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Old 05-25-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
fiasco
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Default A serious dilemma

I am really at my wits end and have sought advice from countless people/friends/relatives.

I managed to secure places in the following areas,

NUS science, NTU environmental engineering and SMU accountancy.

I really do not have a fixed aspiration and feel that I do equally well and have similar interests in math and sciences. (Hence my choice of courses) To be frank, I based my choices mostly on what I forsee might be future trends in the job markets for that course, and how much potential I think I could have in these lines.

However, I would like to seek the advice of forumers here as to which course I should pick and why? (rational reasons please)

Hopefully the people providing advice can include the reason for their choice (eg. degree more flexible, more potential to excel/climb up the corperate ladder better, possible trend in the future etc)

Would be great if you guys could take into account the universities involved here as well as they DO, in my opinion, make some difference too. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
Ashearo
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I will give my opinions purely based on what I know from my friends.

For NUS Science, your degree will be quite generalised. The profs will tell you that you can work as a researcher, teacher, banker etc etc. Basically, as my friend says 'jack of all trades, master of none' You may find yourself facing some stiff competition from graduates already holding specialised degrees (like pharmacists, if you are planning to do drug chemistry)

For Environmental engineering, it is already specialised. It has good growth potential especially in areas like green energy. I dare say you should be willing to work overseas as the market is larger. Hyflux for one, hires environmental engineers for their water-related projects in the middle east.

For accountancy, there is nothing much to say. Work hard, good pay, stable job. Some people may find it boring and draining. You have a wide variety of work place choices. You can work for banks or private companies..which means you can almost work in any industry.

This is as much as I gathered from others. I hope this helps.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:37 AM   #3
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Here are the employment stats for your various options, from the Graduate Employment Surveys for 2008 and 2009. 2008 figures in brackets.

NUS Science: 87.1% (83.5%) overall employment, 76.5% (78.3%) full time permanent employment, mean salary 2525 (2601), median salary 2500 (2600), 25th percentile salary 2300 (2400), 75th percentile salary 2600 (2882).

NUS Science (Honours): 90.7% (89.3%) overall employment, 81.4% (83.5%) full time permanent employment, mean salary 2932 (2919), median salary 2900 (2850), 25th percentile salary 2500 (2600), 75th percentile salary 3200 (3000).

NTU Environmental Engineering: 81.3% (83.8%) overall employment, 76.3% (77.0%) full time permanent employment, mean salary 2777 (2891), median salary 2600 (2791), 25th percentile salary 2500 (2643), 75th percentile salary 2900 (3050).

SMU Accounting: 99.2% (97.7%) overall employment, 95.3% (93.9%) full time permanent employment, mean salary 3073 (2961), median salary 2500 (2400), 25th percentile salary 2400 (2400), 75th percentile salary 2950 (2975).

SMU Accounting, cum laude and above: 100% (96.7%) overall employment, 96.8% (93.4%) full time permanent employment, mean salary 3586 (3346), median salary 2500 (2500), 25th percentile salary 2400 (2400), 75th percentile salary 4000 (3700).

So you can see that NTU Env Eng offers slightly better salaries compared to NUS Science without honours, with about the same employment rates. NUS Sciene with honours has better employment rates and salaries than NTU Env Eng.

SMU Accounting has the best employment rates and there is the potential to earn much higher salaries compared to your other options if you're among the top students.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:21 AM   #4
evonne29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiasco View Post
I am really at my wits end and have sought advice from countless people/friends/relatives.

I managed to secure places in the following areas,

NUS science, NTU environmental engineering and SMU accountancy.

I really do not have a fixed aspiration and feel that I do equally well and have similar interests in math and sciences. (Hence my choice of courses) To be frank, I based my choices mostly on what I forsee might be future trends in the job markets for that course, and how much potential I think I could have in these lines.

However, I would like to seek the advice of forumers here as to which course I should pick and why? (rational reasons please)

Hopefully the people providing advice can include the reason for their choice (eg. degree more flexible, more potential to excel/climb up the corperate ladder better, possible trend in the future etc)

Would be great if you guys could take into account the universities involved here as well as they DO, in my opinion, make some difference too. Thanks in advance!
hi, ive almost the same problem too. having problems choosing between SMU biz or NUS science and its one wk more to deadline!

anyway the gd thing i think smu can really offer its students is a gd CV and being able to seek jobs anywhere, in singapore. SMU is very adjusted to fit the idealistic minds of singaporean, the well-paid 'office' jobs, which means good STARTING PAY. as you can see, it doesnt offer courses that allows you to easily find a high-paid and hands on jobs that overseas are offering in abundance, like science and engineering. thus, the scope of your job will be very 'office'.

also, SMU culture is very different from NUS and NTU, it needs very active participation in CCAs and your results are partially based on class-participation. unlike NUS and NTU, they are more JC style, lectures and independent learning. so you wont have high chances of people backstabbing you. depends on whether you're those who like challenges in University life, and gd at debating, if you're not those kind, you would have to take that into consideration as well.

i caps STARTING PAY because 2-4 years working, anything can change, you might not like your job or end up switching jobs and all that.

NUS science on the other hand, wont get you very high STARTING PAY as a fresh graduate, seen from the stats, unless you graduate with honours. but the scary thing about the graduates are that many have actually moved on to teaching as career. reasons for that could be teaching scholarship that alot of students depend on to pay their school fees. which is seldom seen in SMU as it doesnt have courses that leads you directly to teaching. thus, many of them are bonded in teaching after graduation.

others, perhaps not vocal or sociable due to the very independent learning style (but most of my friends there do not think so), so very hard to find a job in private sectors. and the most common one, degree is not gd enough.

otherwise, BSc (hons) Science is a very generalised degree so finding a job is really not that difficult. the main issue could be the low starting pay and if you're not willing to work hard, your pay will not rise, it is logical in the working world. having well-paid starting pay just meant that you can get o 4k-5k faster. but similarly, it is provided that you work hard too.

hope it helps
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
fiasco
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First and foremost, thank you all for your informative replies, as it has indeed helped me.

However, from what I was told, engineering degrees are generally more flexible then accounting ones and that most key position holders in top companies have engineering backgrounds.

Should this even be a considering factor for me as well, since I am doing a SPECIALISED engineering degree (envt engineering) and not a general one (eg. mech engineering) ? I ask this because I am not ruling out taking business as a 2nd degree/ double degree if I decided later on to work in the finance sector.

Also, my parents have told me that there are too many accountants around now and it would be better/wiser to take my chances with envt engineering.

At this point, I would also like to ask about what kind of prospects/"potential" are we looking at with regards to envt engineering since I thought reusable water (eg NEWater) was going to be the "big thing" and not green energy, and especially since many companies are still unwilling to go green due to the fact it just incurs more production costs.

As you can see by now, many of my close ones are swaying my decision to that of envt engineering, but somehow, I really do not wish to rule out accountancy as I still for some reason, feel that it is a decent if not comparably good degree to have as compared to envt engineering.

Any opinions?
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:55 AM   #6
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?? any replies? Its nearing 1st june :S
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:05 AM   #7
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There are many accountants around but employment rate is still good as long as you are willing to work in any industry. You mentioned key position holders in top companies usually have engineering background, but they are there not because of the content of their engineering background, but because of the skills you gain while studying for an engineering degree - they rise up the management ladder because they are logical and analytical. Of course having a more relevant engineering degree will put you at a better spot.

Whether green energy is hot or not really depends on the economy. With the current european crisis and strengthening of the US dollar, oil prices have dropped below 70 USD per barrel. So at this absolute time, of course it is not economically viable to advance towards green energy. But in the long run, green energy is the way to go because we have limited resources and if countries are to cut their carbon emission, they have to in some way turn towards nuclear or green energy.

In fact, you should be asking yourself which of these 2 professions you prefer because they are very different. Just go with the one you like better because both jobs will require you to slog - if you are doing the one you like better, life is gonna be easier.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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I have a question on job market for graduates:-
Judging by the current demand and supply, which local bachelor degree course has better resilience in the current, future and long-term job/career market?

(1)Engineering
(2)Business
(3)Accountancy
or
(4)Arts&Social Science?

Please comment or advise.
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