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Thread: Need advise on decision

  1. #1

    Default To stay in MOE or not? advise needed

    Hi fellow clubsnappers,

    I would like to see what the general SG people think about joining teaching at the age of 30.

    This is my first job. i am so old because i went to study M.Sc in NUS on biomedical after my civil engineering degree, also in NUS.

    Maybe because of my rojak background, i have difficulties getting into jobs. Maybe it is also my age. or do u think i have not tried looking around enough? Tried looking for a job for a year liao.

    I joined teaching and offered direct NIE admission. Now in school experience. Checked with NIE that the teaching bond has not started until school experience is over. So if i want to quit, i can still go.

    First, MOE does not recognise my M.Sc. I still being paid my degree pay. This is still tolerable. However, i am still given teaching subject based on my A level result and my civil engineering degree. Since i am into biomedical and have 3 yrs of research experience in clinical animal experiment, i would love to teach Biology. A check on MOE website said that people in Bioengineering degree can teach Biology and maths. So they claimed that my M.Sc is not good enough and hence can only allowed me to teach math and physic.

    When they give me maths and physics, i thought i could live with it. After trying to call the JCs and IPs school, realise that to be involved in any school based research initiatives, i would need to teach biology. Always wanted to share my research experience with students as i think many teachers have no such experiences.

    Nevermind about the above, because many of us have jobs that do not require what you studied for in University.

    However, things change recently. My Friend involved in Biomedical research recently called me to offer me a chance to work as Research Associate in his project. he is a PhD student and he is recommending me to work with his prof.

    So now, i have a chance to use what i learnt from school. i am tempted to change to be Research associate.

    However, the RA is only a 2yr contract. Afterwhich i may find contact to go to work on other project. Research Associate pay is lower than MOE degree pay. but it is only lower by 100bucks for starting salary comparison. However, in the research world, they don't have 13th month bonus. They only have a performance bonus. Another issue is teaching is iron rice bowl. No need to find a new job every 2yrs.... On top, i find most teacher have difficulties getting life outside school. at any moment, the school will eat into your private time. Weekend camp?, weekend rehearsal for school function? remedial class till nite @9pm for graduating class...etc. school holiday now must bring students to overseas etc.. training in the middle of holiday and then your whole vacation is burned and etc.

    I am stuck between stability and flexibility and opportunities.

    what do you advise?
    Last edited by song; 16th July 2007 at 01:20 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Mmmmm think carefully cos seems that the NIE route has thrown what you studied out the door and u will bound to feel some sort of resentment sooner or later esp when you cant do what you want to do due to red tape.

    I would say check if NIE has plans that you can use to study part time to allow you to do biology if not check if with teaching experience, where can you progress. Example, polytechnic lecturer? Or may as a trainer in the private sector? Basically u need to know your prospects before making the call. And dont go do things for passion and have no back up plan cos when passion dies off and you have family to feed.. the dead end low pay job can break your back.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by centuryegg View Post
    Mmmmm think carefully cos seems that the NIE route has thrown what you studied out the door and u will bound to feel some sort of resentment sooner or later esp when you cant do what you want to do due to red tape.

    I would say check if NIE has plans that you can use to study part time to allow you to do biology if not check if with teaching experience, where can you progress. Example, polytechnic lecturer? Or may as a trainer in the private sector? Basically u need to know your prospects before making the call. And dont go do things for passion and have no back up plan cos when passion dies off and you have family to feed.. the dead end low pay job can break your back.
    Checked with NIE liao. U cannot change teaching subject after your training in NIE even if you do some part-time studies. Unless it is a mass-NIE initiated scheme. They did this when they retrain excess commerce stream teachers into Primary EMS teacher etc.

    As for polytechnic lecturer, u can't be one after teaching 4yrs in MOE. However, if you do Research Associate for years, you can go poly and teach based on your experience and M.Sc qualification.

    Trainer in private maybe a second career for teachers. but by then i am already 34/35. who in SG will give chance to old workers who want to switch line.

    Do you think i should go for stability and go for MOE? For the research job, it is partially passion and partially flexibility for me to explore other options. Becos they don't have bond unlike teaching. For example, i can go work in Hospital as coordinator for clinical trial?? or sales in lifescience field?? or be a safety officer for labs.

    what do u think?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by centuryegg View Post
    ....... And dont go do things for passion and have no back up plan cos when passion dies off and you have family to feed.. the dead end low pay job can break your back.

    Can i know what you mean by this? U mean i should not take research Associate job because this job is dead end in long run ?? this mean you would get much organic growth in this career cos you are still drawing much or less the same pay years later.

    So do you mean i should get a job which allows for organic growth because passion can die off so do not choose one based on passion.

    Is teaching a career with organic growth?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Not wanting to scare you, because good teachers are hard to come by, but teaching isn't quite as easy as it was. There's quite a bit of red tape and it can bring you down.

    You could take the leap and just go with the RA job. But somehow the impression i get is that bio engineering isn't too viable an industry here in singapore. I may be wrong.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    what ever you choose to be

    be the best at whatever you do
    give it 101% and be recognised

    there is always demand for ppl who give it 101% at whatever you do

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by song View Post
    Can i know what you mean by this? U mean i should not take research Associate job because this job is dead end in long run ?? this mean you would get much organic growth in this career cos you are still drawing much or less the same pay years later.

    So do you mean i should get a job which allows for organic growth because passion can die off so do not choose one based on passion.

    Is teaching a career with organic growth?
    any more comment on this?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by song View Post
    any more comment on this?
    upz
    please advise more

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Teaching huh?

    Its more than being a Teacher. And if u're inspired by the drama GTO to be a great teacher, ask any of the teachers here. Its more than just books, ur work and stuff. Its abt being a Teacher AND a PR guy to the students, HOD, Principal and the Parents.

    If u feel u have the fire, well, go ahead.

    But if u were to ask me? Well, at 28, my fire to serve is almost gushed out by the icey bureaucracy red tape and politics.

    Edit: I'm not a teacher. But my work involves the bureaucracy minus the involvement of parents. Den again, I wonder at times what am I working for.
    Last edited by jsbn; 15th July 2007 at 11:45 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Need advise on decision

    Teaching - I choose the iron rice bowl option.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by song View Post
    Can i know what you mean by this? U mean i should not take research Associate job because this job is dead end in long run ?? this mean you would get much organic growth in this career cos you are still drawing much or less the same pay years later.

    So do you mean i should get a job which allows for organic growth because passion can die off so do not choose one based on passion.

    Is teaching a career with organic growth?
    It is a comment, it doesnt refer to either option. I dont know your situation well and the market factors in your case so I cannot comment which option is better. I am just saying end of the day, the choice you make better be one that is economically viable in the long run even if you dont like it. End of the day money talks.

    I got a friend who is a banker, those that you see at public places asking you to do survey and next thing is talking to you about your finances. He used to hate his job but then at the end of the month when he looks at his pay cheque, he said the number of zeros makes him forget how much he hates his job.

    If at the end of the day, you find yourself broke and barely able to make ends meet, you will grow to hate what you are doing.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    You can consider to work as a Civil/Structural Engineer & aim to get your Professional Engineer (PE) status. There are many opportunities for such engineers locally & overseas.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Reliance View Post
    Teaching - I choose the iron rice bowl option.
    IRON RICE BOWL?

    Hey.... U know something? My toes are laughing. Civil Service is no longer the 'iron ricebowl' as so many ppl envisioned.

    Someone (who had served in the Civil Service for over 25yrs, served the people and served Singapore with his heart) once told me this:

    "U can work, serve with ur heart for 20yrs. 1 single error... And all that u had done, would be wiped off in an instant. No one would know u. No one would care about u. After all u had done for everyone."

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    IRON RICE BOWL?

    "U can work, serve with ur heart for 20yrs. 1 single error... And all that u had done, would be wiped off in an instant. No one would know u. No one would care about u. After all u had done for everyone."
    Spot on. & those who used to ang-kat you for the last 20 years whom you had promoted, will ditch you to save themselves.

  15. #15

    Default Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    IRON RICE BOWL?

    Hey.... U know something? My toes are laughing. Civil Service is no longer the 'iron ricebowl' as so many ppl envisioned.
    The thread starter used the exact words - teaching is iron rice bowl.

    You have a point though.

    Well at least it's better than his other option (the RA) which is contractual basis.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Stablility... Iron rice bowl... 13th month bonus... etc etc...

    Seriously, do you like working with and inspiring young people? If you don't, the pay won't sustain you for very long in teaching you know?

    Just my two cents worth, don't join teaching just for the pay and supposed stability... It doesn't quite work this way now...

    Good luck and all the best
    Jia Wang... "A photo is only as beautiful as the photographer's eyes can see."
    My Eyes ;)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Hi Song,

    Like what Ortega has said, "be the best at whatever you do, give it 101% and be recognised". But I know, it's difficult to fully understand this statement and many people will tend to be realistic of what can be achieved in this very realistic, materialistic, competitive Singapore in a short lifetime.

    Honestly, at 30 and starting on a first job, it's not a move that will put you in a advantage with your peers. Even if you don't want to compare with your peers, psychologically, you will have this tendancy to look for something more stable, as at that age, you think you cannot afford to start all over again if you hit the wrong path.

    I am not in the academic field, hence, I do not really understand the value of M.Sc in the commercial or education field. But there must be some reason why you send so much time pursuring the M.Sc in NUS. I don't think it's for fun or fame. There must be something in you that made you spend all these years in that campus. Hence, you must have some thing that you are proud of, that you think you can differentiate yourself from your peers or other people at 30 years old. Am I right?

    Don't let other people tell you that the M.Sc is irrelevant in their organisation or your skill set is not marketable. If people tell you this, walk away. No one has the right to tell another person he or she is not worth what he/she is in the market. You need to find a direction for yourself, internalise your strength and excel in whatever that you plan to do. Do not let other people tell you iron rice bowl is good, you need to earn $3K a month, you need to drive a car, you need to own a condo, you need to own club membership....

    If you are clueless on where you should go, do this: take out a clean sheet of paper, write down ANYTHING that you want to do irregardless of the circumstances today. That means, what you think you want to achieve. Do not consider the circumstances around you. Any thing that can hold you back is considered as "Limiting Belief". It's just a belief. Consider yourself as starting afresh. Do not let other people tell you what you can or cannot do. You need to decide for yourself. Do not go into teaching out of convenience, out of iron rice bowl.

    Mind you... THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS IRON RICE BOWL. Please erase this thinking from your head today.

    In this economy, one needs to work hard for everything & anything. This is your first job, if you have this thinking that everyjob allows you to go home at 5:30pm, weekends with family, evening dinners and movies, weekends go photoshoot, then you will never be able to find a stable job. I have seen so many young people who want good life and do not want to put in hard work. When I first started work 12 years ago, I worked 72 hours straight taking only 1 hour naps in between the 3 days, staying overnight in office and going back home just to shower. I worked almost 7 days a week & I was working for one of the biggest MNC at that time in the IT department, recovering servers and making sure applications run smoothly....

    If you were to ask for my opinion between the 2 jobs, I would suggest that you go for something that you have more passion. Doesn't matter the research assistant is 2 years contract. If you are really good in your field, your name will be noticed and MNCs will start knocking at your door if you are good. Before that happens, you MUST be good. If you are just mediocre, no one will notice you and you will always be a mediocre earning that salary of an average person.

    Most important, you must be willing to work hard in whatever field you are in. And the fuel to drive that extra mile is call PASSION.

    Put your vision further, have a dream, write down your goals and plan your destiny.

    Regards,
    Chii Fei

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Reliance View Post
    The thread starter used the exact words - teaching is iron rice bowl.

    You have a point though.

    Well at least it's better than his other option (the RA) which is contractual basis.
    Well, if threadstarter wants to work for the sake of an 'iron rice bowl' in the teaching career. Suggest he take up other engineering positions in the Civil Service rather than teaching for the sake of 'work stability' and ruin the future of hundreds of thousands of next generation.

    Contrary to the popular belief, Teachers CAN influence the thoughts, mindsets and thinking of their students depending on their charisma. A charismatic and powerful speaking Teacher can make the students think the way the Teacher wants the students to think - for good, for bad, for shallowness, for depth, for establishment, anti-establishment, order or absolute chaos.

    P/S: I had seen genuinely kind folks frm my former school go into teaching even though their way of expression may seem "Ah Lian-ish" from a perspective and how she truly enjoy teaching.

    I had also seen hypocrites frm my former school joining the teaching profession and condemn his PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASS KIDS as all 'trash of the world' and teaching sux and if not for the pay, he wun even be bother standing there and teaching for the sake of teaching.

    Singapore does not need 1 more trashy Teacher into the profession. Please. Don't think of Teaching as an "Iron Rice Bowl". Plz.
    Last edited by jsbn; 16th July 2007 at 12:38 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    I would simply advise you to look for the long term good and take the calculated risk.

    At least you won't regret of not trying what you always want to do.

    Best of luck!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Need advise on decision

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    Well, if threadstarter wants to work for the sake of an 'iron rice bowl' in the teaching career. Suggest he take up other engineering positions in the Civil Service rather than teaching for the sake of 'work stability' and ruin the future of hundreds of thousands of next generation.

    Contrary to the popular belief, Teachers CAN influence the thoughts, mindsets and thinking of their students depending on their charisma. A charismatic and powerful speaking Teacher can make the students think the way the Teacher wants the students to think - for good, for bad, for shallowness, for depth, for establishment, anti-establishment, order or absolute chaos.

    P/S: I had seen genuinely kind folks frm my former school go into teaching even though their way of expression may seem "Ah Lian-ish" from a perspective and how she truly enjoy teaching.

    I had also seen hypocrites frm my former school joining the teaching profession and condemn his PRIMARY SCHOOL CLASS KIDS as all 'trash of the world' and teaching sux and if not for the pay, he wun even be bother standing there and teaching for the sake of teaching.

    Singapore does not need 1 more trashy Teacher into the profession. Please. Don't think of Teaching as an "Iron Rice Bowl". Plz.
    Unfortunately, the situation is not as what u think. I have tried teaching for 2yrs. I have been rated as good by my longterm relief school hod in handling lower sec express and normal academic. That is why i am joining initially. I am not that crappy as what you have described.

    However, after getting inside, i was told that my M.Sc in Biomedical is not recognised. This means i would be teaching biology. I would not be able to share my research experience.

    now, my contact is offering me an RA position to help out in cancer diagnostic research. I know if i finished my teaching bond in 4yrs time, i would not be able to do any research at all. This is a chance to use what i have been learning in the past 4yrs. On the other hand, the other party is not recognising my 4yrs of learning. The irony is that MOE recognise a B.Eng (bioengineering) for teaching Biology and Maths but they cannot recognise M.Sc (Biomedical) for Biology and Maths. They claimed that i did not do Bio in A level and in my basic degree so not good enough. On top of that, i checked with them that my teaching bond has not started yet.

    So what do you guys suggest and advise me?

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