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Really that bad for engineers?

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  #531 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 01:48 AM
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Default Not that bad for engineer

I happened to be researching for my son's university choices and I stumbled onto this thread. Being an engineer myself, I am very disappointed to see what many people said about engineers. Unfortunately, some of them is true. And there couldn't be more truth to the portion of engineers being undervalued in Singapore.

I hope that my many years of experience will straighten many perceptions out there.

I graduated from with a engineering degree in 1980, and worked in Singapore for about five years in automobile. Soon, opportunity came knocking on my door when I was approaching thirties. I was relocated to Germany.

I work for a Germany automobile. Automobiles have always been my love since young and my performance in work got recognized. I climbed up the ladder, getting good position, good pay, and a job with great gratifications.

I got lucky, I got paid really really well. I am paid 300k euros per annum. Living in Germany has got to be the best thing in my life. I own a really nice house by the lake much bigger than the bungalows you guys dream of getting in Singapore, completed with a nice garden. I drive big cars, own a bike collection, had a comfortable lifestyle of working from 10am to 3pm everyday. I've retired, now still getting company from the board I am in. I get to travel around the world quite a big, overseeing many offices around the world. I work with banks, know how they work, and I am probably the guy with the richest global experience here.

To be frank, I haven't been back to SG for quite some time, and is only recently back to accompany my son for his NS. However, I am disgusted by the culture in Singapore these days. When have we evolved into a culture of instant gratification?

Young man, this is not the way. You should be driven to do things you love, then the big bucks will come. Some people pointed it out right. You have to be the best in your field. Obviously many engineers are lamenting on their low wages and tough environment working with FTs. Well, let me put it across to you frankly, you are there because you suck.

A good engineer cares about products. He cares about consumer experience. He make great things, and companies love them. I'm not sure why one guy pointed that Singapore engineering follows a socialist system or some sort. No. That's not how the rest of the world is functioning. Engineering is a meritocratic and tough society in the west. If you are not good, you are out.

Ultimately, there are two things I strongly believe and I hope young men and women will remember for the rest of their live to make their big decisions.

One, love what you do. You have to love what you do. And once you do, you will be exceptionally good at what you are doing. THEN, the money will come.

Two, widen your visions. For heaven's sake, Singapore isn't the whole world. If engineering don't work in Singapore, venture out. Don't be afraid to move out.

Coming from a Singaporean living in Germany for two decades, Singapore is not the world. Venture out. Venture out. I can't emphasize enough on this, but please do.

Richard/

And one more thing...

To engineers: Stop playing Starcraft and get your ass to the library, read some books, and improve yourself. Remember, the best investment is to invest in yourself.

To business people: Watch where you are going. True that one finance guy is to five engineers. Are you going to make it to that ONE finance guy?

Life is like this. If you suck, you can't earn big bucks. Instead of making yourself unhappy by comparing, be contented that you have a roof over your head, think back on your past, and ask yourself why have you not worked hard in the past.


P.S. I am still very inclined to giving my son an engineering education. Peace.

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  #532 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 08:51 AM
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You got lucky and now you say engineers got bad salaries because they suck. You are too arrogant. It's not as simple as just opening up and moving out of Singapore when lots of highly skilled westerners are moving away from their high-unemployment countries to Asia.

If you are really good, I challenge you to start an engineering company here and hire only Singaporeans. Pay them well if they are good.

Singapore came in 2nd in the International Mathematical Olympiad, just behind the hugely populous China. We do have technical talent and people who work very hard and willing to "open up and venture out", so help give us opportunities instead of just saying we suck.

Start a company here and pay us good salaries if we are good.

Challenge issued. Peace.

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  #533 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 08:59 AM
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Correction:
Singapore came in 3rd, behind the hugely populous China and USA, ahead of Germany.

If you think one can score well in IMO competitions by "Asian rote learning", try some of the questions yourself.

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  #534 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I happened to be researching for my son's university choices and I stumbled onto this thread. Being an engineer myself, I am very disappointed to see what many people said about engineers. Unfortunately, some of them is true. And there couldn't be more truth to the portion of engineers being undervalued in Singapore.

I hope that my many years of experience will straighten many perceptions out there.

I graduated from with a engineering degree in 1980, and worked in Singapore for about five years in automobile. Soon, opportunity came knocking on my door when I was approaching thirties. I was relocated to Germany.

I work for a Germany automobile. Automobiles have always been my love since young and my performance in work got recognized. I climbed up the ladder, getting good position, good pay, and a job with great gratifications.

I got lucky, I got paid really really well. I am paid 300k euros per annum. Living in Germany has got to be the best thing in my life. I own a really nice house by the lake much bigger than the bungalows you guys dream of getting in Singapore, completed with a nice garden. I drive big cars, own a bike collection, had a comfortable lifestyle of working from 10am to 3pm everyday. I've retired, now still getting company from the board I am in. I get to travel around the world quite a big, overseeing many offices around the world. I work with banks, know how they work, and I am probably the guy with the richest global experience here.

To be frank, I haven't been back to SG for quite some time, and is only recently back to accompany my son for his NS. However, I am disgusted by the culture in Singapore these days. When have we evolved into a culture of instant gratification?

Young man, this is not the way. You should be driven to do things you love, then the big bucks will come. Some people pointed it out right. You have to be the best in your field. Obviously many engineers are lamenting on their low wages and tough environment working with FTs. Well, let me put it across to you frankly, you are there because you suck.

A good engineer cares about products. He cares about consumer experience. He make great things, and companies love them. I'm not sure why one guy pointed that Singapore engineering follows a socialist system or some sort. No. That's not how the rest of the world is functioning. Engineering is a meritocratic and tough society in the west. If you are not good, you are out.

Ultimately, there are two things I strongly believe and I hope young men and women will remember for the rest of their live to make their big decisions.

One, love what you do. You have to love what you do. And once you do, you will be exceptionally good at what you are doing. THEN, the money will come.

Two, widen your visions. For heaven's sake, Singapore isn't the whole world. If engineering don't work in Singapore, venture out. Don't be afraid to move out.

Coming from a Singaporean living in Germany for two decades, Singapore is not the world. Venture out. Venture out. I can't emphasize enough on this, but please do.

Richard/

And one more thing...

To engineers: Stop playing Starcraft and get your ass to the library, read some books, and improve yourself. Remember, the best investment is to invest in yourself.

To business people: Watch where you are going. True that one finance guy is to five engineers. Are you going to make it to that ONE finance guy?

Life is like this. If you suck, you can't earn big bucks. Instead of making yourself unhappy by comparing, be contented that you have a roof over your head, think back on your past, and ask yourself why have you not worked hard in the past.


P.S. I am still very inclined to giving my son an engineering education. Peace.

Even though they may be good, engineers in SG don't earn that kind of money (300euros per annum). Put it this way: if ur son graduates with an engineering degree, and he is good. Would u encourage him to work in SG? Probably not.

You graduated in the 1980s, where even having a degree is rare. Speaking good English and a foreign language and employed by a German company in the 1980s? Even rarer. You got lucky. Nowadays things are different, graduates are common.

Its not easy to get a work visa to Germany, Australia, US, UK, France, Canada etc, those countries where engineers are respected and paid well. Those countries protect the job market for their own citizens. The routes I have heard of

1) Secure the overseas job first, the company may apply for a work visa for the Singaporean. Chances? Negligible.
2) Singaporean gets a job in an MNC, and then internal transfer overseas. Chances? Possible, but very rare.
3) Send son/ daughter overseas to study engineering. He/ she must secure a job within x months of graduating to get a work visa. Chances? Possible, but expensive for the parent because of the university fees.
4) If your engineering specialisation is in demand by the particular country (skills shortage route), they may have special concession for you, although other criteria may apply e.g. age, English proficiency, the need to secure a job BEFORE getting the visa, you have to go to this particular underpopulated region..... Heard that Australia needs software engineers.
5) Travel via sea rickety ship immigration. (ok , I jest)

Agree with you that Singapore is not the world. For an engineer, the better path in the long run may be to venture outside of Singapore. No matter how hard it is, give it a shot (or two or three or four shots and keep trying).
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  #535 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 12:08 PM
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To the gentleman who earns 300K Euros/year

What you say is indeed very true. Being passionate about what you do will lead to sucess.
Education is only the starting point - the rest is up to you.
However, the context which you tried to put your point across comes across as high handed and arrogant. If you did not have that chance after 5 years to be posted to Germany, I am unsure if you will be sharing such successes with us here.
But I appreciate your message means well.

I am not as senior as yourself. You graduated in 1980; me in 2000. You are 20 years my senior. Back in 1980, a Uni degree is boom town charlie. Right now, degrees are very common. To suceed, one needs not only passion, but also oppurtunities + timing.

Spore is very small. Agree do not be blinkered into staying on to work here no matter what.
This open society welcomes anyone with talent (sometimes too welcoming, but thats subject of another discussion) hence, competition is very stiff for locals as well.
My view is this - no matter what you do, always give your 101% and be the best at the job. My analogy - to get a B+ grade, you put in 50hrs of preps, to get A, it may need double. Question is do you want to settle for a credit or distinction. As well, be proactive and always think out of the box; the job description in your role is important, but YOU make it out to be what it is; do above and beyond the JD. Lastly, treat everyone with respect they deserve, from the pantry boy all the way to the CEO. Certain people step on others to look good/move up - word gets around and the antics will not last long; you may move to the top, but lack the support from teams..."sometimes, **** floats to the top" but eventually sinks.

I am not a high flier. Non banking job...messing around with my career in the initial 3 years of my professional life, but then found a job I really love and feel passionate about. Never looked back.

Not an engineer, but I salute them. Its a tough course.
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  #536 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 12:41 PM
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> Being passionate about what you do will lead to sucess.

Wrong. Have you seen baskers who are so good in their art and yet they're still basking for the next meal?

You have to have a certain level of aptitude, attitude and passion, but beyond that it's all about luck and opportunities.

And when you attain success, you will try to comfort the losers by saying "be passionate in what you do, put in your best, and money will come". It's not the whole truth, but you're just being kind.
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  #537 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 12:49 PM
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I see the uncle's post and i want to laugh out loud. It is obvious that he is out of touch with today's job market for engineers. Today is about being cheap. Even FTs who cant speak english nor read drawings can be engineers.

But what do i know? I m just a lazy sg engineer who spends his free time posting here. Anyways back to work on my cheap, good, safe, fast, and cheap, and cheap construction project. Did i mention cheap already?


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  #538 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I see the uncle's post and i want to laugh out loud. It is obvious that he is out of touch with today's job market for engineers. Today is about being cheap. Even FTs who cant speak english nor read drawings can be engineers.

But what do i know? I m just a lazy sg engineer who spends his free time posting here. Anyways back to work on my cheap, good, safe, fast, and cheap, and cheap construction project. Did i mention cheap already?
Uncle is saying your pay is low because you suck!
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  #539 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 08:31 PM
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Default Not that bad for engineers

I'm sorry that I sounded arrogant in some ways. I don't think sweet talking will help in any way.

True that today's market is different from the 80s. But some things are still fundamentally the same. In the 80s, engineering economy in Singapore isn't any more optimistic than today's. Some things are still fundamentally the same. Singapore is small. We can never and have never been an engineering hub.

Yes, luck and opportunities plays a part. That comes to my second point - networking. You have to understand the importance of networking if you want to succeed. I did put in a lot of hard work, but if it's not for the Germans who favored me, I wouldn't be where I am today. You have to be good in what you do, and you need to have the charm for people to pull you to greater heights.

My purpose here is never to put down people. I can't help you if you are pessimistic about yourself. I say you suck. Are you going to accept it solemnly? No. If people say you suck, you have to know why. You have to rectify it on your own.

Instead of spending your free time on games in your 20s, if you are really unhappy about where you are now, do something about it. Venture out. Upgrade your skills. Accept that the world in whatever industry favors people who have a good aptitude but have great inter-human relationship, outspoken and great business thinking. In whatever industry that you do.

I've got my fair share of tough life in my 20s. I go the extra mile in work everyday. I make sure every work I did is perfect. There is no slacking off in effort on my part, even doing the most mundane thing like doing minutes. I took courses, learnt and experiment how to do great presentations, join clubs to know more people. All these in my 20s led me to where I am today.

I am not trying to comfort people by the word " be passionate in what you do", but i really mean it. You are in your 20s, you have the most energy of all. You have the thinking that "oh i'm going to do this job because it pays well. Passion is nothing." But ten years down the road, your family commitment and age is going to catch up on you, and the only way for you to keep performing in your work is to love what you do. You've got to find your love. That feeling that pumps you up every morning to work. There's no Monday blues. There's no TGIF. Every day of work is an enjoyment.

Richard/
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  #540 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
To the gentleman who earns 300K Euros/year

What you say is indeed very true. Being passionate about what you do will lead to sucess.
Education is only the starting point - the rest is up to you.
However, the context which you tried to put your point across comes across as high handed and arrogant. If you did not have that chance after 5 years to be posted to Germany, I am unsure if you will be sharing such successes with us here.
But I appreciate your message means well.

I am not as senior as yourself. You graduated in 1980; me in 2000. You are 20 years my senior. Back in 1980, a Uni degree is boom town charlie. Right now, degrees are very common. To suceed, one needs not only passion, but also oppurtunities + timing.

Spore is very small. Agree do not be blinkered into staying on to work here no matter what.
This open society welcomes anyone with talent (sometimes too welcoming, but thats subject of another discussion) hence, competition is very stiff for locals as well.
My view is this - no matter what you do, always give your 101% and be the best at the job. My analogy - to get a B+ grade, you put in 50hrs of preps, to get A, it may need double. Question is do you want to settle for a credit or distinction. As well, be proactive and always think out of the box; the job description in your role is important, but YOU make it out to be what it is; do above and beyond the JD. Lastly, treat everyone with respect they deserve, from the pantry boy all the way to the CEO. Certain people step on others to look good/move up - word gets around and the antics will not last long; you may move to the top, but lack the support from teams..."sometimes, **** floats to the top" but eventually sinks.

I am not a high flier. Non banking job...messing around with my career in the initial 3 years of my professional life, but then found a job I really love and feel passionate about. Never looked back.

Not an engineer, but I salute them. Its a tough course.
Young man, i am very happy for your optimistic thinking. It is important for you to have positive thinking to move you forward. I'm sure in the next ten years or so, you will fly above most of your peers. Keep it up!

And yes, engineers is a tough course. Why it's undervalued in Singapore is indeed still a super big political and economical flaw of Singapore.

But be assured, Engineers are very valued in the west.

Richard/


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