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Big 4 vs Govt Sector

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Old 25-05-2015, 10:50 PM
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Default Big 4 vs Govt Sector

I will be graduating next year and am considering going to Big 4 or straight into public sector.

Some background info:
Accounting degree from NTU, expected to graduate with a second upper class honours, female so no NS, graduating in 2016.

Can I get some advice, what are the differences (eg. Pay? How much should I expect for public sector in the accounting department? Career prospects?) between Big 4 and civil service?

My dilemma is the lack of work life balance in big 4, such as working till 3am. In that aspect, civil service seems better. But big 4 would bring me more possible career paths, am I right?

For civil service, I'm looking mainly at MinLaw, Mindef or MOH. But not sure what's the culture like in these 3.

Would appreciate any advice on which path/company would you guys recommend or not recommend. Big 4 or public sector? And if public sector, which would you recommend? Thanks!

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Old 25-05-2015, 11:09 PM
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with your 2nd upper degree, it's definitely civil service > big4.

idk how long u will take to earn 5k/mth in big4, but i can tell u that 5k/mth in CS is very possible n achievable within 5 years.

staying past 7pm is literally unheard of in CS. why slog so much in the big4? especially if u do not know if u will resign during the peak period of working until 2-3am daily?

even if u can tahan working until 2-3am daily, u might not be promoted in big4. but i can certainly tell u that u WILL be promoted in the CS with your 2nd upper from local reputable uni (eg NTU).

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Old 25-05-2015, 11:36 PM
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big4 starting is lower (2.6-3k) compared to the public sector (MOH female 2nd upper $3260). The increment for big4 sld be slight higher, but most ppl will diao at the 6-9k range as an (asst) manager, leading your own team of auditors. This is roughly the income ceiling for civil/public servants as well.

From then on, civil/public servants will be stuck at the ceiling, and will not have much chance to move up.

On the other hand, if u continue to perform exceedingly well as an auditor, u can continue to climb and expect to earn $12-16k as a director.

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Old 25-05-2015, 11:37 PM
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In CS a Senior Assistant Director is more or less guaranteed will reach before retirement for those with good local degree, which is not bad in terms of pay considering workload is relatively low.

Big4 if you cannot excel then will get stuck quite early, jump to corp finance also most people will end career as some local finance manager/controller. But the good thing about going Big 4 is it gives you chance to build your exp to become regional directors / cfos.

Depends on whether you want to gamble. Win you become cfo, lose then get stuck with lousy pay and long working hrs. IMO ppl like you that ask this kind of question better to go CS, this means your drive and hunger to go for the win is just not there. Better take a cushy job and get stable pay which can give you decent middle class lifestyle.
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Old 26-05-2015, 12:14 AM
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Hello. Go public better. More money and better work life.
Best of both world!!! Can I have your no?
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Old 26-05-2015, 12:16 AM
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Hello. Go public better. More money and better work life.
Best of both world!!! Can I have your no?
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Old 26-05-2015, 12:37 AM
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if you're the ambitious type, then go big 4, get some experience and then move on to corp finance.
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Old 26-05-2015, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Supertrouper View Post
I will be graduating next year and am considering going to Big 4 or straight into public sector.

Some background info:
Accounting degree from NTU, expected to graduate with a second upper class honours, female so no NS, graduating in 2016.

Can I get some advice, what are the differences (eg. Pay? How much should I expect for public sector in the accounting department? Career prospects?) between Big 4 and civil service?

My dilemma is the lack of work life balance in big 4, such as working till 3am. In that aspect, civil service seems better. But big 4 would bring me more possible career paths, am I right?

For civil service, I'm looking mainly at MinLaw, Mindef or MOH. But not sure what's the culture like in these 3.

Would appreciate any advice on which path/company would you guys recommend or not recommend. Big 4 or public sector? And if public sector, which would you recommend? Thanks!
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.
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Old 26-05-2015, 10:47 AM
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with your 2nd upper degree, it's definitely civil service > big4.

idk how long u will take to earn 5k/mth in big4, but i can tell u that 5k/mth in CS is very possible n achievable within 5 years.

staying past 7pm is literally unheard of in CS. why slog so much in the big4? especially if u do not know if u will resign during the peak period of working until 2-3am daily?

even if u can tahan working until 2-3am daily, u might not be promoted in big4. but i can certainly tell u that u WILL be promoted in the CS with your 2nd upper from local reputable uni (eg NTU).
in 5 yrs a fresh grad in big 4 will b AM earning 5k/mth. 99.9% confirm unless u screw up. but cs 5k kah ho tan. ur 5k in big4 = 8am-8pm mon-fri, maybe even bring work home to finish at night or on sat/sun. cs 5k is 8-6pm, wkends eng eng cheng cheng, wkday nights can also go out with frens.
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Old 26-05-2015, 11:07 AM
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in 5 yrs a fresh grad in big 4 will b AM earning 5k/mth. 99.9% confirm unless u screw up. but cs 5k kah ho tan. ur 5k in big4 = 8am-8pm mon-fri, maybe even bring work home to finish at night or on sat/sun. cs 5k is 8-6pm, wkends eng eng cheng cheng, wkday nights can also go out with frens.
Cannot just compare monthly salary, must see total package. big4 only ~14 mth whereas CS ~16mth. big4 monthy need to be 15% higher than CS just to be on par for total package.

Got 2up just join cs lah, dun waste time on big4 unless you really wanna aim to make it big.
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