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Thread: Shld I continue to do my Hons degree?

  1. #1

    Unhappy Shld I continue to do my Hons degree?

    Hi guys

    Sorry for the non-photography post. I am now at the crossroad of my academic life and seriously in need of help. I am a 2nd year computing student from NUS and currently pursuing an HONS degree in computer science. Due to a disastrous performance last semester, my CAP (a pt system which determines whether u can stay in the HONS stream) drops to that of a 2nd lower class HONS degree. Problem now is that I am not sure whether I shld continue with HONS and try to fight back to at least a 2nd upper class(with 2 years left) or switch to the basic 3 years course. I got to make a decision before the term starts as this is the last chance for me to make the switch to the 3 years course.
    I am really seriously considering going for the 3 years course and perhaps try to get a cert from MCSE, CISCO, etc(any recommendation what is in demand now? ) It has been rather stressful in the HONS stream as u need to get at least a B+ for most of your modules to stay on track for a 2nd upper. I must admit I am a slow learner and the pace is getting too fast for me. I have already given up quite a bit of photography during my second year in HONS. I am the kind of person which works best under little/no stress.(not very good hor. )

    Urgently need plenty of inputs from you guys. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Hmmm...in your post, it seems that a second lower honors is worse than having no honors but extra certification? I am not very sure about the field of computing but its also my perception that honors student will have a higher pay especially in the public sector.

    Personally, I will keep on fighting for a good honors. After all, its my last hurdle to cross in the chase of paper qualifications. (Not talking about Masters, or Ph.D of course)

    Sometimes, I cant help but envy NUS students as they know what honors they will be getting based on the CAP. For NTU students, it has always been a mystery. We never know what honors we will get till the end...

  3. #3

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    i dun think employers give a damn about your honours degree. mine didn't. only the government does.

    and also if you are thinking of getting scholorships, you need at least a 2nd upper.

    it is not really a 'good' thing to know whether you are in the 2nd upper cat or not. the school would not be given flexibility to adjust the number of honours holders.

    it also creates an environment which is unhealthy.

  4. #4

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    Originally posted by BigBelly
    i dun think employers give a damn about your honours degree. mine didn't. only the government does.

    and also if you are thinking of getting scholorships, you need at least a 2nd upper.

    it is not really a 'good' thing to know whether you are in the 2nd upper cat or not. the school would not be given flexibility to adjust the number of honours holders.

    it also creates an environment which is unhealthy.
    I see. But wun it be better to get as good as a honors as possible?

    To me, knowing where you are amongst all your peers in academic status is good. It creates necessary pressure (I need stress to do well) and strive for oneself to work harder towards the goal. As far as I know, NUS and NTU do not adjust the number of honors holders. As long as you can make the mark, you get it. The only difference is the transparency of each system.

  5. #5

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    it is definitely the goal to get as good an honours as possible.

    for NUS, i believe they did tweak the number of honours. for my case in BEM / BRE, during the lean years before the CAP system, they gave as many 2nd upper as 2nd lower with a handful of 3rd class and no pass with merit. however due to the transparent system, they could not do much in 2002 onwards and hence the proportions shifted drastically.

    Originally posted by NiVleK
    I see. But wun it be better to get as good as a honors as possible?

    To me, knowing where you are amongst all your peers in academic status is good. It creates necessary pressure (I need stress to do well) and strive for oneself to work harder towards the goal. As far as I know, NUS and NTU do not adjust the number of honors holders. As long as you can make the mark, you get it. The only difference is the transparency of each system.

  6. #6

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    Falcon,

    Academic results is not the end of the world kind of a thing, so don't be overly stressed by it.

    Being where you are right now (in NUS), the ultimate aim should be to obtain the highest qualification possible. If you could get 1st Class Hons, that is the best. If not, 2nd Class Upper Hons will do just fine. But even if you have to settle for 2nd Class Lower Hons, it is still okay! These are just academic results. As long as you have tried your best, there is nothing to feel bad or worry about. It doesn't decide your future!

    After working in the private sectors (non-IT field) for a few years, I do not find myself being worst off than my counterparts with higher Hons. Your future depends on you, some element of luck and experience.

    Go for Hons. Having Hons will also put you in a better position to do masters.... Other cert can be obtained anytime after you have started working and find them relevant.

    Just my two cents worth!

  7. #7
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    Hi .. for myself, I had to decide to do my honours year, or to come out into the workforce. Basically, if you want to do your Honours, then by all means - go for it! However, make sure you are able to get at least 2nd upper. Only you know where you stand among your cohord. If you don't have the confidence, don't bother! Really .. cos having a 2nd lower is almost as good as wasting one more year in uni and when you come out, it is not worth any more than the basic degree.

    As for progressing on to post grad, hey ... if you have the work experience, then that is a much better thing you want to have when going for your post grad. Check with the local institutions who are offering post grad ... do you see anything about honours? No right? Most of them expect you to have the basic degree and working experience .....

    Hope that helps mate ....

    BTW, I didn't do my Honours even though I was offered one by the department, and I am doing my post grad now.

  8. #8

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    I guess everyone would like to have at least a second upper or first class honours. I only got a second lower but at least I know I am at the top of the second lower class, from my results. I didn't do well in my first 2 years, but much better in the later 2yrs. Ours is a 4-yr course, which is so-called direct honours engineering course. But it doesn't mean that anyone can have honours degree no matter what the results is, as long as you pass within 4 yrs. This is a misconception that most people have. Even if u pass within 4 yrs, u might not get the 3rd class honours bcoz yr results are too lousy.


    A lot of people whined or protested when they got a pass or pass with merit from NTU and especially NUS graduates, they even made it to the press.

    Why do you seem to look down on second class honours? Even a third class honours is much better than having no honours. In NTU, we do not know what is our CAP points, there is no such system, we use the exact marks, the sum total of all the marks u have obtained in these yrs will determine if you can get honours/qualify for honours. And these marks are not made known to us, we only know the grade.

    By the way, if any1 do a postgrad studies, if you dun have at least a second class lower honours, you dun get a scholarship. My frens, second lower, got local scholarships for masters/PhD courses. Those who do not have will have to pay for their own studies. Maybe you can use your job experience to barter for the honours entry criteria.

  9. #9

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    Thanks all for the advice guys. Keep them coming.

    Academic results is not the end of the world kind of a thing, so don't be overly stressed by it.
    I try not to but sometimes I am strongly influenced by my peers. I often get calls during my photoshoot asking whether if I have done my tutorials, etc. Definitely made me felt guity to be out there shooting instead of doing tutorials.


    However, make sure you are able to get at least 2nd upper.
    Not impossible but hard with my present results. Sigh..

    If you don't have the confidence, don't bother! Really .. cos having a 2nd lower is almost as good as wasting one more year in uni and when you come out, it is not worth any more than the basic degree.
    That is what I had in mind too. Strangely all my better grades came abt when I dun have to care abt my grades.

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by innovas1

    A lot of people whined or protested when they got a pass or pass with merit from NTU and especially NUS graduates, they even made it to the press.

    Why do you seem to look down on second class honours? Even a third class honours is much better than having no honours.

    Hihi

    I have nothing against a 2nd lower or third class honours. Just that, I am wondering if the extra year could be better spent somewhere else like upgrading my IT skills to make myself my marketable, etc. Also that would also mean lesser $$ to pay.
    Anyway tks for your valuable advice. Will take note of them.

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    I am also in the IT line, and personally ... I think it is a much better choice to do a specialised course (for certification). Again, it depends on which area you want to go into. Do the appropriate course, and that I feel would make one more 'marketable' when it comes to job hunting.

    Let's face it .. you have 2 grads A & B from the same uni, with the same grads etc ... the only difference, one has Honours, the other has a Java Certification (for example) ... assuming that it is for a programmer/analyst job, then the one with the Java Certification is likely to be the successful candidate ...

    My 2 cents ... no offence intended

  12. #12

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    It depends on what job you are applying for, of course if you got whatever not certificates and not relevant to the job, then one million certs also no use. Java is not the only programming language here.

    Honours, is for furthering your studies or working in govt sectors. Private companies dun bother about honours/masters.


    Originally posted by Retro
    I am also in the IT line, and personally ... I think it is a much better choice to do a specialised course (for certification). Again, it depends on which area you want to go into. Do the appropriate course, and that I feel would make one more 'marketable' when it comes to job hunting.

    Let's face it .. you have 2 grads A & B from the same uni, with the same grads etc ... the only difference, one has Honours, the other has a Java Certification (for example) ... assuming that it is for a programmer/analyst job, then the one with the Java Certification is likely to be the successful candidate ...

    My 2 cents ... no offence intended
    Last edited by innovas1; 22nd June 2003 at 05:28 PM.

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    It depends on what job you are applying for, of course if you got whatever not certificates and not relevant to the job, then one million certs also no use. Java is not the only programming language here.
    I think you have misunderstood my comparison ... needless to say, it was to an IT-related job .. it is ridiculous to compare different professions .... hiaz .... and of course, java is not the only programming language ... I just stating an example only ... hiaz

    Honours, is for furthering your studies or working in govt sectors. Private companies dun bother about honours/masters.
    This I agree with you

  14. #14

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    ok ok..

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    Falcon, having an honours degree IS valuable. Whatever it is, you are most likely to start work in Singapore. And that is what matters first!

    Having an honours degree, especially in the current bleak market will give you at least a slightly better chance of having your application noticed. Of course, you may want to debate if the market will remain bleak in the next couple of years, but that is just semantics.

    Go get that honours year. A 2-2 (2nd lower in some HR circles) is considered no inferior to a 2-1 (2nd upper). Just as a 3rd class honours is judged better than a merit. If you go for Civil Service, than it means a job grade up and a higher starting pay. In the private sector, it can be and sometimes is the deciding factor, esp if 2 candidates are vying for the same post.

    As for all those certifications, they may, OR NOT, come in handy, depending on where you go. Concentrate on your degree first and after that do you worry about those certs.

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    Regarding extra certification.

    You can consider

    MCSA->MCSE (Microsoft)
    CCNA (Cisco)
    MCAD->MCSD (Microsoft)

    of course... get MCP

    In the market now, there's too many ppl having MCSA and MCP, so I advice you to continue to get a MCSE at least.

    People with MCAD and MCSD (For .NET) is very rare and sought after. Less than 6000 people worldwide has this certification.

    But do prepare to spend quite a bit for those certification (if you want to go thru their official courses, at least 10000$)

    Or you can opt to study on your own and take the exam (cost much less.. but you need to be experience).

    Exam cost 225$/exam, so.... dun anyhow go try

    Cheers
    Canon Lover :)

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    For me i reckon u'll be better off saving ur time pursueing something else better than getting caught up in this paper chase juz to get a 'gd job that pays' thus ultimately getting stuck in the rat race. Read the book rich dad poor dad and u'll know what i mean.

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    Falcon, I dun have all the right answers but u have to ask yrself the following Qs so that u get a better understanding of yrself and aims in life.

    1. What does paper qualification means to you. Is it very important? Are u the type that having done yr best, at the end of the day accept that others are more abled than u and more academically gifted than u are?

    2. Do u understand that in the public sector, better starting pay goes along with better paper qualification? Is the case the same in the Private sector?

    3. Is a good starting pay important to you? U have to seriously look into this as once u start work, u will start to compare salary with your peers just as u compare grades as an undergrad.

    4. Can the professional cert help u in securing a better job than someone who does not have that cert but have similar or better grades than u?

    5. Do u believe in lifelong learning? Do u accept the fact that a first degree is afterall a first degree, and that your interest in life changes over- time and that you may seek to do a postgraduate degree later in another field, totally unrelated to yr first degree?

    6. Do u intend to pursue a postgrad or PhD soon? If yes, then strong grades in yr first degree helps, but not having it is not the final death knell either.

    7. In economic conditions currently, do u have a good understanding of how employers chose their candidates for the job? Is it paper qualification alone or is there something extra that employers are looking for in the sector that u are planning to get into?

    Like I say, I do not provide the answers but u yrself have to find answers to these questions so that u gain a better understanding of what yr next course of action shld be. Gd luck.

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    Well said, Jeff Chen!

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