What type of degree I should go for in University? - Seedly
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Alcander Seow

Asked on 02 Aug 2020

What type of degree I should go for in University?

Hi, with the current situation & the ever-growing globalization, should I go for degrees with cyber & tech in mind? E.g. Smart nation management, digital marketing, business in the digital realm, etc.?

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Crystal Tan
Crystal Tan
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 11 Aug 2020

Hi Alcander!

It sounds to me like you're aiming for a degree that would give you the best shot at being relevant to employers: If that's the case, the domains you've mentioned would be the forerunners. Still, I'd agree with several posters here and say that what's important to factor into your decision is this question: "Will I be okay doing this for 3/4 years?"

Because if you're not going to like what you study, it'll not only be an extremely difficult time - it'll also impact your ability to be interested, retain, and apply what you learn. As Xi Hui has mentioned, skills can be learnt and upgraded outside of a degree program, via internships, short courses and independent projects. University degrees may get you in the door, but the things you do outside of it, are what will give you the unique boost needed to land you the job.

Here's something you could do to help you figure out your priorities: List out on a paper your strengths ("What am I good at"), interests ("What am I happy to do proactively") and practical concerns ("What should these 4 years of uni help me to achieve / do better?"). Then match the list of potential degrees programs against these 3 criteria.

By then, you'd have a better ranking of programs, and can further filter from there :)

All the best, and don't hesitate to seek further help on this forum!

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

Hi Crystal, thx for answering my question. currently, I'm unsure of my strengths & weakness for most of it. From my part time, I enjoy talking to customers, helping them choose their product which they are buying, communicating with them about everyday topics. But I'm a bit introvert where I don't usually start the conversation unless needed to. So might need some help. to know what my skills are. Thx for the help again 😄😄😄😄
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Michael
Michael
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 12 Aug 2020

Hi Alcander,

I'll try to give you a different perspective.

I believe that degrees opens doors to more opportunities! Though you need to consider what institutions are awarding your degree! Getting a simple 1 year degree course might not give you the same opportunities and experience as a Full time course from your local institution. Nevertheless, what you can consider for since you seem to be going into the technological field is trying to grab as much attachments and internships as possible as these are what tech companies look for in your portfolio.

Learn computing language such as python etc... online (readily available) and you can put that into your CV/resume when applying into such roles. So when your interview comes you are able to hold the conversation with your employers and they will be able to see whether you know your stuff or you don't.

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Ember Sh-en
Ember Sh-en
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 5d ago

I recommend my sister 2 backup plans:

  1. Study hard and get into dentistry

  2. Study psych or communications, for a career in public relations, since she is an extrovert.

For me, i plan to study financial engineering so that i can have a more quantitative career that pays well.

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Clive Ang
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 11 Aug 2020

Hi there!

If I were to be completely honest with you, i believe that a good portion of people out there end up doing something completely unrelated to their degree, myself included. I guess the more important question to ask yourself is what type of skills you would like to build up in the next few years. Those skills might be learnt through a degree or they might be built up through work experience/trial and error/learning yourself. It really all depends!

So at the end of the day pick what you feel speaks to you the most and while you might not know what you will enjoy right at this moment, pick something which u remotely feel like you might have interest in. I took a business degree, having absolutely no clue as to whether I would like it and i had the time of my life in university. That being said, I am a firm believer that education extends from your willingness to learn and this is often not found in a degree!

Hope that helps!​​​

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

Hi Clive, thx for answering my question. Personally, I'm looking to gain skills which allow me to be an all-rounder, to have genera knowledge of each sector of the market, industries, so that I can adapt from one area to another. But I'm unsure if I should specialize in one aspect or all. cos its like overstretching myself. I fear it will burn me out before I gain anything from the skills I've learnt. Thx for the help again. Really Appreciate it. 😃😄😄😄
Clive Ang

14 Aug 2020

Hi Alcander, i think its very natural to be feeling abit uncertain about what to take in university and i assure you that most people feel the same way as you as well. Well if there was a degree in life skills then i would definitely recommend that to you because it would cover what you are saying. Unfortunately there isn’t and the reason for that is because most of the things that help you in investing / trading are not learnt in the classroom. It comes from backtesting strategies, reading up extensively, understanding technical charts and fundamentals of a company etc. I would reckon that since you are asking this on seedly that you are probably thinking along the lines of something finance related or at least thats what i gathered from your answer to me. Do let me know so I can perhaps give abit more of my own personal experience!
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Justin Kieran Ong
Justin Kieran Ong
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 11 Aug 2020

Like what some others have said, it really depends on your strengths and interests. Taking a degree just for the prospects of a future paycheck will only make you miserable in the long run.

I have some friends working at tech startups like shopee and while they are paid amazingly for fresh grads, they work almost twice of what I do.

From my experience, anything in STEM would be a good choice if you are unsure. STEM fields usually require you to apply more costs disciplinary skills together to solve a problem and employers like that. I know a few friends with engineering degrees that are not bankers, financial advisors, etc cause most business and management skills can be learnt on the job

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Justin Kieran Ong
Justin Kieran Ong

12 Aug 2020

Also, there is a position called sales engineer that you may want to look into.
Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

12 Aug 2020

Hi Justin, thanks for answering. It as you said, I have some general direction but unsure how to move on or continue. I have yet to enroll, as I still have my NS to serve so I would explore & research on the degrees that I might be interested in. Thanks for the advice, I'll look into this sale engineer, & the career service etc. Thanks again. 😄😄😄😄
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Teo Xi Hui
Teo Xi Hui
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 10 Aug 2020

Hello! Offering an alternative voice here - do something that you actually enjoy! Your years in university are years that you will not get back, and you can always pursue various skills related to tech on the side, or through internships. I am majoring in a non-technical area of study in university, and I picked up my tech and analytical skills through internships and online resources instead of through my formal education. I found this approach to be more suited to my learning style as I could apply what I learned on the job, and not feel the pressure of having my learning be graded through assesments, which greatly helped me enjoy the learning process :)

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

Hi Xi Hui, thx for answering my question. I'm thinking of signing up for online courses to build my portfolio & venture out into different sector (finance, Tech, healthcare, social sciences, etc) so that I can become an all-rounder, having skills in various area. Thx for providing an alternative voice. Really appreciate it
Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

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j
j, Accountancy at SMU
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 10 Aug 2020

Hey Alcander, perhaps one way to think about this is to consider:

  1. "What jobs will be in demand now?

  2. And what future jobs will there be?"

With the shift to e-commerce and digital platforms, IT skills are in demand to build the infrastructure supporting this new ecosystem, so many IT related degree graduates are able to get the better end of the stick.

But at the same time, there are essential services like healthcare, education, and supply chain management that are indisplaceable to the society at large. And these resilient pillars will always be recruiting and hiring fresh graduates.

However, more importantly, consider your personal interest. A degree can be seen as a bridge between education and the working world, but a job is something that would accompany you for the next 30-40 years. So while practicality of job prospects may depend on the degree, the job you wish to be in should leverage on your strengths - (e.g. having a strong logic, good at numbers or language).

Hope this helps!

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

Hi J, thx for answering my question. ersonally, after working as a retail assistant part time for 1 1/2 mth, I've grown to like working in the retail sector or sectors that allow me to communicate with customers, talking with different people. What I'm concern is the current situation where more people are going online, reducing in physical interaction. Thus, I'm worry & lost in where I want to study for my Uni life.
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Rachelle
Rachelle, Digital Marketing Associate at Seedly
Level 6. Master
Updated on 04 Aug 2020

Hmm... I agree that cyber and tech is definitely the trend, and it should serve you well in the future. If you enjoy it, or think that you might have the potential for it, go for it! That would be the best of both worlds!

But just my two cents as someone who is unfortunately hopeless with numbers. For me, I ruled out things that I knew I couldn’t do such as STEM courses (which are highly valued and sought after). So I was only looking at Humanities and Social Sciences, and in the end chose the latter because it seemed more applicable to me.

But of course, reality check, skill sets like coding and programming are definitely a good to know / understand, I’ve seen so many job advertisements where companies are looking to hire people with these skill sets.

In the end, your degree doesn’t necessarily determine your first job (unless it’s something super technical). It’d be great if you could choose something you enjoy! And perhaps for practicality’s sake consider a double major or a minor, if you decide you want another valuable skill set.

All the best! 👍🏼

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

Hi Rachelle, sry for the late reply. thx for answering my questions. Personally, after working as a retail assistant part time for 1 1/2 mth, I've grown to like working in the retail sector or sectors that allow me to communicate with customers, talking with different people. What I'm concern is the current situation where more people are going online, reducing in physical interaction. Thus, I'm worry & lost in where I want to study for my Uni life. I was thinking of taking a double major & a major / minor like how my current poly diploma is (Engineering with Business, 75% engineering topics, 25% business topics). but not sure if I'm able to cope with the stress & workload.
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Fahmiin
Fahmiin, Back End Engineer at Seedly
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 04 Aug 2020

STEM all the way! Perhaps ComSci for a safe bet if you don't have any other interests in mind. At the very least get some knowledge in programming as it's being used in all aspects of education and learning now.

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

11 Aug 2020

Hi Fahmiin, sry for the late reply. thx for answering my questions. I'll look into STEM as an alternate to my path. thx for the help
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ZT
Zachary Teo, Art Director at Ad Agency
Level 6. Master
Answered on 04 Aug 2020

Hey Alcander!

Follow what you think you're liking at the moment if you can afford to do so. Don't choose a path because it is trending and you may end up not liking it. It's will be torturous through the 3-4 years.

I would think that Marketing/Sales related degrees will be the best for if you are unsure what path you would like to take. The capability to sell ideas and products is a soft skill that every employer will look out for.

No matter what industry you are working in, as long as your ideas are good, and you can sell it well, you have a better edge over many people.

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Alcander Seow
Alcander Seow

12 Aug 2020

Hi Zachary, thanks for answering. I think I got your point, I'll see what I can come up with using the questions provided. I'll add my answers in this post, & maybe you can help me look further so that I can choose a better path or an alternate path that I may not notice before. Thanks again. 😄😄😄😄
Zachary Teo

13 Aug 2020

Wonderful! Wish you all the best :)
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Brandon Lim
Brandon Lim
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 03 Aug 2020

Depends on your strengths and interest. An IT-related degree would be good!

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