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Big 4 vs Govt Sector

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 26-05-2015, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
May I ask why these 3 Ministry in particular? Then are you looking into going into corporate side (e.g. Audit or Finance) or the policy side? Because that will make a difference as to where you want to go.

Also, what are your long term plans. I.e, what do you envisage yourself to be doing at age 50? Would you want to practice what you've learned, and be an expert in it? If so, would advise you to go private. But if you want to earn sufficient money, able to take care of children and home, then perhaps public sector will be more suited for you.

You need to think through in deeper what you want first, before people can advise you further.


Thanks everyone for the advice!!

I'm looking at these 3 ministries in particular because they are approved institutions to take SQP, so I thought that it would give me an option to take SQP if I wanted to in the future. However, I'm open to other ministries as well, do you all have any suggestions which has the best environment etc?

I'm currently more inclined towards accounting part of public sector because it's more relevant to my degree. However, I haven't decided between accounting or the "management executive" path as I'm not sure what both job scopes fully entail so I'm not sure which I would prefer.

To be honest, my long term plans are simply to be able to sustain my family in the future, to give my children a comfortable life. Which is why I'm considering public sector, as there seems to be no point in going Big 4. However, it is easier to go into public from private than the other way around, so I'm scared I will regret not trying Big 4. Furthermore, my parents are against me going public sector straight away, which is making me reconsider if I should try private first, or go straight into public sector.

I would appreciate any advice, I'm really super confused

Thanks everyone!!

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 26-05-2015, 02:20 PM
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Hi,

Firstly, I think it is really commendable for you to have the initiative to explore your career options before you graduate. Go somewhere where you think you have both the affinity (skillset) and passion (inclination as you mentioned) such that you can progress in that particular agency (public) / company (private) you eventually choose.

I have moved from big 4 to Ministry, to statutory boards and MNCs (*please refrain from my practice). From the preliminary background and comments furnished, i think it would be better for you to start in either a major statutory board (i.e. EDB, HDB, CPF Board). For Ministries, go MOF or MINDEF first [reasons provided in part (ii)].

(i) Consideration for Statutory Boards:

The aforementioned statboards - HDB and CPF Board offers accounting roles closer to those of commercial sectors (i.e. you get to apply the FRSes you learnt in school). Both offer Financial and Management Accounting. HDB offers an additional Treasury role. For EDB, the finance function are more transactional and budget-oriented. Not much commercial accounting application. It would be better to go for policy roles (i.e. Business Tax Incentives in the Business Environment Unit) there. Worklife-wise, you will have it better in HDB and CPF Board as compared to EDB. (*For all three agencies, can go if all goes well).

(ii) Consideration for Ministries

If you like accounting and finance, apply for the Tax Policy ("TP") Directorate / Fiscal Policy ("FP") Directorate (currently adverstised) / Reserves and Investment ("R&I") Directorate / Security and Resilience ("S&R") Directorate. Tax Policy looks at formulation of indirect (GST), corporate, personal, casino and international taxes. You get to analyse data gathered from stakeholders, frame your perspective into writing (or submission in colloquial terms) and present it to the management before they are implemented in the annual budget. FP looks at our government budgets and how to allocate it efficiently and equitably for various needs (i.e. healthcare, transport, education and enhancing social safety nets). R&I deals with our sovereign wealth funds (Temasek and GIC) on critical sovereign investment decisions. S&I deals with our security agencies i.e. MHA. (*Decide if you want to stay on after your first promotion, usually in four years).

For MINDEF, just go for the DXO positions related to accounting (i.e. accountant, internal auditors and financial planning). Location may be an issue (Gombak Camp) unless you stay in the west side of Sg. (*Can remain there if all goes well).

Oh btw, the SQP-accredited training organisations relates to MOH Holdings, not MOH. So, not too sure if that affects your choice of Ministries in this case. MOH Holdings is a pte company and is both a subsidiary and agent of MOF and MOH respectively. They receive funding from MOH to sustain their operational requirements. (*Can remain if all goes well).

Ministries are on cash basis since they are policy-centric, so you won't get to experience commercial accounting (which is on accrual basis).

(iii) Concluding Thoughts

I'm not sure if your parents have been to the public sector before but there's nothing wrong with going to private sector actually. What matters is articulated in the first paragraph:

"Go somewhere where you think you have both the affinity (skillset) and passion (inclination as you mentioned) such that you can progress in that particular agency (public) / company (private) you eventually choose"

When you make your mark in a particular organisation, you will be approached for your expertise and experience, and not vice versa.

Had a short lunch and saw your post. I hope my rugged journey can serve a gentle reminder to prospective graduates setting their foot to the working society for the first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertrouper View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice!!

I'm looking at these 3 ministries in particular because they are approved institutions to take SQP, so I thought that it would give me an option to take SQP if I wanted to in the future. However, I'm open to other ministries as well, do you all have any suggestions which has the best environment etc?

I'm currently more inclined towards accounting part of public sector because it's more relevant to my degree. However, I haven't decided between accounting or the "management executive" path as I'm not sure what both job scopes fully entail so I'm not sure which I would prefer.

To be honest, my long term plans are simply to be able to sustain my family in the future, to give my children a comfortable life. Which is why I'm considering public sector, as there seems to be no point in going Big 4. However, it is easier to go into public from private than the other way around, so I'm scared I will regret not trying Big 4. Furthermore, my parents are against me going public sector straight away, which is making me reconsider if I should try private first, or go straight into public sector.

I would appreciate any advice, I'm really super confused

Thanks everyone!!


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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 28-05-2015, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supertrouper View Post
Thanks everyone for the advice!!

I'm looking at these 3 ministries in particular because they are approved institutions to take SQP, so I thought that it would give me an option to take SQP if I wanted to in the future. However, I'm open to other ministries as well, do you all have any suggestions which has the best environment etc?

I'm currently more inclined towards accounting part of public sector because it's more relevant to my degree. However, I haven't decided between accounting or the "management executive" path as I'm not sure what both job scopes fully entail so I'm not sure which I would prefer.

To be honest, my long term plans are simply to be able to sustain my family in the future, to give my children a comfortable life. Which is why I'm considering public sector, as there seems to be no point in going Big 4. However, it is easier to go into public from private than the other way around, so I'm scared I will regret not trying Big 4. Furthermore, my parents are against me going public sector straight away, which is making me reconsider if I should try private first, or go straight into public sector.

I would appreciate any advice, I'm really super confused

Thanks everyone!!
If your intentition is just to make decent pay and lead a simple middle class life for you & your family, public sector is where you should be.

The big4 (esp for non-partners, i.e. Associate all the way to Director level) is mostly long working hours & low pay. Those who join are either trying to build CY hoping for a better life in corporate finance or cheonging to be partner. You don't seem to belong to either of the 2.

My advice is to broaden your application to cover all major ministries & stat boards. Unless you are a hot potato, chances you will have to apply for quite a few jobs before you get something, don't restrict yourself to just 3 ministry at this stage.

As for your parents not wanting you to join CS, while they are your parents, your career really has nothing to do with them. It is easy for them to say whatever they like, at the end of the day the one chalking up long hours & taking sh1t is you, not them. Never just blindly follow your parent's whims & fancy. They mean well, but its your life & career, not theirs.

When I fist started work, my mum pressured me to join a bank non-stop because she keep thinking banker is high class big money good for her to boast. In the end I join a bank though I have no interest and end up wasting 2 years on doing something I dont like and the pay isn't even half as good as what she thinks.



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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 28-05-2015, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
If your intentition is just to make decent pay and lead a simple middle class life for you & your family, public sector is where you should be.

The big4 (esp for non-partners, i.e. Associate all the way to Director level) is mostly long working hours & low pay. Those who join are either trying to build CY hoping for a better life in corporate finance or cheonging to be partner. You don't seem to belong to either of the 2.

My advice is to broaden your application to cover all major ministries & stat boards. Unless you are a hot potato, chances you will have to apply for quite a few jobs before you get something, don't restrict yourself to just 3 ministry at this stage.

As for your parents not wanting you to join CS, while they are your parents, your career really has nothing to do with them. It is easy for them to say whatever they like, at the end of the day the one chalking up long hours & taking sh1t is you, not them. Never just blindly follow your parent's whims & fancy. They mean well, but its your life & career, not theirs.

When I fist started work, my mum pressured me to join a bank non-stop because she keep thinking banker is high class big money good for her to boast. In the end I join a bank though I have no interest and end up wasting 2 years on doing something I dont like and the pay isn't even half as good as what she thinks.
Congrats to you, 2 years is not too late. A lot of parents force kids to do things they wished they could do. So many become doctors and lawyers cos "their parents wanted them to". Some love it, some are ok, some hate it. Those who hate it will wake up one day and realise they have been wasting their life doing something they don't like.

To OP, your parents gave any reasons why you shouldn't join public sector? I thought most would encourage kids to join public as it's a stable job.
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Old 28-05-2015, 12:43 PM
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Congrats to you, 2 years is not too late. A lot of parents force kids to do things they wished they could do. So many become doctors and lawyers cos "their parents wanted them to". Some love it, some are ok, some hate it. Those who hate it will wake up one day and realise they have been wasting their life doing something they don't like.

To OP, your parents gave any reasons why you shouldn't join public sector? I thought most would encourage kids to join public as it's a stable job.
Haha true true... Seems like parents always go for doctor & lawyer first, if the kid cannot study then settle for accountant or banker.

But I think having a job you hate is actually better that having a job that is OK dun love dun hate. At least if you hate the job you constantly trying to look for escape alternative.

Having a OK job just means you do it year after year without any feeling retire & die without actually having done anything in your life. This kind the worst, everyday work like zombie, spend the money you earn on holidays, spas, treats, kids etc because your life is too meaningless then go back to be zombie again.
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Old 31-05-2015, 01:17 PM
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I have quite a number of friends staying until 8+pm working in CS, especially the ones at MOH writing policy papers, MAS & EDB.

Of course there are always those who can leave on time. E.g. NEA

It depends on your job scope. If this is "unheard of" then by all means go join and find out.

Source: Actual friends+myself who are working in Civil/public service.
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Old 31-05-2015, 01:38 PM
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I have quite a number of friends staying until 8+pm working in CS, especially the ones at MOH writing policy papers, MAS & EDB.

Of course there are always those who can leave on time. E.g. NEA

It depends on your job scope. If this is "unheard of" then by all means go join and find out.

Source: Actual friends+myself who are working in Civil/public service.
Lol. I think those at NEA will protest lor.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 02-06-2015, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I have quite a number of friends staying until 8+pm working in CS, especially the ones at MOH writing policy papers, MAS & EDB.

Of course there are always those who can leave on time. E.g. NEA

It depends on your job scope. If this is "unheard of" then by all means go join and find out.

Source: Actual friends+myself who are working in Civil/public service.
cannot compare policy side with normal gov sector. policy is done by scholars or high potential farmers goinig for Director & above CEP. policy side is very competitive as it is considered privilege to be able to join them.

rest of public sector most ppl are there just to do work, past time & get their standard increments & promotion
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:57 PM
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What does policy side really mean? Those who are proposing policies?

What about those who are researching on the effects of current policies, or current issues which may lead to implementation of certain policies? Are they considered policy side?
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:05 PM
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What does policy side really mean? Those who are proposing policies?

What about those who are researching on the effects of current policies, or current issues which may lead to implementation of certain policies? Are they considered policy side?
Policy side usually means those who are part of the project/committee crafting the policy.

Those who are doing support work like gathering feedback, implementing policies, data analytics or comms work like running roadshow on policy are not considered policy roles. Supporting policy is general job that most farmers in public sector can take up as well.

Key thing you must be part of the team that has the mandated terms of reference to create or review the policy to be considered "policy" in public sector. These jobs give a lot of exposure and visibility to ministers/perm secs/CE - that's why usually reserve for scholars or high potential farmers.
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