Do you think getting a degree in Singapore is a waste of money? Or would you rather use the money to invest? - Seedly
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Anonymous

Asked on 17 Apr 2018

Do you think getting a degree in Singapore is a waste of money? Or would you rather use the money to invest?

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Tan Yun Hong
Tan Yun Hong
Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 23 Sep 2018

Personally, I do find a degree to be a waste of money, unless you are finding jobs the traditional way.

What I mean by the traditional way would be to look for jobs under huge and already very established companies, hoping to get job security and good pay.

For me, I'm planning to use my personal skills which I am currently honing (in sales, business, marketing etc.) to get a job at a startup instead. To me, having valuable skillsets beat having a degree anyday.

To put this in an analogy, just take a rock and throw it down Orchard Road. There will be an almost 100 percent chance you hit somebody with an Econs degree or a Business degree.

I suggest that if you want to go uni, you can, but do focus on building up skills instead of solely just mugging for that next test to get your As

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Guo Hao Teo
Guo Hao Teo
Level 6. Master
Answered on 18 Apr 2018

It really depends on the career sector you are in. Some sectors place more emphasis on paper qualifications eg the civil service. However, newer companies like startups place more emphasis on real world experience and knowledge.

I wouldn't agree that it's a waste of money particularly if you can find ways around it. ie trying to fight for scholarships or ways to reduce your university expenses. I have friends also who have done part time degrees while working.

I would not recommend investing that amount of money right of the blocks because it may be very scary to just invest and hoping that it might grow. Instead, invest in yourself, growing your network, meeting more people, getting more experience.

Next, there are broadly two types of degrees in Singapore, Public (NUS, SMU, NTU, SUTD etc) and Private degrees (RMIT, UOL, SIM etc) So you will need tho think which suits you best. Private degrees are usually 10-20k more expensive...

Let me quote from an article i read before! Assuming constant salary, it will take about 253 months (21 years) of salary difference to cover the cost of a private degree education." But there are alot more info in the article with regards to other factors to consider :)

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Geraldo L.
Geraldo L.
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 09 Mar 2020

A degree is probably a necessity in today's Singapore society, almost everyone is having a degree and not getting one would put you in a less favourable position in the working world. However, depends on your work industry if they value experience more than qualifications, if experience is the only way to climb in your job then yeah you can consider not getting a degree.

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Andy Sim
Andy Sim
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 25 Feb 2020

Definitely not a waste of money. A degree can be a stepping stone to doing what you love as your career even if you didn't study what you love. The intangible things that you learn in uni is what shapes you as a person and how you tackle problems. It's not the end results that's important, it's what kind of person that you are shaped into through the curriculum that is the true value of the degree.

If you have the chance to take one, go for it.

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Yen Peng
Yen Peng
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 25 Feb 2020

I don't think getting a degree is a waste of money. To me, degree is sort of "express pass" entry ticket to the workforce - yes you can still find job w/o a degree, but you can't deny that having a degree helps to secure jobs in certain industries faster. Besides, we need to take into account the uni experience, the connections you can establish if you put in the effort etc.

At the end of the day, it depends on what you want to achieve. ​​​

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Ling Koh
Ling Koh
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 25 Feb 2020

I do think a degree is required if you want to at least reach the median salary level of Singaporeans.

Also, studying for a "paper" is never a waste of time as the process of learning allows you to develop your mind & even your character for the future.

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MT2020
MT2020
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 25 Feb 2020

I felt that getting a degree in Singapore is not a waste of money. Like most singaporeans, getting a degree will open up doors to many different places. For some companies, having a degree is the first criteria that they will look at before even offering you a slot in interview. And also, with a diploma, your career ceiling will be lower than those that have a degree. If you really wanna invest, you can take a part time degree and work at the same time to earn some money to invest.

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Serene Toh
Serene Toh
Level 6. Master
Updated on 25 Feb 2020

Whether it is wastefull is dependant on the person getting the degree.

For e.g. I got a friend (not in SG) that got a degree in installation arts, the degree has no use at all, so to me it's a waste. But she did enjoy her time in the course and don't regret her choice, so is it a waste then? You live, just but once. So maybe going to be uni might just be your last chance to enjoy life before you get started on the dog-race to earning more money. Getting the degree is secondary here.

However back to SG context. If we ignore the "living life" thing above and just think about Degree =Pay, which I think this post is about, then I think it depends on the degree. If the degree is useful then no, if you're just getting the degree for the sake of getting a degree than yes it is a waste.

————

Updated

As some of them say, education is an investment. Then we need to review uni courses like stocks, to see if it’s a good addition to your portfolio or a loss making deal. ;D

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Jeff Yeo
Jeff Yeo, amateur Social contributor at School of social sharing
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 26 Sep 2018

Education is never a waste. By way of education we enrich our minds and it also shows a willingness to learn and improve

I think everyone should continue learning ​​​

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Jay Liu
Jay Liu, Sleepyhead at Land of Dreams
Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 23 Sep 2018

Qualifications are like the ticket to job interviews. A Degree gives you a ticket to a job interview. But whether or not you are able to secure that position is another question. I'll rather use this ticket to safeguard an income myself. Then start building other skillset that will be able to generate income. When that skillset becomes scalable and earn way more than my job, I'll probably quit the job and focus on my skillset.

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HC Tang
HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 23 Sep 2018

In SG is important and not a waste of $

In other part of the world, it is a waste of $.

Reason being is that as much as even though some were trying to propose the idea of skill, experience and attitute matter the most, there's always the shallow believers of branded Uni / Degree as the best person to the role or job, the judgement is also rather high in the heart of people where a hidden measurement is being based also that somehow a degree can achieve higher / better life than an Poly or ITE students...but we do see success stories both in Poly and iTE grad.

On the other hand, i would suggest that once one get a degree, focus on skill , experience and continous education / learning. Lifelong learning is what keeps us current.

So for those who like degree, if you want toj oin their company, no choice. If not, you're better of with some one or some places that believes in good attutide and willingness to learn and do will excel much more than mass produced degree.​​​

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Yong Kah Hwee
Yong Kah Hwee
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 23 Sep 2018

it depends! If you want to work under someone, then a degree is good. but if you want to start your own business, then i do not think a degree is necessary!

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Jason Sin
Jason Sin
Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 23 Sep 2018

Getting a degree in a particular sector is not a waste of money if you know what you want and you are passionate in working in that sector. It is however a waste of money if you study just for the sake of having a degree.

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Leong Wen Fong
Leong Wen Fong
Level 6. Master
Answered on 31 Jul 2018

This is a rather common question, that has no easy answer.

Addressing the most obvious question is this: are you confident in investing- and what are you investing in? This is something only you can answer. Obviously if you don't know how, then don't be lured in by pretty phrases and petty gains. Getting a degree is also a form of investment.

This leads me to the next question, which is that which degree are you planning on studying, and where? There are certain fields (eg. design, technical sectors, hospitality) that a degree is not as valued as experience. For instituition wise, private and public universities make a difference as well.

A survey of 2016 polytechnic graduates found that 55.8% of them found full-time jobs, 34.8% found other forms of employment, ie. part-time, freelance. The mean salary went from $2000 (applied science) to $2800 (Health science).

On the other hand, 78.4% of public schools graduates managed to find full-time jobs, and only 47.4% of the private degree holders were able to find jobs. The median salary of public university graduates was also at $3400 as compared to private universities' $2650.

So whether or not it is worth it, really depends on you, and what you are going for, but I hope these numbers helps in your decision making.

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Isabella Jo
Isabella Jo
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 30 Jul 2018

I find paper qualification is still a necessity in Singapore. It opens up more career opportunities in the future. It also offers enriching chances such as student exchange program (you can experience life abroad for one semester or more).

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