MBA V.s. PhD

The battle of the titans, which should you go for?

Clearly, they are meant for people in different industries.

To sum it up, if you are in the research industry, a Masters is very common, and most of the time, not sufficient. You need much more than that.

So what should you do? You need to get a PhD to actually command a more decent salary pay check.

Whereas if you are in the business arena, entrepreneur or executive, an EMBA program will do you much good because of the business connections it exposes you to. This is less of increasing your pay directly, but increasing your long-term networth by improving the connections you have.

As they say, it’s not only about what you know, it’s also about who you know that can accelerate your growth faster.

PhD in Singapore

Enough about the Executive MBA in Singapore, I’m going to discuss the PhD programs in Singapore in this post.

PhD programs, like any other schools in Singapore, are taught in English. PhD programs offered in Singapore are world-class – 2 publicly funded universities’ PhD programs ranked amongst the top 100 in the world. The universities boasts of top-tier research environment, world-renowned academics and state-of-the-art facilities for the PhD programs. Many scholarships for PhD programs are also available. These made the option of enrolling into PhD programs in Singapore very attractive.

There are 6 local universities in Singapore offering PhD programs, and they are:
1. National University of Singapore (Public school)
2. Nanyang Technological University(Public school)
3. Singapore Management University(Public school)
4. Singapore Institute of Technology (Public school)
5. Singapore University of Technology and Design(Public school)
6. Singapore Institute of Management University (Private school)

Apart from these local universities, there are also foreign universities offering PhD programs in Singapore, either on their own, or through partnerships with local universities.

Part time EMBA Singapore

In my previous post titled “Executive MBAs in Singapore”, I mentioned that the Executive MBAs programs are offered as full-time programs. I will have to add on to that to say that these Executive MBAs programs are also offered as part-time programs. Part time EMBA Singapore programs are a more popular choice as compared to the full-time programs. This is because they allow the students of the EMBA programs, who are also veteran working professionals, to continue on their day jobs while being able to study the program concurrently. This brings several pros and cons, and in my opinion, the pros outweighs the cons.

The pros of enrolling into a part-time EMBA program and thus able to stay on the day job include:
1. Stay relevant with the real industry norm and work
2. Maintain network within the organisation
3. Able to apply the theories learnt in school to work immediately

On the other hand, the cons are as such:
1. More stressful to take on both job and studies at the same time
2. Less leisure (“free”) time

Thus, it is the sacrifice of time, and taking on more stress to juggle work and studies at the same time. And it’s worth it. Staying relevant with the real work and maintaining network and relationships within the organisation are 2 powerful reasons. Once you lost touch of them, it’s much harder to get them back.

Polytechnics, Junior Colleges, and Institutes of Technical Education in Singapore

Previously covering EMBA Programs and Degree Programs in Singapore, this post is going to talk about the lower-level of the tertiary education in Singapore – the Polytechnics, Junior Colleges, and Institutes of Technical Education in Singapore.

These 3 routes are available to students who have just left the secondary schools. Going to the Polytechnics and Junior Colleges can lead you to the universities next. Polytechnics are for students who wants to learn subjects related to their intended work in the future. For instance, learning basic business finance and accounting when he/she is aiming to be an accountant at that point in time. Junior colleges on the other hand still focuses on traditional general academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, Sciences, which may not be as relevant to their future career. Polytechnics take 3 years and Junior Colleges take 2 years. However, taking a similiar course in the universities may grant the students who graduated from Polytechnic exemptions of up to 1.5 years. This pretty much balance up the Poly-to-Uni and JC-to-Uni time – the time taken for students to achieve a Degree through the Polytechnic or Junior College route is about the same. Lastly, Institutes of Technical Education are for students who are weaker in academic achievements. Their curriculum is more hands-on, and less theories. Outstanding graduates from the Institutes of Technical Education can enter the Polytechnics. This makes the route to universities through Institutes of Technical Education the longest.

Degree Programs in Singapore

Following up from our previous post on Singapore EMBA programs , I shall now talk about Singapore Degree Programs. Singapore has got a huge variety of Degree’s programs, ranging from the Degree in Arts, Mass Communication, to the Degree in Business. This gives the students in Singapore diverse options to pursue a suitable Degree of interest to them. Having said that, most students wants to enroll in a Degree’s Program in Business Administration, Finance, and Accounting due to the high pay check their future career in the finance sector may offer. This shows that many Singapore citizens are practical. They are willing to give up pursuing a Degree of interest to them which they know may not provide good financial rewards for them in the future, for a Degree related to business and finance. It’s a well-known fact that Business and finance sectors pay well in Singapore due to Singapore being a strategic trading hub and financial hub in Asia.

Click here to see Singapore as a top business and financial hub in the region.

Executive MBAs in Singapore

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a prestigious master’s degree in business administration. It covers a broad curriculum such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations, and corporate strategies and decision-making. A graduate with a MBA is perceived as a well educated person with good knowledge of running a business (at least in theory). A crucial point to be noted is that MBA programs are usually accredited by professional and reputable accreditation bodies which ensure the programs’ relevance, consistency, and quality. There are many types of MBA programs such as full-time, part-time, executive, and distance-learning students.

In this post, we are going to concentrate on the executive MBAs. Executive MBAs are offered to working professionals whom are usually already working in a business-related field and wishes to broaden his/her business knowledge and skills. Typically, the executive MBAs in Singapore takes between 1 to 2 years, while the students are still working full-time in their jobs. Singapore executive MBA is increasingly demanded in Singapore due to the high competitive spirit of Singaporeans. EMBA students typically have a high level of work experience, often around 10 years or more, compared to the normal MBA students. Hence, getting enrolled into the EMBA programs also offer the students a huge opportunity to network and forge close bonds amongst one another whom have all achieved something in their career.

Educational System in Singapore

Singapore’s educational system is widely recognized in the world. In particular, it is well known to produce quality and analytical students filled with diverse knowledge of the world. Education in Singapore is managed by the Ministry of Education. Broad responsibilities of the Ministry includes development and administration of state schools, supervisory of private schools, and regulation of the education system. Difference in the state and private schools will be in the extent of autonomy in their curriculum, school policies, and amount of government funding.

There are four types of schools in Singapore, namely – Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges, and Tertiary Schools (Includes Universities, Polytechnics, and Institutes of Technical Education). Primary schools’ curriculum is composed of 6 years, secondary schools 4 to 5 years (depending on whether they are enrolled in the express or normal stream, Junior Colleges 2 years, Universities 3 to 4 years (depending on the type of courses), Polytechnics 3 years, and Institutes of Technical Education 3 years. Singaporeans in general spent about 16 years in schools.

The main language in Singapore and in the schools is English, while the primary schools, secondary schools, and Junior Colleges do teach its students Mother Tongue languages depending on the student’s race. The main Mother Tongue languages includes Mandarin, Malay, and Indian. This symbolize Singapore’s unique multi-racial culture.

Following that, students then move on to colleges and universities to get their bachelors. Graduates then either move on to specialize in their expertise of research as a PhD student or as a executive at a part time executive MBA Singapore.