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Job Advice:Is it better to start career in Public Service or Private Sector for Tech?

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-05-2021, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I'd rank your offers this way for career progression and growth opportunities:

1. Tech consultancy MNC <> Big 4. This depends on which MNC and which Big 4.
3. Public service IT stat board.
4. Public service rotational stat board.

I did #4. Didn't write a single line of code for months. Didn't touch a database ever due to red tape. Had to deal with vendor-managed crap codebases and data. My manager, I paraphrase, said it wasn't important to know SQL and databases lol -- because they had never done a production project before with 15-20 YOE. So I left for the private sector and am much happier.

IMO, the opportunities available to a fresh grad here are better than what you've listed - they are less competitive in terms of pay and opportunities than FAANG/unicorn tier or even Shopee/Grab. If you can get into unicorn/consumer facing tech, these generally have the best opportunities for growth. This is my tier list after 2-5 YOE:

1. FAANG + Bytedance
2. Unicorn & BAT - big range here but Shopee, Grab, Lazada
3. 2nd tier ecommerce coy e.g. travel platforms
4. Softbank / big-name VC funded startups
5. IT / SWE role in big bank or MNC
6. Tech consultancy that doesn't touch govt projects -- you will be stuck doing stakeholder management
7. Tech consultancy doing govt projects

I wouldn't even put govt on this list. Experience is not transferable AT ALL for the most part and you generally will find no mentors to learn good practices from which is super important.
This was really insightful. May I find out more about how you transitioned from the public to the private sector and whether it was very difficult for you to do so? Personally feel curious about the public service work but am conflicted between taking the adventure now, or later on in my career.

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2021, 12:00 PM
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Cool

Not #7. Sharing a real life example of two fresh grads from the same school with similar profile

Freshie 1 joins ecommerce unicorn. 1.5 years later, joins chinese internet giant with senior rank

Freshie 2 joins govt. 1.5 years later, Bytedance doesn't even offer to interview. Despite freshie 2 got do open source work for >5k github starred projects. So freshie 2 joins ecommerce unicorn to replace freshie 1.

Don't know how to make it more obvious for TS.

Whole thread say don't go govt still want to consider govt lol.

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2021, 12:58 PM
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Default #7 poster

Side projects and contributions to well known projects. When leaving I heard that most had failed tech screens and that's why they joined the govt lol.

You seem like you'd be a great fit for govt. It's not an "adventure", it's a black hole.

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2021, 01:02 PM
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Story of 2 fresh grads from same local u

Freshie 1 join ecommerce coy as engineer
1.5 year later join china internet giant as senior engineer

Freshie 2 join govt as engineer
1.5 year later... cannot get china internet giant interview
1.5 year later, lan lan join ecommerce coy to replace freshie 1 lol

TS dun be gong kia lol
Whole thread tell you avoid govt still want to eng eng pursue
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2021, 04:36 PM
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Is public sector really that bad? Understand red tapes, bureaucracy and all is inevitable. What if you join those reputable ones like MAS, Govtech? Ain't they prestigious too? I get this perception that Public Service rewards `loyalty' AKA how long you stay. So if you intend to carve a long term career, it doesn't seem too bad imo. Also, Public Service does seem like a stable iron bowl. Stable work hours, reasonable pay. Is it really that bad?
P. S. haven't been there but maybe I have an overly idealistic perception. Any one in PS maybe can share more insights?
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-05-2021, 08:46 PM
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how willing are you to start over your career in either area? whether you go from public side to private side or private to public, you will likely have to take a pay cut and start a step back all over again since either side are quite different and don't value the skills from the other side much
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2021, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Is public sector really that bad? Understand red tapes, bureaucracy and all is inevitable. What if you join those reputable ones like MAS, Govtech? Ain't they prestigious too? I get this perception that Public Service rewards `loyalty' AKA how long you stay. So if you intend to carve a long term career, it doesn't seem too bad imo. Also, Public Service does seem like a stable iron bowl. Stable work hours, reasonable pay. Is it really that bad?
P. S. haven't been there but maybe I have an overly idealistic perception. Any one in PS maybe can share more insights?
Scholar culture. If you are a non-scholar, career progression is slower than private in most cases. Unless you are really behkan. But that is not the worse part.

One does not leave the government sector easily because skills mismatch. Government procure and audit as the customer, vendor do the real thing. In government you hear all the time people saying want to quit. But when you leave it is pay cut. When you are paying off your mortgage and car loan it won’t be that easy anymore.

There are exceptional cases but rare. Speak to your working relatives or friends they will mostly agree. Also not uncommon for civil servants to have side businesses, whether official or unofficial though spouse.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 26-07-2021, 12:51 PM
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Doesnt it depend on what your job scope is though? As long as you are doing technical job wouldnt the skills be transferrable? Say for example GovTech does quite a bit of tech development isnt it? Asking because considering their TAP.

Also, does DSO count as public service? Talked to some of the research engineers there and they seem to be doing quite a fair bit of technical work and development so are those transferrable to other private sectors?
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 26-07-2021, 01:17 PM
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While tech is booming currently I recommend private tech sector that actually offers stock units bah. Technically that is where most of the salary for a tech employee gets. Don’t be distracted by the high starting salary. Its easier to get promoted in private sector too if you are not a scholar. After accumulating all the stocks you can then convert to a non-tech public sector to “retire” and have more time to spend with your family and stuffs. The stocks won’t be waiting for you forever.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 26-07-2021, 11:32 PM
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I was from private about 10years and switched to govtech.
Not really clicks with the culture, people and processes.
From my current team history, promotion and pay increment is too little compared to private.
The skills set is only applicable to current department. Not valuable to your portfolio. Basically people just get some tasks and making sure you are busy and hit the kpi.
However there are many folks stay put because
1. Comfortable with small gang of friends.
2. Not updated skills set. Doubt their resume will be selected if want to try private.
3. Plan to repeat doing same tasks till retire.
4. It is rare that junior talented can replace senior old folks. So likely people already secured the seat as if you do not leave then nobody will kick you out.

If you are ok with 1,2,3,4 then gov sector definatelt suit you.
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