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Are PhD-level engineers well-compensated?

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Old 05-12-2011, 10:25 PM
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Default Are PhD-level engineers well-compensated?

Hello,

I am an American with a PhD in Chemical Engineering from one of the top 5 universities in the US. My graduate work was related to fuel cells and my current job is in the semiconductor industry. I have 2 years of pre-PhD experience and 3 years post-PhD.

Over the past decade (including before I got my doctorate), I have watched the center of technology development shift from the US to Asia. I am considering making a strategic move to Asia so that I can shift with it. I am not Asian and my linguistic history does not support learning Chinese (tonal vs. atonal languages, etc.), so Hong Kong and China are out. Singapore is the easiest choice because of language and the fact that Singaporeans are accustomed to dealing with people from other cultures.

I've been on temporary assignments in Singapore for my US based employer in the past and found it to be an OK place to live.

My current position in the US is a fairly good one -- I make $100k + 10% bonus per year. About 30% goes to taxes and 4% goes to health insurance/health care.

Can I expect to make similar money in Singapore? Are there positions for people with my combination of high-end skills and high salary expectations?

As a foreigner, I would not have the same social networks as someone who has lived in Singapore throughout their life. How much would this hurt me?



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Old 05-12-2011, 10:52 PM
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Singapore is an extremely pro-foreigner country, especially towards white caucasians or "Anglo-Saxons". In fact, local citizens are treated as second class, or third, depending on how you count. Google "cai ming jie" for evidence.

Your American accent will also bode well with the local sarong party types.

Your current pay is considered low. Expect to make easily twice the amount and pay half the tax rate.

Whatever you do, just don't ever convert to Singaore citizenship unless you're out of your mind. It's the worst kind of citizenship in the world. Getting permanent residency here is the best option.

You heard this advice here.

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Old 05-12-2011, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Singapore is an extremely pro-foreigner country, especially towards white caucasians or "Anglo-Saxons". In fact, local citizens are treated as second class, or third, depending on how you count. Google "cai ming jie" for evidence.
Thanks for the information.

Here is a related question: I'm a Black American; darker than Obama.

I only rarely recognized racial issues while on assignment in Singapore; a couple of odd looks and meeting one person who had never seen hair like mine before. This is better than most countries that I've lived/worked in (been all over the world).

However, I have always been a worker employed by a foreign company and never had to "live on" the Singaporean system. Can I expect my race to hurt me here?

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Old 06-12-2011, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Thanks for the information.

Here is a related question: I'm a Black American; darker than Obama.

I only rarely recognized racial issues while on assignment in Singapore; a couple of odd looks and meeting one person who had never seen hair like mine before. This is better than most countries that I've lived/worked in (been all over the world).

However, I have always been a worker employed by a foreign company and never had to "live on" the Singaporean system. Can I expect my race to hurt me here?
Still good. You are still a class or two above the local citizens.

Some sarong party types like your type.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:22 AM
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Straits Times is the largest broadsheet newspaper in Singapore.

The following appeared on its front page recently, concrete evidence of local citizens being 2nd or 3rd class (implying foreigners first):

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Old 06-12-2011, 06:53 PM
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Straits Times is the largest broadsheet newspaper in Singapore.

The following appeared on its front page recently, concrete evidence of local citizens being 2nd or 3rd class (implying foreigners first):

I was overseas when this ST article appeared, and thus missed it. On reading this, I am abhorred that our government has to beg foreigners not to discriminate against Singaporeans in our own country. What a joke.
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:32 PM
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I was overseas when this ST article appeared, and thus missed it. On reading this, I am abhorred that our government has to beg foreigners not to discriminate against Singaporeans in our own country. What a joke.
Which part do you find funny? That the gahment is begging the foreigners? Or that Singaporeans are being discriminated against in their own country?
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