Here's what she wrote:
Why do people have such mindsets that people who come from good schools are better off? Does the school you come from determine your success in life later on? Let me share my comments and views on this issue.
I've always heard people debating on whether JC or poly is better and if local or private overseas degrees are better? This is a never ending debate and I tried to find out the answer. One day while I was working, I met a guy from another company and we were working on a project together. This is the first time I met him and a conversion strike off between us. He started to ask me if there are more foreigners in my company now? In which I replied yes and said its a normal trend in Singapore currently. He too said there are more and more foreigners in his company. We went on to say how crowded the MRT is now and if we look in the MRT cabins, Singaporeans seem to be the minority. I'm sure you have had this feeling before. Now, I have to state clearly that I have nothing against foreigners in general. I have friends who are from overseas and we get along very well. This is however a sensitive topic and has been debated fiercely during our previous general election.
The next comment I hear from this guy whom I've just met surprised me and left a deep impression in me till now. He's in his 40s and I'm in my 20s.
So he said: "don't study too hard in Singapore, its not worth so much of the effort now".
I was shocked at this and thought why would he say this? Then I realised something. Where you get your certification/degree is not so critical to companies now. Think about it, foreigners graduate from their own local university back home say in Malaysia or Phillipines and come to work in Singapore. Do companies hire them? Yes they do! And they are hiring more and more. If you think companies pay them lower salaries, you're wrong too. Most of them come to Singapore with relevant work experience and they get much higher pay than fresh graduates in Singapore. Well, my boss is a foreigner too (hope he doesn't see this :p)
Many of my friends struggle in local universities because of the rigorous curriculum and the many modules and electives they have to take. There are cases of students committing suicide also as they cannot handle the stress. Is it really worth the sacrifice?
On the other hand, I have friends who graduated from private institutions with an overseas degree mostly from Australia or UK. They are doing very well in their careers now and have no problem getting a graduate level job with decent market rate pay. My uncles all of them have overseas degree and they even say they got an MBA in one year without attending any lessons. Just have to self study online and take an exam. They are earning more than 12k per month now.
When you're a student, your job is just to study. There is no EQ involved where you need to network well with your classmates(colleagues) or get along well with your teacher(boss) to get good results(promotion and higher pay).
In the working world, it takes a lot more to survive. Graduating from a local university like NTU and NUS does not mean you can get along well with your boss or determine if your working attitude is good. Likewise whether you're from a neighbourhood secondary school or a elite high school in Singapore does not mean you will be successful in life in the future. Well, many top scholars deviate from the way of life and get trouble with the law as seen on news just this year alone. Remember the MOE scholar caught with child porn in UK? He's in jail now. How about the NUS law professor with the sex for grades case? He got into trouble too. Plus the many other corruption cases in Singapore. Good grades and character sometimes do not come together. We should not judge a person's character base on his or her education alone.
Coming back to success in life. What does it mean? Does it mean you earn a lot of money? Live in a big house and drive a luxurious car? To me, that's not called success. You can be drawing a big pay check but heavily in debt. You can be driving a luxurious car but can't pay for your credit card bills.
As a financial blogger, I would say many times we need knowledge to make sensible financial decisions. Making the wrong decisions or developing a wrong financial habit will destroy your adult life completely.
When it comes to financial knowledge, it does not matter if you graduate from local or private institutions. It does not matter if you're from ITE or JC. It does not matter if you're from RI or a neighbourhood school. We do not learn how to save money from schools. We do not learn how not be over-leveraged on debt from schools. We do not learn how to make wise investment choices from schools.
Back to the Facebook post. The post was featured on therealsingapore.com and many comments flood the site. Some of the comments are quite interesting. I'll quote it here:
We have been brought up this way. Smarter ones go jc n poly. Not so good grades go ite or dropout. Tats a fact. But eventually we succeeds or or fail in life or work depends on our heart n mind n hardwork.
Why criticise ite student. My brother not even jc graduate and his earning 5k. While I'm myself ite graduate but bucking up myself to take private diploma. No matter how successful you are if you ain't humble it won't get you nowhere.
Having past the uni education system for abt 3yrs, all I can say is that people with these kinda mindsets usually ends up at the bottom of the food chain. EQ is more impt than IQ when you come out and work. Yes, ur IQ and results land u ur first job, but its ur eq and attitude that gets u further. I've seen people with Straight A's honors students going into work and starts at mgmt lvl, but no one listens and works for her, end up dept head sack her cos she screwed up the whole team. Then there r the so called ITE students who started at admin level went into sales and then supervisory role. End of the day, the company sponsored her to study overseas. So who do you think is more successful in the end?
Thus, success is not about graduating from a top school in Singapore. It is also not about getting straight As or an NUS degree cert. Success is about how you make life decisions wisely and how you get along well with other people. Studying only takes up the most 20 years of your life but your life after that is another 50-60 years. Having success in studies does not automatically make you successful in life.