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Tuesday January 15th 2019

Why external degrees are useless compared to those acquired locally and abroad

Felicia, be persistent… the first few years are unstable until you got a track record.

The rest of my message is not for you but for people who aspire to have a degree and thinking it’s a passport to good life…foremost one cannot turn back the clock to 30 years ago when there were 2 universities and people going to get a degree are perhaps a mere 3000 people a year.

Fast forward 30 years to now…maybe 4/10 has a degree or diploma and the market just don’t have enough jobs to absorb grads and moreover with FT welcome mat…

FTs with dubious 3rd word degrees after 10 years of school…and from countries where universities a dime a dozen…no wonder our Gen Y is feeling frustrated.

The government is now telling the people not to pursue degrees but rather skills and including tradesman skill… the question is whether these are sufficient to sustain the expectations of more ambitious Gen x degree holder wannabe. Cannot entirely blame the government but Singapore being a resource poor country…

I rather the government close all the degree mills especially with external degrees and not lead graduates of these think their external degree is valued the same as local or foreign degree that is acquired offshore.

Whoever has the notion that a local degree is viewed higher than a foreign derived degree from a western country is decluded!! Do you know why MNCs or foreign banks preferred candidates with foreign degrees (not external ones I meant) because those trained in foreign soil are more articulate than local grads who are not trained to speak against or challenge lecturers and have to do more presentation to pass exams than rote-learn to pass exams.

Moreover many of these overseas grads on parents’ scholarships have to work to support their high living costs plus they have to do an industry attachment.

Why do you think 82 per cent or 4 out 5 parents aspire to send their children overseas to study despite higher costs? To bypass local degree mills and prepare their children to be more employable…

You would unlikely develop the skills/analytic training doing external degree from universities which will pass you for their livelihood.

Those who disagree with me are free to put their views across – by the way I’m not degrading the degree from SMU, NUS or NTU but people should not have notion that any degree especially external degree is a sure-way to get good job…don’t be surprised many are selling credit cards during road shows.


Editor’s note: This article is retrieved from a comment posted on the site.

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4 Responses to “Why external degrees are useless compared to those acquired locally and abroad”

  1. xyz says:

    Nowadays (in fact for past 10 years already) most courses in local Unis require active participation & debate & presentations in lectures & tutorials.

    Some of the majors such as IT & Engineering may not require high levels of vocalization. That’s becoz for such degrees, the proof is in working prototypes & systems. No use being such great talk cock sing song if your programs are full of bugs, or your driverless car keeps crashing into people & buildings. Otherwise you’re no better off than many talk-cock ah neh IT “experts” & “engineers”.

    For overseas Unis, unless it’s an Ivy League or Oxbridge type of elite Uni, you MUST get 1st class honours if you’re doing “soft” degree. Many companies still reject those with 2nd Upper Biz degree.

    15 years ago when I was still working, I had fresh colleagues (S’poreans) just come back with overseas degrees, mostly 2nd Upper. And I can tell you most cannot make it …. They can talk cock & give flowery presentations, but when it came to the nitty gritty details & picking up new skills on their own & actual tough work required, they just couldn’t hack it.

    Maybe it’s better now … I don’t know…

    All I know is that during my time in the 1990s, all the banks (including foreign banks) were falling over themselves to hire local Uni grads in Engineering instead of those with overseas Biz/Finance degrees. Why??? Because the local engineering syllabi & training were recognized as being very tough & rigorous, and those who could pass thru with 2nd Upper or 1st Class were proven as having the smarts & the drive.

    As for selecting those with the “right” EQ, attitude, endurance, appearance, bearing, articulation, mannerism, etc — they put them thru month-long filtering exercises and finally for the select few, another 1-year grooming programme. Some failed to pass this 1-year.

  2. Hmmm says:

    Are you from the top 10 university?
    It is rare to see graduates from the top tier Uni try to act like they run the social system..
    Ivy League, russell group.. just some mere titles..
    I have read my peers thesis and project papers, which are crap.. i also did read from below average ranked uni papers which are based on very well researched..

    I do agree that shortcut takers should not take easy route, but graduating from top schools does not mean everything too..
    Based on your words, you are still green.. no matter your age.. till you meet the good ones then you might change your view..

    Ps: I am from top uni, and some of my papers are world top ranked.. so??? it only meant i had some good skills and knowledge, but does not guarantee success either..

    • James says:

      From your grammar & sentence structure, as well as incoherent synthesizing of thought processes, I can tell that you’re not of the top tier. Hehehe!!! But no worries, success usually depends on attitude more than aptitude.

  3. Robert says:

    For an external degree, I would say that anything below a first class honours is useless.

    However, if one attain a first class honours for the external degree, he or she can try applying for a full time Phd program in a local university.

    Someone just did it according to the article below. That person has a perfect GPA (4.0) for his diploma course from the local polytechnics. He would definitely qualify for most of the courses in the local universities.

    However, he chose to study for an external degree followed by a Phd as the external degree path allows him to attain his Phd in the shortest possible time.

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