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MINDEF DXO (All FAQ on it)

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  #521 (permalink)  
Old 25-01-2015, 12:35 AM
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Distance or on-campus? Exact uni? I can tell you that mindef throws alot of applications in the bin very quickly. Especially for jobs with high number of applications like defence psychologist or defence policy. I do my share of shredding everyday. Yes, these applications need to be literally shredded so that sensitive info wont be leaked out. DL degree holders without anything more than 5 years exp get binned without my boss even looking at it. For on-campus Oz we usually stick to the top 3. Being ANU, Umelb and Usyd. The rest gets thrown out most of the time.

Im an NSF clerk working for a certain dept. Though it might not be the same dept that you applied for. I'm not too sure if my place is the only one that deals with psychologists but I highly doubt so.

If you're applying at this time, you have better chances. Usually if we get tons and tons of applications during the May period like last year, everything gets thrown out other than local universities. There are no oxbridge/harvard or top ivy schools that apply for psych jobs either from what I've seen so far. There were tons of Oz uni applicants that had to be thrown out though. Especially Distance-Learning ones. There are just too many applications for a very limited number of jobs, sometimes 4-5 openings can get around 100 applications. So the main groups of applicants are NUS/NTU/SMU. Oz on-campus and Oz-distance learning in that order of preference. During this period before graduation, your application might get a good look. But if you apply anytime between May and August, it will be very difficut.
Hi, thanks so much for sharing.

Just wondering if you can shed light on where UK universities stand in relation to NUS/NTU/SMU for popular positions like defence psych and policy, as you mentioned.

Specifically, what if it's not oxbridge but still a fairly well-regarded uni, such as UCL, LSE or Edinburgh?

Or one tier below those, such as Nottingham or Manchester? ie. still well-regarded but not among the top top unis in the UK.

Do these stand on equal footing with NUS/NTU/SMU?

Also what if I have a Masters and I apply for those positions? Do I stand a better chance than bachelor degree holders or will I be seen as 'overqualified'?

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  #522 (permalink)  
Old 25-01-2015, 04:46 PM
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Hi, thanks so much for sharing.

Just wondering if you can shed light on where UK universities stand in relation to NUS/NTU/SMU for popular positions like defence psych and policy, as you mentioned.

Specifically, what if it's not oxbridge but still a fairly well-regarded uni, such as UCL, LSE or Edinburgh?

Or one tier below those, such as Nottingham or Manchester? ie. still well-regarded but not among the top top unis in the UK.

Do these stand on equal footing with NUS/NTU/SMU?

Also what if I have a Masters and I apply for those positions? Do I stand a better chance than bachelor degree holders or will I be seen as 'overqualified'?
You wont be seen as overqualified, but most masters grads with no relevant experience will not be given more pay. Even if you do get more pay, the amount is only a few hundred. UK universities is really diverse, so in effect, they do look through your application first before throwing it out. Because for UK universities, there are 3 year honors programs and 4 years honors programs as well, which makes thinks a little bit more complicated. It also depends on relevency and your bachelors. Your masters might be from LSE but if your bachelors was DL, they will scrutinise your masters to a larger extend. For example, there was once when there was an applicant with a UOL degree and LSE masters. But his grades in LSE were terrible, he literally just passed. Furthermore, his masters thesis wasnt at all impressive(according to my boss anyway). So although he went to LSE for masters, he did badly, and that 1.5 year in LSE probably did not add much value to him so my boss didnt even call him in for an interview.

But once again, we get lots of UK applicants too. When there are too many, we usually stick to ICL, UCL, KCL, LSE, these are seen as equal to the local universities. Havent seen an edinburgh applicant but they would probably be in the same range. Manchester and Nottingham usually dont get a look, they're seen as a notch below. We got quite a few Manchester applicants last year and all of them got thrown out.

Masters grads really depends. If its a UK Masters + 3 year honors degree, we see it as equivalent to a 4 year honors degree. This same standard is applied by PEB(Professional Engineers Board).

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  #523 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 12:49 AM
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You wont be seen as overqualified, but most masters grads with no relevant experience will not be given more pay. Even if you do get more pay, the amount is only a few hundred. UK universities is really diverse, so in effect, they do look through your application first before throwing it out. Because for UK universities, there are 3 year honors programs and 4 years honors programs as well, which makes thinks a little bit more complicated. It also depends on relevency and your bachelors. Your masters might be from LSE but if your bachelors was DL, they will scrutinise your masters to a larger extend. For example, there was once when there was an applicant with a UOL degree and LSE masters. But his grades in LSE were terrible, he literally just passed. Furthermore, his masters thesis wasnt at all impressive(according to my boss anyway). So although he went to LSE for masters, he did badly, and that 1.5 year in LSE probably did not add much value to him so my boss didnt even call him in for an interview.

But once again, we get lots of UK applicants too. When there are too many, we usually stick to ICL, UCL, KCL, LSE, these are seen as equal to the local universities. Havent seen an edinburgh applicant but they would probably be in the same range. Manchester and Nottingham usually dont get a look, they're seen as a notch below. We got quite a few Manchester applicants last year and all of them got thrown out.

Masters grads really depends. If its a UK Masters + 3 year honors degree, we see it as equivalent to a 4 year honors degree. This same standard is applied by PEB(Professional Engineers Board).
Thanks again.

I have a second upper honours degree from NUS, but its in comms and new media. I'm intending to pursue a Masters in a more traditional social science like Psychology from a UK uni.

The reason why I'm pursuing a Masters is that I've found that media jobs don't suit me and I'd prefer doing psychology or research/analysis related roles. So I'd have a 4 year NUS second upper hons degree in comms and new media + a UK Psychology Masters degree.

Where does this put me in the pecking order? Assuming I do well for my Masters, will I be able to get an interview or will they still prefer NUS/NTU/SMU Psychology fresh grads instead?

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  #524 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 11:22 AM
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Distance or on-campus? Exact uni? I can tell you that mindef throws alot of applications in the bin very quickly. Especially for jobs with high number of applications like defence psychologist or defence policy. I do my share of shredding everyday. Yes, these applications need to be literally shredded so that sensitive info wont be leaked out. DL degree holders without anything more than 5 years exp get binned without my boss even looking at it. For on-campus Oz we usually stick to the top 3. Being ANU, Umelb and Usyd. The rest gets thrown out most of the time.

Im an NSF clerk working for a certain dept. Though it might not be the same dept that you applied for. I'm not too sure if my place is the only one that deals with psychologists but I highly doubt so.

If you're applying at this time, you have better chances. Usually if we get tons and tons of applications during the May period like last year, everything gets thrown out other than local universities. There are no oxbridge/harvard or top ivy schools that apply for psych jobs either from what I've seen so far. There were tons of Oz uni applicants that had to be thrown out though. Especially Distance-Learning ones. There are just too many applications for a very limited number of jobs, sometimes 4-5 openings can get around 100 applications. So the main groups of applicants are NUS/NTU/SMU. Oz on-campus and Oz-distance learning in that order of preference. During this period before graduation, your application might get a good look. But if you apply anytime between May and August, it will be very difficut.
Thanks for the info =) I actually always thought UQ was higher ranked than USyd and definitely more popular. Hmm.. didn't know they looked at the top 3 only. My honours year was on campus. I guess my first 3 years also considered on-campus. Except not in australia. Uni is one of the group of 8 but shall not name the exact uni (but not the 3 you mentioned. was real close to applying for ANU honours though). But actually there are 7 Aust uni that are ranked above NTU on QS psychology world rankings 2014 so I wonder why only those three you mentioned are considered. Haha! Anyways do they normally bin before calling you up for psychometrics or after? I got email the day after applying asking me to go down for psychometric test so means they looked at my application?

I did read a lot about local degree being the favoured ones though. I was just hoping that at least for research jobs, they'd take into consideration that we completed theses although many organisations really seem to miss them out or their portals don't let you tell the recruiters that you've a thesis or maybe even publication. Seems some organisations do get pleasantly surprised when they realise you've actually written a thesis. Lol.


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  #525 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 05:46 PM
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does anyone know where HR personnel are usually stationed at? is it the cmpb building?
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  #526 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 06:06 PM
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does anyone know where HR personnel are usually stationed at? is it the cmpb building?
CMPB or MINDEF HQ
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  #527 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 06:33 PM
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CMPB or MINDEF HQ
How about finance personnel?
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  #528 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 09:32 PM
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Thanks again.

I have a second upper honours degree from NUS, but its in comms and new media. I'm intending to pursue a Masters in a more traditional social science like Psychology from a UK uni.

The reason why I'm pursuing a Masters is that I've found that media jobs don't suit me and I'd prefer doing psychology or research/analysis related roles. So I'd have a 4 year NUS second upper hons degree in comms and new media + a UK Psychology Masters degree.

Where does this put me in the pecking order? Assuming I do well for my Masters, will I be able to get an interview or will they still prefer NUS/NTU/SMU Psychology fresh grads instead?
This really boils down to what my boss or the interviewer thinks. You have an unrelated degree but you have work experience(I assume). So you're not technically a fresh grad any longer. So it could go either way. But IMO, if your Pscyh masters is not from a top UK uni, they will prefer fresh local psych grads instead. This is dependant on the job. If you are looking to work in comms or HR or analyst position with your masters, then you will be treated differently. However, if you are applying for the defence psychologist, they might not take you in and would prefer freshies. This is because a 4 year bachelor's has much more breadth and depth than a 1-2 years masters in psych.
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  #529 (permalink)  
Old 26-01-2015, 09:46 PM
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Thanks for the info =) I actually always thought UQ was higher ranked than USyd and definitely more popular. Hmm.. didn't know they looked at the top 3 only. My honours year was on campus. I guess my first 3 years also considered on-campus. Except not in australia. Uni is one of the group of 8 but shall not name the exact uni (but not the 3 you mentioned. was real close to applying for ANU honours though). But actually there are 7 Aust uni that are ranked above NTU on QS psychology world rankings 2014 so I wonder why only those three you mentioned are considered. Haha! Anyways do they normally bin before calling you up for psychometrics or after? I got email the day after applying asking me to go down for psychometric test so means they looked at my application?

I did read a lot about local degree being the favoured ones though. I was just hoping that at least for research jobs, they'd take into consideration that we completed theses although many organisations really seem to miss them out or their portals don't let you tell the recruiters that you've a thesis or maybe even publication. Seems some organisations do get pleasantly surprised when they realise you've actually written a thesis. Lol.
Everyone is sent for psychometric, regardless of whether your application has been seen or not. This is so that it makes the process much more faster and streamlined. It will be a waste of time to call you for an interview first and then you go ahead and fail the psycho test. Group of 8 isnt that big of a deal. In terms of rankings, not everything is in black and white. They look at the universities holistically too. Say for example, a philosophy masters graduate from Rutgers University and a philosophy graduate from Cambridge University both apply for a defence policy job in mindef. It is highly likely that the cambridge grad will get the job. However, Rutgers is ranked higher in terms of philosophy than Cambridge is!

Rankings also include research quality of the faculty members, which might not translate to quality of students. Quality of students is more related to the rigor of the curriculum, which most Australian universities lack when compared to Asian institutes. So what if you've completed a theses? So has every other local uni honors graduate out there lol. What's your readership? How many researchers have cited your paper?

IMO UQ is more popular among Singaporeans because they give liberal exemptions to poly grads.
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  #530 (permalink)  
Old 27-01-2015, 03:39 AM
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This really boils down to what my boss or the interviewer thinks. You have an unrelated degree but you have work experience(I assume). So you're not technically a fresh grad any longer. So it could go either way. But IMO, if your Pscyh masters is not from a top UK uni, they will prefer fresh local psych grads instead. This is dependant on the job. If you are looking to work in comms or HR or analyst position with your masters, then you will be treated differently. However, if you are applying for the defence psychologist, they might not take you in and would prefer freshies. This is because a 4 year bachelor's has much more breadth and depth than a 1-2 years masters in psych.
Ah well, that was what I thought. It's pretty much a crapshoot then.

I do have around 1.5 years of work experience but it's in media so it would be seen as unrelated.

What if I continue working now and do a part-time Unisim psych bachelors degree and graduate with first class honours? So I'd have 2 bachelors degrees...my NUS one and a Unisim psych one.
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