nd upper do?

Does a mech eng degree offer a decent level of financial upward mobility? Can any kind soul hit me with the facts and figures?

I heard that a private candidate of the local GCSE A levels will not be subjected to the same moderation that local JCs get. Hence the former's certificate is not as recognised/valued. Is it true?

Comments are highly appreciated. Thank you!

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Old 29-02-2012, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by suppertime View Post
Hello everyone, I have a place in NUS's mech eng. There are many things on my mind that I wish to get opinions for.

After reading the threads here, it seems, in general, engineers are underappreciated and underpaid. Given that I'm in NS at the moment, I have intentions to retake my A levels to qualify for harder-to-get-in courses such as B A, accountancy. Then again, will such a degree be more valuable?

People say that a mech eng degree is rather flexible. Which industries can they be employed besides the financial sector? Will a 2nd upper do?

Does a mech eng degree offer a decent level of financial upward mobility? Can any kind soul hit me with the facts and figures?

I heard that a private candidate of the local GCSE A levels will not be subjected to the same moderation that local JCs get. Hence the former's certificate is not as recognised/valued. Is it true?

Comments are highly appreciated. Thank you!
People here can tell you about Engineering and Financial markets for now and maybe project 6-9 months max down the road, but nobody can tell you what the labour market would be like after 5-6 years when you finish NS and Uni.

Industrial trends are notorious to predict and their labour supply & demand is impacted by even more factors that are beyond prediction. All you will get are many individual opinions from different people, not much use for your case if you ask me.

Saying that, I can only emphasize to you that Accountancy is completely different from Banking/Finance, do not make the decision to study Accountancy on the basis that you will be working in the banking/investment/management consultancy field.

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Old 29-02-2012, 03:10 PM
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People here can tell you about Engineering and Financial markets for now and maybe project 6-9 months max down the road, but nobody can tell you what the labour market would be like after 5-6 years when you finish NS and Uni.

Industrial trends are notorious to predict and their labour supply & demand is impacted by even more factors that are beyond prediction. All you will get are many individual opinions from different people, not much use for your case if you ask me.

Saying that, I can only emphasize to you that Accountancy is completely different from Banking/Finance, do not make the decision to study Accountancy on the basis that you will be working in the banking/investment/management consultancy field.
Thank you for the your words of advice Sir.

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Old 29-02-2012, 03:41 PM
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Take the course that you can score better in. Seeing that you have to retake your A Levels, am I right to say that you didn't do very well? Be honest with yourself. What subjects are you weaker than your peers? Which subjects do you have an advantage?

I had decent but not perfect A level grades. I had peers much smarter than me that went engineering. Looking at the content and workload, engineering appeared considerably tougher than banking finance/ accountancy. Plus, they were constantly outdone by Chinese, Vietnam and Indian talents. Since my uni awarded honors by bell-curve, I knew I had a much lower chance of getting good honors if I had gone to engineering.

Long story short, I took a course in which I had a better chance of scoring in. I achieved a mix of A's and B's and I believe I barely made first-class.

With first-class honors, employers don't really care which course I studied. This really opened many doors for me. I don't consider myself very smart. I honestly believe if I had selected other "popular" courses, I would have ended up with a 2nd upper at best. In engineering I'd probably be a 2nd lower.

I am very sure it was my first class honors that got me my starting job in an investment bank. If you don't get 2nd upper, alot of doors close on you already.

Choose a course where you can do well. Engineering is really tough to score. Accountancy is much easier. This is my 2 scts.
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Old 29-02-2012, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by suppertime View Post
Hello everyone, I have a place in NUS's mech eng. There are many things on my mind that I wish to get opinions for.

After reading the threads here, it seems, in general, engineers are underappreciated and underpaid. Given that I'm in NS at the moment, I have intentions to retake my A levels to qualify for harder-to-get-in courses such as B A, accountancy. Then again, will such a degree be more valuable?
Firstly, are you really sure you have secured a place in NUS' ME or just Common Engg. Perhaps's I'm outdated, but during my time in 2001, unless you joined as a diploma holder or you have a place in Chem/Computer Engg, you would only be streamed after your 1st academic yr based on your choice and results. If your Year One result suk big time, you will be thrown to the dumping department (CE was the dumping ground during my time).

Secondly, has the entry requirement for NUS Engg dropped so much? Back in 2001, one requires at least 2 A 1 B to enter NUS Common Engg whereas requirements for NUS Bizad, NTU Accountancy/Biz Studies are less stringent. Given that NUS Engg Faculty is ranked 7th globally in QS World Ranking 2011, it's sad to see my juniors treating it like dumping ground.
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:06 PM
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Take the course that you can score better in. Seeing that you have to retake your A Levels, am I right to say that you didn't do very well? Be honest with yourself. What subjects are you weaker than your peers? Which subjects do you have an advantage?

I had decent but not perfect A level grades. I had peers much smarter than me that went engineering. Looking at the content and workload, engineering appeared considerably tougher than banking finance/ accountancy. Plus, they were constantly outdone by Chinese, Vietnam and Indian talents. Since my uni awarded honors by bell-curve, I knew I had a much lower chance of getting good honors if I had gone to engineering.

Long story short, I took a course in which I had a better chance of scoring in. I achieved a mix of A's and B's and I believe I barely made first-class.

With first-class honors, employers don't really care which course I studied. This really opened many doors for me. I don't consider myself very smart. I honestly believe if I had selected other "popular" courses, I would have ended up with a 2nd upper at best. In engineering I'd probably be a 2nd lower.

I am very sure it was my first class honors that got me my starting job in an investment bank. If you don't get 2nd upper, alot of doors close on you already.

Choose a course where you can do well. Engineering is really tough to score. Accountancy is much easier. This is my 2 scts.
Agreed. And accountancy is also very much sought after and only 3 years course in NTU. And get more chance to meet opposite sex from the business school...
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:14 PM
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Agreed. And accountancy is also very much sought after and only 3 years course in NTU. And get more chance to meet opposite sex from the business school...
Wah lau eh.. you chee hong kia huh? People go uni to study hard to earn a decent paper. You go uni to sian zha bor huh? Dun be so desperate can? = p
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:27 PM
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Wah lau eh.. you chee hong kia huh? People go uni to study hard to earn a decent paper. You go uni to sian zha bor huh? Dun be so desperate can? = p
Joking aside, the reality is that environment is very impt too. In business school, you will feel happier and more motivated attending lecture and tutorials with many chio bus compared with many ah tiongs and abnn classmates in Engr. Moreover, you get to graduate 1 year earlier and higher chance of working in Shenton Way compared to working in Tuas factories.

What is desperate? During my time in the 90s, the desperate ones were those Engr students who came to Business school library to bio all the girls.

I can tell you that most of those who took up Accoutancy in the 90s are doing a lot better than those who took up Engr. There are a lot more engrs than accountants produced in a year for the past 15 years.
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:46 PM
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Joking aside, the reality is that environment is very impt too. In business school, you will feel happier and more motivated attending lecture and tutorials with many chio bus compared with many ah tiongs and abnn classmates in Engr. Moreover, you get to graduate 1 year earlier and higher chance of working in Shenton Way compared to working in Tuas factories.

What is desperate? During my time in the 90s, the desperate ones were those Engr students who came to Business school library to bio all the girls.

I can tell you that most of those who took up Accoutancy in the 90s are doing a lot better than those who took up Engr. There are a lot more engrs than accountants produced in a year for the past 15 years.
During my times in the early 2000, the trend of Engg guys going to Arts/Bizad/Science canteen to bio gals is still there (Every other canteen just seems nicer than Engin Canteen). This trend will always be there. I was one of them too. It just makes your chicken steak tasted juicier. It's just one of our fav pastime in NUS. But so what? It shldn't be a motivational factor to choose your studies. If one is so desperate for gals, he should stay in the Halls of Residence or join SDUs, etc. Know your priority.
What is wrong with working in Tuas, compared to Shenton Way? One should care more about where his career is heading and how much he is earning.
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:59 PM
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If you are undecided, pick accountancy or banking finance. NO REGRETS

Only pick Engineering if you have a very very very strong reason to do so (which I honestly I can't think of any)

Don't need think so much. You'd figure out when you graduate 3 years down the road how lucky you are to have chosen accountancy / B&F over engineering.

Ask yourself this:

How often do you see engineering grads regretting their choice and trying to get into Banking and finance?

How often do you see accounting/B&F grads regretting and trying to get into engineering field?

Answer is clearer now?
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