A couple of months ago, I was chatting with a government scholar who went overseas to do a masters in computer engineering. Upon returning to the government agency, he requested for an engineering position he saw on the agency’s job portal. He was denied that request, and was told that “scholars are to do high level, long term planning, instead of such development-focused roles”. Top engineers need challenging technical problems. Deny them that, and they will seek challenges elsewhere.In a country where the government sets the tone for everything, is it any surprise that such thinking results in things like the following:
I’ve been repeatedly told that graduating Singapore engineers — should they decide to stay in the field — prefer to become project managers, while the ones who do become engineers are foreigners. When the demand for project managers exceed that of engineers, something isn’t quite right.