A desperate plea from an honours local graduate

'...I sank into a mental depression and felt completely useless. There was a period whereby I can’t even afford to have a proper $3 meal outside and had to feed myself with instant noodles and plain water every day.' The above was from an article posted in Gilbert Goh's Transitioning.org. It is quite a long article by a local honours graduate who called himself Tan. He said he had just got an administrative job after 5 months of search, 11 months of door to door salesman, and another 4 months of search after he was retrenched from his first jobs of 3 months. Tan was expected to be the sole breadwinner of his family but his jobless status had forced his parents to continue with their odd jobs just to carry on. And he was also settled with a study loan to pay. Without a job, without an income, he ended having to borrow to clear his debt. This is the plight of some new graduates who are not lucky enough to have rich parents and could go on a long overseas holidays after graduating, and finding a job is secondary. Yes, some are not so fortunate. When graduates of tertiary education was only 3% or 5%, a degree was a passport to a good life with jobs aplenty waiting for them. When 30% or 40% of each cohorts ended with a degree, the equation changes. A degree is just a degree and many applicants are also armed with degrees. It is not a guarantee that one can land a job so easily. Then we have the talented foreigners coming in to take a share of the jobs available, and there are the retrenched or jobless PMETs begging for a job as well. Funny that this is a problem when technically we have full employment. Something is amissed. It will be a matter of time before our graduates start to drive taxis or be croupiers in the casinos, or as salesmen as saleswomen. Please lower your expectation even if you are a graduate as you will hit one by throwing a stone into any crowd. I wonder how much the parents will have to pay to bring up a graduate. And I wonder how much will be needed for these young graduates to start a home, to buy their first 3 or 4 rm flats. Forget about anything bigger or private. Those must come from the pockets of rich parents. Are we happy with the current situation? Are we doing it right or doing it wrong?


Anonymous said...

The root of the problem really lie in the ease with which employers can hire foreigners who are usually cheaper (but not necessarily better or faster) and those male graduates with NS liability are even less desirable to employers, since fresh after graduation they'll be constantly disrupted annually for ICT/RT etc.

Its sad when Singaporeans can't even get menial temp jobs because businesses are addicted to the widespread abundance of cheap foreign labour. But still, Singaporeans are eventually to blame because 66.6% of them chose to cast their vote for the party that screwed them in the rear.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are free to choose the govt they want. If they think this govt is the best, then they must live with their decisions. And it means high HDB prices, high hospital fees, high CPF lockups and savings that become not yours, and living with foreigners that take away your jobs.

The last problem will be resolved when they make all the foreigners citizens. Then they will say, fair competition between citizens.

Anonymous said...

It is very sad that after many years of study, armed with a university degree, a young person of 23 or 24 cannot find suitable employment. It must be heart wrenching for the parents who after all the sacrifices through all the years of hope, to see their child jobless. Life is hard in a small city state like Singapore, and from opinion of many economists and statisticians it is going to get harder. However, looking on the bright side, the economy of Singapore is at the forefront of all Asian countries. The stock market is climbing, property prices are up and Singaporeans are generally happy and satisfied with the way they are being governed. Recently there have been a spate of happy tidings in the Straits Times to boost the happiness of Singaporeans. So, all in all, things cannot be too bad. For those who are having difficulties seeking employment, they should follow the advice from the government to lower their expectation, live within their means, do not expect to go for multiple holidays, less tuition classes for their children, cut down on ballet, violin, horse-riding classes etc. And if necessary, live on packet noodle and water. Be prepared for worse to come when the population reaches 6.5 million. Things must be OK, GDP is nearing double figures and 8.8 % salary increases is on the way for Singaporeans???

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I could just not believe that the jobless rate is really so low. Not when I see relatives, acquaintances and neighbours trying desperately to land a job. Many who graduated from overseas universities have been so frustrated that they just leave to where they graduated and came from.

Who is seeing the reality on the ground? Who is painting a false picture? I am skeptical that the official jobless rate is really that low.

Anonymous said...

Me wonders why everyone wants a degree when hawkers, hairstylists, fashion designers, financial advisers, consultants, property agents and conmen are making more monies than graduates and much sought after?????

And do not forget the amount that has to be paid for that degree caused much hardships to most parents.

There are also some addicted to study(education), they just want to have multiple degrees but do not like to work or rather loathe to work. You will find such perverts around as they are becoming common and many ended up as patients in the Institute of Mental Health.


agongkia said...

I regret to hear that.
Nong nong time ago,those with primary school education can easily become Tua Kow and Tua Liap Larng etc.
The Tua Or Sheng nowadays can no longer become Tua anymore.They need some extras to go along with their paper.
There are abundance of graduates and naturally you will find graduates doing ordinally job like some countries one day.
Its just that its a pity that they face difficulties to secure a job that they aim for due to competition and hopefully not lose out to those who can talk well but with cert that are bought elsewhere..
Some times not having any paper may not be a bad thing.One can take up any job without much consideration.
And lately I notice there is a acute shortage of embalmers and pallbearer here.These jobs are taken by our friends from Pilipin and Chaina.Some more one funeral director can say he is more willing to pay them more as local shun these jobs.
Looks like I have to do my part by being an embalmer cum pallbearer to make sure our local poor people dun have to pay high funeral expenses cause by his remarks.
Patriot,any interest ?Its as good as planting vegetables.hehe..

Anonymous said...

Agongkia Sir; Good Morning.

me just wish that the living will not part too much with their money to doll-up and beautify the dead.

It will be good if the deads were better treated and more kindly so by their kins and kiths while they were alive.

Me just do not believes in beautifying the dead, but, would do my best for the alive.

Thank You much for inviting me to a good job, the dead will be very grateful to You, may they bless You with GOOD LUCK.


Anonymous said...

Agongkia is astute in noticing the shortage of embalmers and pallbearers.

This is really not going to be a dying profession for sure, but not for some, like Patriot.

On the other hand I could not help noticing another profession that is hot these days. And I am talking about beautifying the beast aka dogs. The world is changing. It's now a dog's world alright. Or dog eat dog world?

Matilah_Singapura said...

Degree inflation.

Because public education is another govt-controlled racket -- i.e. the govt "recognises" certain "qualifications" -- over time the racket has expanded to "qualifications" being used as a barrier for entry into a particular field.

Enter those who're clever at spotting opportunity -- the govt has created a false "scarcity". So everyone jumps on the band wagon and gets into the "education game".

I'm not saying that education isn't important. However this FIXATION on USELESS degree in many fields -- like communications, IT, publishing, media, journolism etc. These -- and many other fields -- don;t need expensive overblown degrees. The skills can be learnt and deliver by cheaper methods.

However because of the widespread fixation on degress and advanced degrees... the education racket is out of control and now there's an oversupply of debt-laden degree holders.