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Really that bad for engineers?

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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 18-07-2010, 12:01 PM
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That's true. In fact, the title of this thread is very misleading and should be changed to "Really that good for bad engineers?"

The engineering profession has a socialist remuneration structure based on Karl Marx's "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.", similar to teaching and taxi driving.

For people who are not worldly wise and could not survive in the more competitive professions, engineering provides a safe haven which ensures a minimum wage for even the most incompetent.

The downside of this is that, like in a Marxist state, an outstanding engineer's annual income will never go above the low six-figures, no matter how good he is, and has to switch to other professions which will give him his due rewards.

In other words, the good engineers subsidise the bad engineers. Yet the bad engineers are not thankful and think that they can become investment bankers.
The banking, investment and trading professions all have their fair share of stupid people, grossly overpaid for the value they add yet they still think they are masters of the universe. They are there because they are lucky. Some jobs don't require much skill. All you need is to be a little cunning and maybe just look pretty.

Engineers take heart. For those who want to switch, it's not an impossible task. For those who are truly savvy - smart, have business acumen, but because of bad advice or bad luck, got into the wrong profession in the wrong country) - save up and try to start your own businesses. It's so much easier to get rich that way, and you don't have to deal with stupid people with huge egos.

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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 26-07-2010, 03:49 PM
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The banking, investment and trading professions all have their fair share of stupid people, grossly overpaid for the value they add yet they still think they are masters of the universe. They are there because they are lucky. Some jobs don't require much skill. All you need is to be a little cunning and maybe just look pretty.

Engineers take heart. For those who want to switch, it's not an impossible task. For those who are truly savvy - smart, have business acumen, but because of bad advice or bad luck, got into the wrong profession in the wrong country) - save up and try to start your own businesses. It's so much easier to get rich that way, and you don't have to deal with stupid people with huge egos.
Yes, Viva Engineers!! Don't join the banking sectors, our small land needs you the most now, especially since there's so much flooding recently.

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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 27-07-2010, 10:43 AM
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i finished my NS when i was roughly about 22 years old, went into a engineering job in a small engineering company, about 80 staff, the starting pay was 1.5k for my diploma, after working for 2 years, my basic is 1.9k, gross take home pay is about 2.2k-2.3k with some OT..

finally i decided to change job, and went into banking line, was 24 years old, and i manage to earn 105k for my 1st year on job.. my lifestyle kinda totally change, i do buy a bit of branded stuffs, and now i dont have to worry if i can afford to buy a flat with my wife next time.. and stuffs like that.

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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 27-07-2010, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Darknite View Post
i finished my NS when i was roughly about 22 years old, went into a engineering job in a small engineering company, about 80 staff, the starting pay was 1.5k for my diploma, after working for 2 years, my basic is 1.9k, gross take home pay is about 2.2k-2.3k with some OT..

finally i decided to change job, and went into banking line, was 24 years old, and i manage to earn 105k for my 1st year on job.. my lifestyle kinda totally change, i do buy a bit of branded stuffs, and now i dont have to worry if i can afford to buy a flat with my wife next time.. and stuffs like that.
WOW !!! don't mind sharing which type of banking role you do....judging by that kinda pay rise should be sales....any ways for all passionate engineers out there all this talk applies only if ur a big time comparer ....as in you compare ur self with people you know and try to reach higher all the time..... let me tell you there will be no end to it...... If engineering is your true passion by all means go for it.....but be willing to be humble and don't comapre ur self with ur finance sector peers who like to go club,tours,country clubs & what not....
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 28-07-2010, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Darknite View Post
i finished my NS when i was roughly about 22 years old, went into a engineering job in a small engineering company, about 80 staff, the starting pay was 1.5k for my diploma, after working for 2 years, my basic is 1.9k, gross take home pay is about 2.2k-2.3k with some OT..

finally i decided to change job, and went into banking line, was 24 years old, and i manage to earn 105k for my 1st year on job.. my lifestyle kinda totally change, i do buy a bit of branded stuffs, and now i dont have to worry if i can afford to buy a flat with my wife next time.. and stuffs like that.
Obviously not everyone who joins banking is as capable as Darknite and able to achieve $105k in the first year. Nevertheless, the banking industry provides an opportunity for outstanding individuals like Darknite to get their due rewards.

On the other hand, the engineering industry gives everyone including the idiots almost the same pay, regardless of performance. Hence it is very unfair to those who have the ability, drive and ambition. I'm quite sure Darknite above would still be earning around $3k if he had stayed on, or maybe slightly more.

And the worst thing is people calling you "big time comparer". Sometimes it's not that you want to compare, but even if you become a hermit and stop meeting your former classmates, your wife and parents will still compare you with your siblings and relatives.

In fact for more than 10 years I turned down all invitations of gatherings with my former classmates, otherwise it would be really embarrassing if they turn up in their luxury cars and I have to explain why I didn't have a car because the COE cost 3 times my annual income (COE hit $110,500 in Nov 1994).

Then finally the day came, a few years ago, when a former classmate who is a specialist doctor invited me for "house warming" at his Katong bungalow. The first question he asked, after saying "Hi! etc.", was "So have you bought any properties?"
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  #76 (permalink)  
Old 28-07-2010, 10:59 AM
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Obviously not everyone who joins banking is as capable as Darknite and able to achieve $105k in the first year. Nevertheless, the banking industry provides an opportunity for outstanding individuals like Darknite to get their due rewards.

On the other hand, the engineering industry gives everyone including the idiots almost the same pay, regardless of performance. Hence it is very unfair to those who have the ability, drive and ambition. I'm quite sure Darknite above would still be earning around $3k if he had stayed on, or maybe slightly more.

And the worst thing is people calling you "big time comparer". Sometimes it's not that you want to compare, but even if you become a hermit and stop meeting your former classmates, your wife and parents will still compare you with your siblings and relatives.

In fact for more than 10 years I turned down all invitations of gatherings with my former classmates, otherwise it would be really embarrassing if they turn up in their luxury cars and I have to explain why I didn't have a car because the COE cost 3 times my annual income (COE hit $110,500 in Nov 1994).

Then finally the day came, a few years ago, when a former classmate who is a specialist doctor invited me for "house warming" at his Katong bungalow. The first question he asked, after saying "Hi! etc.", was "So have you bought any properties?"
I think it's sad that engineers are not getting the pay that they deserve. But maybe we should not compare engineers with investment bankers, who are paid exceptionally well, compared to most other professions.

I would not bother associating with shallow people whose primary concern is properties and luxury cars. But, I do sympathise with you. It's difficult to get away from comparisons, in this age of materialism and competitive environment. Maybe the way out is to spend wisely, save aggressively and invest prudently. With financial security, it doesn't really matter if one is earning $5k, $10k or $20k.


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  #77 (permalink)  
Old 28-07-2010, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Obviously not everyone who joins banking is as capable as Darknite and able to achieve $105k in the first year. Nevertheless, the banking industry provides an opportunity for outstanding individuals like Darknite to get their due rewards.

On the other hand, the engineering industry gives everyone including the idiots almost the same pay, regardless of performance. Hence it is very unfair to those who have the ability, drive and ambition. I'm quite sure Darknite above would still be earning around $3k if he had stayed on, or maybe slightly more.

And the worst thing is people calling you "big time comparer". Sometimes it's not that you want to compare, but even if you become a hermit and stop meeting your former classmates, your wife and parents will still compare you with your siblings and relatives.

In fact for more than 10 years I turned down all invitations of gatherings with my former classmates, otherwise it would be really embarrassing if they turn up in their luxury cars and I have to explain why I didn't have a car because the COE cost 3 times my annual income (COE hit $110,500 in Nov 1994).

Then finally the day came, a few years ago, when a former classmate who is a specialist doctor invited me for "house warming" at his Katong bungalow. The first question he asked, after saying "Hi! etc.", was "So have you bought any properties?"
My personal observation is that engineers are too navie. They would rather spend lots of time and thousands of dollars to attend "trade your way to riches" and "get rich through ebay" seminars (just 2 examples to come to my mind), than spend time and effort in actually taking practical steps.

What I mean by "practical steps": it's not hard to figure that moving into the financial sector and starting small businesses are the most practical ways to earn more money in Singapore's context, given that Singapore is respectively a financial hub and its government is highly pro-business (eg innovation grants, jobs credit, training subsidies).

On the other hand, non-engineers are not affected by those ebay and trading distractions, simply because they are by nature non-technical and disinterested in such things. Naturally, they veer towards the more practical ways to get rich. They are focused.

And so, engineers lose out.

Not to mention that engineers also play games and are addicted to gadgets. Many of them waste time to queue up overnight to get their StarCraft 2 and iPad. Or spend hours googling about such stuff.

Are you one of them?


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  #78 (permalink)  
Old 28-07-2010, 06:02 PM
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Have you seen any engineer driving around with his ferrari? and how often do you see a lawyer/banker driving around with one?


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  #79 (permalink)  
Old 29-07-2010, 12:03 AM
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My personal observation is that engineers are too navie. They would rather spend lots of time and thousands of dollars to attend "trade your way to riches" and "get rich through ebay" seminars (just 2 examples to come to my mind), than spend time and effort in actually taking practical steps.

What I mean by "practical steps": it's not hard to figure that moving into the financial sector and starting small businesses are the most practical ways to earn more money in Singapore's context, given that Singapore is respectively a financial hub and its government is highly pro-business (eg innovation grants, jobs credit, training subsidies).

On the other hand, non-engineers are not affected by those ebay and trading distractions, simply because they are by nature non-technical and disinterested in such things. Naturally, they veer towards the more practical ways to get rich. They are focused.

And so, engineers lose out.

Not to mention that engineers also play games and are addicted to gadgets. Many of them waste time to queue up overnight to get their StarCraft 2 and iPad. Or spend hours googling about such stuff.

Are you one of them?
Yes I WAS one of them. Your descriptions are very insulting yet so accurate and funny that almost have me rolling on the floor.

As someone who had been through all these, I can tell you that what you have described above are a form of escapism from the harsh realities of life.

I remember going to the video games arcades in the early 1990's to play the motorsports car races because I couldn't afford a car, much less a sports model, in real life.

Fortunately, I managed to grow out of this naivety and took what you described as "practical steps", else I would not have dared turn up for the house warming as the conversation revolved around children's school, properties and luxury cars.

Someone pointed out above that this is "shallow" but I don't think that is a fair statement. People tend to talk about things they buy so bankers and doctors talk about Sentosa Cove and Porsches while engineers talk about StarCraft 2 and iPad.
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  #80 (permalink)  
Old 29-07-2010, 08:58 AM
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It's not shallow to talk about properties and luxury cars. But it's shallow if that's the PRIMARY concern of the person.
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