Friday, April 11, 2008

Polygrads - Follow up thoughts

I want to make myself clearer since my previous posting - "Neither an A’level student, not yet a Graduate " have attracted some comments. I had wanted to post the article fast, so I combined what I want to say about my recent observation into one article. I have not explained the context and the content were unfortunately misinterpreted by many.

I feel that Singapore society (or in fact everywhere) still recognised people based on certificates instead of work abilities. If you do not have the qualifications, it is hard for you to advance further even though you have the abilities. When I make this comment, I am not referring to myself. I was in fact thinking about my friend.

She worked in a MNC. She is a high-flyer in my view, very capable and well-liked by her boss. Her boss trusted her more than her fellow unigrads colleagues. In return, she was given good pay increment and also promotion. Her pay package in fact can even rival many university graduates. However, even though she can do much more, she had reached the roof of her career ladder.

That was a bit sad. She can do better but yet because she only has a diploma, she cannot advance further. Why couldn’t they give opportunity for people who have the abilities instead of stubbornly insisting on a piece of paper? Of course, I have heard university degrees are not meant to only increase your knowledge, it’s suppose to train you in terms of logic and perspectives. You are suppose to be wiser (different from smarter) if you have a degree.

I do know that a lot of polygrads are doing good in terms of monetary wise like my friend, but I feel more can be done for them in terms of career advancement wise. In case you don't know the difference, having a job that pays well and having a career is different. There is more future if you have a career than a job. My point is poly-graduates are under-rated and they should have a better standing in the workforce.

Now, Yawny don’t be so worked up. I do understand the point to get upgraded and I have been planning that. I am not looking down on Poly grads or myself, but just feel that we need a stronger voice to get poly grads represented. No doubt, getting upgraded will get us out of the situation faced by polygrads, but it did nothing to help existing polygrads.

Then about comparing A’level students and Poly graduates thoughts was sparked by forum. I chanced upon a few of the discussion threads about the same old talk of comparing A’level students with Poly Graduates. There were some “elitists’” comments by people who feel that A’level students are more “superior” compared to poly graduates. I was irritated by those comments and also worry about the future.

Honestly, A’level students have a better opportunity to get into a local university than polygrads. There are no doubts that a number of them are incredibly intelligent. One day, they might be who’s who of Singapore society. However, I am afraid that many of them because of being constantly successful, they might therefore lacked of empathy for others who might not be as smart/rich/successful as them. Then when you are successful, in a way you are “supposed” (not everyone does that) to return something back to society. For those people, I wonder what will they do if we need their help?

Then for my colleague’s incident, I just want to point out this is a classic example of 好心做坏事 . You can say that she was being not sensitive enough or being too sensitive or I was being too sensitive (let you all choose). I feel there is no need to highlight the difference or can just highlight the status later, but she, who have no malicious intention, has done it by putting me in awkward light. Next time, we should not have lunch with someone we are not familiar with...

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