What can be done to attract more into the engineering profession? What can be done to make it cool again?
It is not about engineering not being a cool profession. It is simply the fact that limited opportunities are made available to engineering graduates.
Four out of five of my friends who are engineering graduates were not able to secure a job within their field of study.
Many engineering positions are outsourced to foreign talents who are willing to take a 50 per cent pay cut. With such intense competition and an uncertain career path, youth will avoid engineering courses like the plague.
Fizzy Enzo Lumpkins
Actually, engineering is cool. The ability to build many things is exciting and fulfilling. It's when you see engineers moving into sales roles that you realise that they are not properly remunerated. I would say that to be treated seriously, the profession needs to be unionised. That said, engineers have good starting salaries.
Make engineering as prestigious as a medical degree. First, those who get into a local engineering degree course should be allowed to defer their national service, just like those who are in medical school. Upon graduation, they will serve the remaining service as a military expert.
Besides "high returns, high risks", what other cautionary advice should investors heed?
Make sure you understand what you are signing up for or buying - especially the risks and charges. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always compare products to make sure you are getting the right one. Read the paperwork and prospectus... don't hesitate to ask questions if anything isn't clear.
If you are still in doubt, avoid it at all costs. Some investment products are provided by firms that are not regulated and some bonds are not even rated.
As a rule of thumb, buy bonds that mature in not more than five years and don't get carried away by the promise of high yields.
I trust products with low returns more than those that promise higher returns.
What banks offer may look peanuts but, in the longer term, you can sleep soundly knowing you will not lose your capital investment.
Should there be more Car-Free Sundays? What are the pros and cons of extending this to a full weekend?
I find it ironic that the carparks around the car-free zones are always packed during car-free days. Might there be a chance that people are driving there to park their cars, and then celebrate the car-free day?
Kow Wei Hao
If there is little traffic downtown on Sundays in the first place, then it does not make a difference whether you call it a car-free day or not.
Try doing a car-free workday or a car-free Orchard Road Sunday.
Boon Leong Chiew