Monday, July 13, 2015

Four wasted years

I visited my dentist and spoke to the dental assistant who came from the Philippines.

Me - How long have you worked here?
Asst - I joined a few months ago
Me - Do you have a degree?
Asst - Yes. I got a degree.
Me - was it in dentistry?
Asst - No. I graduated with a degree in diplomacy and worked for 1 years in the government service. Later, I came to Singapore and got this job as a dental assistant.
Me - How long did it take for you to get the training to be a dental assistant.
Asst - I was trained for three months in this practice.
Me - Would it have been better for you, if you have joined as a dental assistant without going for a degree in the university?
Asst - Yes. I would have acquired four years of experience, which would have made me to be a better dental assistant.

 It is rather sad to see so many young people spend four years to get a degree which is not relevant to the work that they do. They could have spent the time more usefully to learn the skills for their actual careers.

Germany and Switzerland have an apprenticeship system. They are able to prepare their people better for their final careers. Through high productivity and skills, these non-graduates can earn a salary that is almost as good as a graduate.


yujuan said...

Apart from apprenticeship, our young should attend career guidance classes before entering tertiary education.
There is a civil engineering graduate who worked as civil engineer for a year, then saw his friends switch to being estate agents, making tons of money. He dumped his job and joined them.
What a waste of the 4 years study in the U. Took the wrong course as he didn't like the dirty, dusty and hot sun at the site, and the low pay, compared with his U mates.
Also blame the greedy, get rich quick culture in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

would you feel safer in the hands of (a) someone who actually had a degree in that field (ie studied whatever literature written by whatever that was in syllabus) with years of experience or (b) someone who had years of experience, no degree but learned everything from whoever he had trained under in the job (ie 1 source of information)?

If (a) & (b) communicates in a professional environment, will the communication be effective? If the professional terms used is different?

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