I was in Singapore for a few days on a business trip. There was an interesting topic on television. Singaporean teachers without a Degree hope that they will be placed on the same salary scale as those with a Degree. The reason being, they are doing similar job. Today, what happens is that they are on different scales UNLESS if those without a Degree are given a leadership role, for example a school Principal. There were just 9 people without degree who are school principals in Singapore today. There was also an organisation who said that they are placing those without degree on the same scale as those with a degree. The reason for this is so that they can keep the good people without a degree as well as the fact that those without a degree can also perform tasks which can be performed by degree holders.
Personally, I do not think this is the correct way. If the non degree holders would like to be on the same scale, they should ask to be given an opportunity to pursue a degree. If the workers can do the same job as those without a degree, then help them to obtain a degree. With their extensive working experience, some exemptions on certain modules can even be given by the institution concerned. The government can also help them by giving them partial grants etc. However, they should be willing to work harder and within just a few years, they would also be a degree holder which meant that the whole profession is now upgraded.
Yes, I am aware, some would now tell me that there are so many examples of people without degree who are so successful and there were some Master holders driving taxis and PHD holders sweeping the streets. Do you want to tell me that all these are MAJORITY or are these just minority. Do you want to tell me that the average pay for those without a degree is higher than those with a degree? Sorry, that’s not true at all. More than half of those without degree are doing the manual work which may not have a rosy future. Long time ago, it was hard to get a degree. Today, a degree is already compulsory and for many managerial positions, Masters are now required. I do not foresee it will extend to PHD holders but this is how the companies evaluate whether you qualify or not. Work harder if you want to climb the corporate ladder.
To those who do not agree, it is ok. Since there are some companies which are now offering the same salary scale for those with and without a degree, you may want to join them. For me, I remain a traditionalist for this. I will definitely get ready some money for my baby daughter to get a degree. You may need to incur some debts but today, the opportunity is there for higher education. If she’s not a top student, then any of the average universities would do. After that, she is free to do whatever she wants. A degree is still a must.
written on 27 Aug 2014
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