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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 4. Prodigy
    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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  • Serene Toh
    Serene Toh
    Level 4. Prodigy
    Answered on 18 Oct 2018

    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.

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  • Jeff Yeo
    Jeff Yeo, amateur Social contributor at School of social sharing
    Level 6. 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 6. 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 8. Wizard
    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 6. Master
    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 5. Genius
    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 4. Prodigy
    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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