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Which degree is the best return on investment

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Old 25-10-2017, 10:14 PM
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Smile Which degree is the best return on investment

I am planning to apply for a local U next year. Due to personal reasons, I will be paying for my own education either through a study loan or hopefully picking up a scholarship.

I have excellent results and can get a place in almost any degree course. Barring subject interest as I have no particular course preference, what degree will offer me the best ROI upon graduation and in the long-term. Money is a priority to me and I want to provide my family with a good life in the future.

From my knowledge, I've heard high finance (IB, trading) pays the most but the hours are one of the worst. The law market isn't doing very well and compsci grads are being replaced with foreign grads. Accountancy and engineering are pretty stable but the starting pay is relatively low. My parents have also advised me against going into arts although I wouldn't mind doing it provided it pays well.

Assuming I wish to get a job in investment banking, will a finance degree (biz) from a local U suffice? I have also heard stories of many finance grads going into property/insurance due to oversupply. The job market seems pretty depressing and I really hope to secure a good job in the future.


Last edited by swagdaddypimpin; 25-10-2017 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 25-10-2017, 10:43 PM
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medicine is highest ROI if you take into account the risk of studying biz not getting an IB job

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Old 25-10-2017, 10:47 PM
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While you might be good at scoring in exams that allows you to join any discipline in a local U, I must say the way you have framed the whole question thereby reflecting your critical decision making process is rather underwhelming.

I would have expected a bit more maturity and clarity of thought then 'I wanna make big money so what to study'. This is the sort of juvenile and singular thought process seen in many private distance learning grads, but this coming from a straight A (I assume) cream of the crop undergrad is surprising.

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Old 25-10-2017, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanny View Post
While you might be good at scoring in exams that allows you to join any discipline in a local U, I must say the way you have framed the whole question thereby reflecting your critical decision making process is rather underwhelming.

I would have expected a bit more maturity and clarity of thought then 'I wanna make big money so what to study'. This is the sort of juvenile and singular thought process seen in many private distance learning grads, but this coming from a straight A (I assume) cream of the crop undergrad is surprising.
I reckon padding my question with feel good platitudes, the glories of education and the unparalleled benefits a great mind would bring to society sounds pleasing. But that is besides the point, I know what I need, I know what I want, and I want the bluntest, most honest way to get there. Thanks.
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Old 25-10-2017, 11:33 PM
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If you have almost perfect grades then local scholarships shouldn't be hard to get. The worth of a degree is very hard to be quantified per se and depends very much on your networking ability and also how well you prove yourself to be in front of prospective employers.

If you're taking up a loan with the intention on maximising your ROI then you might as well take up a loan and learn to run a business that you are interested in. Learning how to run a business is worth many times more than merely earning a salary.

The next question would be: do you think you need a degree? Considering the nature of the job market and the need for skills. (rather than qualification) Some people make lots of money off making videos.

No doubt better-paying salary jobs(consulting, IB) do require a degree as a prerequisite, but these jobs hire across all disciplines and you need to pass anywhere between 4-8 levels of assessments/interviews to get hired. Most finance grads don't even land an interview with an IB firm let alone get hired by them.

Good luck!
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Old 26-10-2017, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagdaddypimpin View Post
I reckon padding my question with feel good platitudes, the glories of education and the unparalleled benefits a great mind would bring to society sounds pleasing. But that is besides the point, I know what I need, I know what I want, and I want the bluntest, most honest way to get there. Thanks.
You’re joking right? Have you seen the indicative grade profile for business at NUS? The 10th percentile entering has AAA/C for A levels. Even if you got in using AAAA you’d just be an average graduate in NUS business, and the overwhelming vast majority (99.9%) on this ‘top’ course won’t even come close to smelling an IB interview. Not sure if you’ve searched on LinkedIn recently, but you can literally count on one hand the number of new Analysts entering investment banking across Singapore from a local university (if any at all in the 2017 cycle)

Sorry to burst your bubble, but straight A’s for a levels is hardly excellent results but indicative of a average grade profile in NUS business. Commendable absolutely, but hardly exemplary. If you were truly the cream of the crop you’d be with PSC on a plane to the UK/US right now, not wondering which course to study in our ‘local ivies’. Sorry to be harsh, but a level grads with straight A’s nowadays are a dime a dozen in the top few courses in the local universities.
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Old 26-10-2017, 10:10 AM
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The jobs with the best starting pay out there are:

a) Investment Banking
b) Consulting
c) Other banking functions (trading, corp finance etc)
d) Prestigious MAPs
e) Law (big firms)
f) Certain government jobs (Economist Service, SAF,, DSTA, MFA, EDB etc)

For a) to d), the degree doesn't generally matter if you get top grades and top CCAs/case competitions /internships. So choose the course you can do well in. Of course, being in a quant course helps.

For law, you have to be in the top 30% or so to have a good chance in snagging a big law job.

For specific govt jobs, generally the niche jobs pay more e.g. DSTA, Economist Service, Intelligence Service. For the general govt jobs that pay more, these include EDB, SAF, and MFA.

And of course you have medicine and dentistry with decent starting pay but very good job stability and prospects. But the cost of studying medicine and dentistry is 2-3 times other courses, and work-life balance for medicine sucks.

All in all, if you want to open your doors the widest, you should take an engineering degree (preferably Mech or EE) and do very well in it. Easier said than done.
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Old 26-10-2017, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The jobs with the best starting pay out there are:

a) Investment Banking
b) Consulting
c) Other banking functions (trading, corp finance etc)
d) Prestigious MAPs
e) Law (big firms)
f) Certain government jobs (Economist Service, SAF,, DSTA, MFA, EDB etc)

For a) to d), the degree doesn't generally matter if you get top grades and top CCAs/case competitions /internships. So choose the course you can do well in. Of course, being in a quant course helps.

For law, you have to be in the top 30% or so to have a good chance in snagging a big law job.

For specific govt jobs, generally the niche jobs pay more e.g. DSTA, Economist Service, Intelligence Service. For the general govt jobs that pay more, these include EDB, SAF, and MFA.

And of course you have medicine and dentistry with decent starting pay but very good job stability and prospects. But the cost of studying medicine and dentistry is 2-3 times other courses, and work-life balance for medicine sucks.

All in all, if you want to open your doors the widest, you should take an engineering degree (preferably Mech or EE) and do very well in it. Easier said than done.
forgot to add, good CS jobs are now very well paying. and for CS you dont even need to do well in sch if you have an excellent portfolio. But doing very well for a CS degree probably opens as many doors as doing very well in Mech or EE, or even more.
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Old 26-10-2017, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagdaddypimpin View Post
I reckon padding my question with feel good platitudes, the glories of education and the unparalleled benefits a great mind would bring to society sounds pleasing. But that is besides the point, I know what I need, I know what I want, and I want the bluntest, most honest way to get there. Thanks.
My goodness, I can't believe I actually need to elaborate on this to a supposedly straight A student. You've totally missed the point. Where on earth did you get the idea I was alluding to nonsense like "feel good platitudes, the glories of education and the unparalleled benefits a great mind"?

The vast majority of Singaporeans would want to make big money and treat pay as the primary career goal. You are making this sound like you've got some unique perspective buttressed with an honest and blunt style. Give me a break - that's about as typical Singaporean on the street as you can get.

By immaturity of cognition, I am referring to your simplistic notion of tying up future pay to the course of study and somehow thinking you can calculate ROI for each course and thereby choose the course with the highest ROI. And seriously asking this sort of broad and generic question on an online forum?

The type of degree one studies is just one of the many contributing factors to long term pay. On an individual level, there are many other career elements, some within while others outside your control, that ultimately determine your lifetime earnings. Most people also do not experience linear pay growth, there are ups and downs, long periods of stagnation etc. over the years all subjected to vagaries of life.

Grow up dude.
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Old 26-10-2017, 10:50 AM
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Another clownfish dreaming of riches as a trader / investment banker but no idea what it is...
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