Compared with ten (or even five!) years ago, the career options for a young Singaporean graduate isn't as straightlaced or boring as it was before. There are now more university courses, as well as universities, available for the picking. It doesn't quite feel as depressing if you are unable to enrol into med or law school.
With Singapore being such a tiny country, the reality is that there are going to be certain course not available here. If you are a student passionate and intent on a particular educational route, you might have to go overseas to pursue a course purely because there are not much options available locally.
We pick out 4 types of courses you may have to go overseas for to pursue.
1. Speech Therapy
There is a lot less stigma over children with learning disabilities these days. Parents are more willing and open to send their kids for speech therapy in order for them to overcome certain communication challenges.
Speech therapy is not only for the young. The elderly may also require speech therapists in the unfortunate event of stroke or other medical conditions that may cause speech impediment.
Currently, the only available option locally for aspiring speech therapists is to enrol in a Masters of Science (Speech & Language Pathology) at NUS, after completing a bachelor degree from any discipline.
Those who are looking to start their speech pathology studies at a bachelor degree level will have to look abroad, with Australia and the US being popular options.
2. International Relations
Singaporeans in general love to travel, and most of us take up a third or even fourth language after watching too much Korean dramas or to impress that cute foreign exchange student. In all seriousness though, as a small island country we are also fully aware of how global affairs can affect us.
Which is why it's a shame that international relations is not offered at a bachelor degree level. While the University of London awards a degree in Bachelor of Science in International Relations via the local campus in SIM Global, students won't be able to study it at a local public university level. Although, they can continue with a masters degree offered by NTU, or the Master in International Affairs by NUS.
Overseas options, however, include international relations as a Bachelor of Arts major in most major universities in the US, UK, and Australia.
Given our country's ageing population and escalating healthcare needs, it’s surprising that more health science degrees aren’t being offered. As the population ages, the need for radiography professionals will rise. The study, producing and diagnostic of producing medical images of the human body using sophisticated medical equipment definitely seems like something that requires education and qualification too.
Right now the only local option for aspiring radiographers is a Diploma in Radiology Nursing offered by Nanyang Poly. If they are looking to further their practice locally, there are no bachelor degree courses being offered currently. Those who want to continue pursuing this path will have to go abroad for more options. Let's hope NTU and NUS will consider adding this in someday.
4. Veterinary Science
From the pretty irrational ban on cats in HDB flats, to the infamous notice beseeching residents to get their noisy dogs debarked, the HDB seems to be giving pet owners and animal lovers a huge headache with their animal-hating policies.
It seems that Singaporeans have made their choice to keep cats and dogs (and other furry type pets) in their homes rather than to increase the dismal birth rate. Maybe it's because they don't have to be sent to tuition classes once they hit the age of 5.
Animal lovers who want to become veterinarians, however, seem to be forced to go overseas to pursue their degrees. While Ngee Ann Poly does offer a Diploma in Veterinary Bioscience, most will likely have to head abroad to officially become a full-fledged vet.