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Really that bad for engineers?

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  #541 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 08:44 PM
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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).
Yes, I must really count my blessings to be born in that era. But again, you have to know how tough it is to get a degree in the 80s. Now degrees are much easier with the improvement in education and technology, so this generation will definitely suffer quite a bit. Yes, I took up German in my 20s out of interest when i was still an undergraduate. Little did i know what I learnt out of curiosity makes a big difference to my future. I was very, very lucky. Very lucky.

It's hard to go overseas, but it's not impossible. There are still opportunities, so you have to pull the ropes and make it easier for you to be hit by luck. Networking, is seriously important.

My son will not work in Singapore. He is an engineer-passionate boy just like I was. The west has definitely more opportunities, even today when Europe is facing crisis, it is still more optimistic than Singapore.

I hope my experience in the last few decades definitely paints a better picture for all engineers.

Richard/

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  #542 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 09:07 PM
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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.
Hello,

Unfortunately Singapore is not meant to be an engineering hub. Our small size, high cost, and numerous constraints environmental standards makes it hard for engineering firms to be effective.

I do agree that Asians are really fantastic in what they do. I have a few Chinese engineers and they are much better in work than I did. But like most Singaporeans, they lacked the charisma and networking required.

And no, the proportion of Singaporeans who are motivated is surprisingly low. If you catch up on the news these days you would have realized that. This generation of Singaporeans complain a lot, refuses to work hard. You fight for pay, fight for great welfare, but when asked to deliver work, you deliver substandard work.

Let me bring in this example to prove my point. This is from a local business consultancy publication. When asked to develop some algorithms for a software company in Singapore, a team of Singaporeans did a decent job in a week, A team of Indian nationals did so in two days. And that's possible because they stayed back and work after office hours to do their work, and they had laser-like focus. Surprisingly, the work by indian nationals are better too.

Hiring purely Singaporean is not the best of policies. I would rather have a team of Indians and Chinese nationals than Singaporeans. We are all Asians, but on demographics, they fare much better than us, they are more motivated, they complain lesser. I regret that your challenge is impracticable, and I admit losing your challenge with the above-mentioned reasons.

People will definitely pay you well IF you are good. My guess is you are not. My counterpart in our automobile company did not head to Germany like i did and he stayed in Singapore due to family commitments. He's a charming and intelligent engineer, graduating with first class honors. He hopped around different industries and today he's really successful too, commanding six digit salary presently. There are a few engineers in this forums that command six digits salary too in their thirties. You guys refuses to believe them. You call them liars. I'm going to say it's possible. They are real. Engineering no matter how socialist you put it, is still rather meritocratic to some levels. It will always be in the company's best interest to pay you ten grand more every month for you to stay and help the company if you are really excellent.

Richard/

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  #543 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 10:32 PM
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The pay is dependable on how the job title of "Engineer" is been used.

Most singapore engineers are considered as merely highly educated technicians.
Local university engineering graduates are products from a mass production factory (NTU and NUS)to support the industries. We (I was an enginner in this area too) do not think, we do only. So a pay from $2.5k to $5k is the norm.

Some overseas educated engineers and few local engineers could be better as they can think and do. Those with this "think" factor normally are rewarded with higher pay, at least $8k and above.

Richard is right. Read for new knowledge is important!

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  #544 (permalink)  
Old 14-04-2012, 11:35 PM
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Default Not in singapore

I graduated with an engineering degree from the states. Highly passionate about it. But decided not to practise engineering when i returned to sgp after graduating. Realised Pay is crap, work is dull, career prospects non existent

Engineers in the silicon valley work on developing core products. You can be sure that engineers at places like google apple etc are very well paid. Im guessing richard the german automobile engineer probably worked on core product engineering for a bmw or daimler chrysler.

What do engineers in sgp do? For most part, they keep the mfg lines running, or maybe do system integration and deployment of products developed elsewhere. How much can someone expect to make doing somethig like this?

Was it the right decision for me not to practice engineering in sgp? Absolutely. I wld probably be making a third of what i make now if i had gone into engneerng here
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  #545 (permalink)  
Old 15-04-2012, 01:55 AM
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Yes, I must really count my blessings to be born in that era. But again, you have to know how tough it is to get a degree in the 80s. Now degrees are much easier with the improvement in education and technology, so this generation will definitely suffer quite a bit. Yes, I took up German in my 20s out of interest when i was still an undergraduate. Little did i know what I learnt out of curiosity makes a big difference to my future. I was very, very lucky. Very lucky.

It's hard to go overseas, but it's not impossible. There are still opportunities, so you have to pull the ropes and make it easier for you to be hit by luck. Networking, is seriously important.

My son will not work in Singapore. He is an engineer-passionate boy just like I was. The west has definitely more opportunities, even today when Europe is facing crisis, it is still more optimistic than Singapore.

I hope my experience in the last few decades definitely paints a better picture for all engineers.

Richard/
I agree.The west holds better opportunities for engineers. In Singapore, engineers are very limited by the technologies. Ask yourself, say for HP, where will you develop and research your future advanced products? Singapore? Maybe... But the west is the more probable. If the cutting edge technologies are mostly found there, then thats where engineers will have their chances. I am speaking from my experiences.
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  #546 (permalink)  
Old 15-04-2012, 02:58 AM
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@Richard #542

Problem is, the more naive managers are so conditioned to think that FT engineers are cheaper and "better" than the SG counterparts that they probably won't even realise it if a truly talented SG engineer comes knocking on their door.

Unfortunately, plenty of major local engineering companies have upper management with that kind of mindset and complains that they can't find good SG engineers.

That aside, I don't know if FT engineers are more hardworking or better or more professional than SG engineers, but I do know that lots of FT engineers are indeed available for a very low pay.
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  #547 (permalink)  
Old 15-04-2012, 03:55 AM
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Uncle is saying your pay is low because you suck!
Of course i suck lah. Everyday I have to dumb down my english and explanations to the FTs until gradually I become like a monkey.
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  #548 (permalink)  
Old 15-04-2012, 04:01 AM
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@Richard #542

Problem is, the more naive managers are so conditioned to think that FT engineers are cheaper and "better" than the SG counterparts that they probably won't even realise it if a truly talented SG engineer comes knocking on their door.

Unfortunately, plenty of major local engineering companies have upper management with that kind of mindset and complains that they can't find good SG engineers.

That aside, I don't know if FT engineers are more hardworking or better or more professional than SG engineers, but I do know that lots of FT engineers are indeed available for a very low pay.
I don't think the managers think FT "engineers" are better. They need headcount for the project on the cheap and will hire 10 lousy but cheap FTs, and 1 good engineer. The 1 good engineer have to guide the 10 monkeys and also do some of their work for them in order to finish the project. The 1 good engineer will suffer burnout sooner or later and come to this forum for advice on career switch.

Based on my experience in my industry.
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  #549 (permalink)  
Old 15-04-2012, 01:23 PM
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I graduated with an engineering degree from the states. Highly passionate about it. But decided not to practise engineering when i returned to sgp after graduating. Realised Pay is crap, work is dull, career prospects non existent

Engineers in the silicon valley work on developing core products. You can be sure that engineers at places like google apple etc are very well paid. Im guessing richard the german automobile engineer probably worked on core product engineering for a bmw or daimler chrysler.

What do engineers in sgp do? For most part, they keep the mfg lines running, or maybe do system integration and deployment of products developed elsewhere. How much can someone expect to make doing somethig like this?

Was it the right decision for me not to practice engineering in sgp? Absolutely. I wld probably be making a third of what i make now if i had gone into engneerng here
Hello,

Yes that's what many people says about Singapore too. But for you to earn the ticket to go to other countries to do engineering, you have to excel in your field. I have a friend who worked in oil industry in jurong island in the 80s, and we were from the same course. I kept forcing him to go beyond his comfort level and go the extra mile to do great work. He is now in dubai with his family, really good life. Perhaps even better than me. Point being at the end of day, it's not totally hopeless in sgp. I believe if you perform well, the whole world will be your playground!

Unfortunately about the pay wise, yes you will make a third of what you are earning. And for you to earn more, you have to head overseas. Fight for the opportunities.

Yes you are right. I was from BMW. I work in product development, but also overseeing sales for the global market. It was sort of the best of both worlds, engineering and business.
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  #550 (permalink)  
Old 15-04-2012, 01:57 PM
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I agree.The west holds better opportunities for engineers. In Singapore, engineers are very limited by the technologies. Ask yourself, say for HP, where will you develop and research your future advanced products? Singapore? Maybe... But the west is the more probable. If the cutting edge technologies are mostly found there, then thats where engineers will have their chances. I am speaking from my experiences.
Hello,

You are unfortunately right. Singapore never aspired to be an engineering hub, not even in my time.

You have felt the same way as I did. We have had many years of experience in this field.

Young graduates, you will earn the most from hearing what we have to say.

Engineering is an excellent career. But the most important lesson I'd like to advocate is that you have to be passionate in what you do. Once you did, you will find work to be so much of an enjoyment and you will perform to your best. That's how you succeed.

If you are in engineering school because you have a passion of engineering, fiddling with gadgets since young, gets excited to see how things work, remember that's your passion. If you are not, you have to find what you love. Don't go to where the money is. That's not how the world works. Money goes to where the best people are.

Richard/
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