Australian graduating my Masters at the end of 2017, what working opportunities do I have?


#1

Hello everyone! First time poster here.

I am currently at a crossroads in my life. My girlfriend is currently working in Taiwan, with full working rights thanks to being a Taiwanese citizen. I am an Australian, studying a Masters of Chemical Engineering, having completed a Bachelor of Commerce, ready to graduate at the end of 2017.

I would like to know what prospects of work I have in Taiwan into 2018, particularly in terms of long-term employment. I am studying Mandarin all through this year, but only have a very basic understanding and doubt it will be enough for many employers for now. I also have zero experience in formal employment, though from what I understand Masters holders do not need to fulfil the two-year criteria.

I feel that I would be able to get as a job as an English teacher (having four years of part-time work as a high school tutor) quite easily, but I do not want to be doing this for a long period of time, and from what I hear it offers little stability.

Thanks! Any clarity would be much appreciated.


#2

Yeah, you’ll probably end up teaching english (for a while) just because that’s the default option. However if your gf is in Taiwan right now, she should be looking on the job boards (eg., 104.com) to see if anyone needs a chemical engineer. Depending on what your specialty is (polymers? semiconductors? nanotech?), there could well be a big demand for your skills.

Your lack of work experience will be a major problem though, not just for visa reasons. Taiwan is awash with kids with degrees coming out of their ears and no actual skills. You might, unfortunately, have to spend some time getting the necessary experience in Australia; the unpalatable alternative is to accept an entry-level job which will pay peanuts and expose you to the full gamut of dysfunctional Taiwanese-style management.


#3

Better get used to the Kid Castle jingle. :laughing:


#4

I don’t recommend staying in Taiwan.

Local companies aren’t a lot of fun to work for. The very best case scenario for you staying in Taiwan is to find work with a Western company and climb the corporate ladder in say a representative or branch office. Unfortunately, you’re not offering much to such a company. Right now, you’re not offering them fluency in Mandarin, long-term experience in Asia, or a working background in your field either in Taiwan or overseas.

In other words, you’re competing against locals at the entry-level, some of whom will speak English much better than you speak Mandarin, and almost all of whom will be satisfied with a lower wage than you’d earn teaching English.

Teaching English is a trap, especially with your education. I strongly recommend you save yourself years of heartache and establish your career as soon as possible in a Western country. You’ll soon find yourself earning much more than if you’d stayed in Taiwan, and you’ll start building whatever pension you might be entitled to when you hit retirement age. Maybe you’ll also buy a house, which won’t even remotely look like a good idea in Taiwan until you realize house prices have gone up 1000% while you dithered and you could have made more money buying a house and NOT working the last ten years.

Western companies of any type will NOT value teaching experience in Taiwan, and unless your Mandarin is at a very high level and they need you to do business with China they won’t be impressed with your Mandarin either.