Top-5 MBA, Work in Tech; Taiwan Options?

Hi all, I spent 6 years in Taiwan, then came back to the States to get my MBA at a top-5 school. I’m now working at one of the largest software companies on the west coast. My wife is Taiwanese, and we would really love to move back, but I’m not quite sure where to start the job search. I would greatly appreciate the chance to connect with folks who are familiar with this sort of situation. Most of my network in Taiwan is in the English school business, and it’s kind of a different world.

We don’t necessarily have to come back now (although that would be great); I’m also interested in understanding what sort of functions/experience I should position myself for to optimize a great career in Taiwan for the long run.

Very much appreciated. I look forward to buying you a drink next time I’m in town!

I don’t know, MBAs are a dime a dozen round here. What do you actually do would be a good start?

The MBA is a top 5 school globally, for what it’s worth. Company is top 5 in tech. I agree in real life it’s not worth much, but in my experience Taiwanese love the big names on the resume…

I do a combination of business development and developer marketing. I can focus on one of the two or move into product management. I’d like to understand which one would translate best long term to Taiwan. I’m assuming Business Development, but that’s more gut reaction than anything.

Do you speak, read, write Chinese?

I know a local who got her masters from one of the top 5.

She is earning a great salary of 50K a month. This is great by TW standards, but her folks definitely made a bad investment.

The problem is that no local company needs a foreigner with a top 5 MBA. They can find a local to do the job. If you did find a position, you would not be earning more than a local anyway.

The only real option is to get hired by a foreign company that sends you to work in TW with a nice fat expat package.

The Taiwanese do not give a continental about a “big name” on a resume. They are more concerned about how they can get more blood from their existing employees.

15 years ago you would have probably been golden, in the same way as a trophy wife, but not today. I do not mean that as an insult in anyway.

No insult taken! My Chinese is low intermediate; I passed the second level of the local test (can’t remember what it’s called).

I am very aware of the situation WRT foreigners. As I noted, I’m not looking to come back now. Rather, I want to figure out how to best position myself to get sent over, ideally sooner rather than later.

Thanks for the input!

Find out which companies have large operations in Taiwan. Figure out what their main area of expertise is, or main need. Become a go to guy in that area back home. Get sent over. It’s a long process but that’s how it works.

[quote=“monkbent”]Hi all, I spent 6 years in Taiwan, then came back to the States to get my MBA at a top-5 school. I’m now working at one of the largest software companies on the west coast. My wife is Taiwanese, and we would really love to move back, but I’m not quite sure where to start the job search. I would greatly appreciate the chance to connect with folks who are familiar with this sort of situation. Most of my network in Taiwan is in the English school business, and it’s kind of a different world.

We don’t necessarily have to come back now (although that would be great); I’m also interested in understanding what sort of functions/experience I should position myself for to optimize a great career in Taiwan for the long run.

Very much appreciated. I look forward to buying you a drink next time I’m in town![/quote]

I’m very curious about how this works out for you. I work in tech (software) in Taiwan right now, and hope to enter the class of 2016 Fuqua, although i’ll probably stay in the USA and work in tech.

I think an operation like Yahoo would be a great place to look. Alternatively, since salaries for top-end talent are so low here, maybe start your own firm. There’s plenty of funding available if you have a decent idea.

[quote=“bigduke6”]I know a local who got her masters from one of the top 5.

She is earning a great salary of 50K a month. This is great by TW standards, but her folks definitely made a bad investment.

The problem is that no local company needs a foreigner with a top 5 MBA. They can find a local to do the job. If you did find a position, you would not be earning more than a local anyway.[/quote]

If the masters was an MBA, that’s shocking that a person would be earning 50k even here in Taiwan. It wouldn’t be surprising if another masters earned little though, I know some people with top flight masters degrees who don’t earn all that much.

Top 5 programs typically have very high job placement rates (80-90%), with great starting salaries, even when you exclude outlier finance salaries

Yeah in the US or with US multinationals, and then you get the high salary as you joined the club. So get transferred over if lucky, because local companies might pay a bit more for it but it will never be anything like US companies.

This is the bottom line.

And a 50K salary for someone straight out of Uni is excellent in Taiwan. Someone with a Masters at an overseas Uni, say outside the top 20 will get 30K a month.
There is also not much in terms of raises. If you are lucky, you will be offered a tiny raise for 7 times the work.

Multinationals really don’t send anyone to Taiwan anymore; it’s not a focus market and many MNC jobs left here have been downgraded.

If you want to find a local firm, you can finds firms that will pay a proper international wage for a proper international job, but it takes some looking and often an introduction. Anything related to the domestic economy and you’re sucking gas.

I actually know someone who got sent over here straight from SF, that being said, OP, you probably should look for companies that have a strong office in Taiwan. Let it be a small US firm with an office in Taiwan, or a small Taiwanese firm with offices in the US, doesn’t matter. Just make sure you get hired in the US. If you had to look for a job in Taiwan, with a Top tier MBA (if we’re talking about HYS/MIT), the only way to get decent pay is to work for an intl represented company. Think Yahoo, Google…etc.

Also, I’m curious about the whole 50k with a top mba degree thing,50k really doesn’t seem all that well paid to me and I think a lot of people (even locals) get paid more than that. In my opinion, a fresh top tier MBA could easily get more than 50k/M with a (internationally known) big name company.

They could get more, yeah, but they often they don’t. What they usually want is the education and the management experience to pay more, the higher levels of management pay well in Taiwan for local companies but work you like a bastard. For international companies with local branches they hardly hire any Westerners unless transferred , language and cultural understanding is not there. They can hire locals and then often offer shit wages as the locals want to work for a foreign company with better rep/working conditions and there are far more candidates than jobs. Most of these returned students are from well off families, I know some and they work underpaid jobs but seem fine about it. They just dont seem to need the money and care about the ‘job’ and it’s status more and working in a place long-term.

Software, don’t see them paying a lot if you are not some type of developer. Even then don’t see them paying a lot :slight_smile:. I know some good developers, they make shit compared to the West, but industrial designers get paid well. They are technical skills anyway.

Probably finance pays most as usual, then electronic or pharmaceuticals or heavy engineering. This is not the bay area. The IT as in software business is relatively undeveloped in Taiwan, that’s my impression. The hardware business is still the big kahuna, that’s almost all local companies.

[quote=“headhonchoII”]
Probably finance pays most as usual, then electronic or pharmaceuticals or heavy engineering. This is not the bay area. The IT as in software business is relatively undeveloped in Taiwan, that’s my impression. The hardware business is still the big kahuna, that’s almost all local companies.[/quote]

I highly doubt electronic and/or heavy engineering pay well here in Taiwan, I know some people with outstanding education background in both and a lot of them consider 45k/m a lot. Finance in Taiwan is just not big at all and from what I’ve heard, they don’t pay very well either compare to US paygrades, I guess it is ok in local standard though. Most of the local that work in finance here (IBD, consulting firms…etc) are usually not so much of a local, they are usually educated in US since middle/high school or international school kids.

A front office job in pharmaceuticals is pretty golden compare to everything else though. The lowest in the ladder (pharmaceutical sales rep) pays very well and it is uncommon for one not to make more than a million in ntd/year. However, these jobs are for local only.

Got a great job on the west coast and still want to move to Taiwan to work? Your wife’s on board with the idea of moving back to Taiwan? I can’t imagine either scenario, but if so I could see taking a given opportunity to transfer as a foreign worker stationed here for a U.S. company, I guess. Being hell bent to move back here to the point of taking 50k a month like previously mentioned and I’d say you’re out of your friggin mind

Hey mahkie, PM me and I’ll keep you up-to-date.

Curious why you’re surprised my wife would want to come back?

I have no intention of working for 50k a month. Rather, I want to position myself to get that elusive transfer when it comes along. Kind of fishing to see if folks here were familiar with that world and the types of skills that will translate best, but hey, no worries :slight_smile:

Appreciate all the input.

1-Never take job advice on Forumosa.
2-Many locals make more than 50K per month.
3-There are still many foreigners working white collar in Taiwan, but not like 15 years ago and the days of the full expat package are done.
4-I am guess your MBA is Stanford, can’t anyone there help find you a lead here, last time I checked, they did admit Asians?
5-you lived here 6 years, and now have an MBA but have not a clue what companies are moving and shaking in Taiwan (not impressive to your potential employer).
6-Big local companies that are still growing and trying to become international are a better bet these days than international firms who are slashing overseas budgets.
7-if you are serious hire a head hunting firm that specializes in management positions.
8-Be willing to consider China.

1-Never take job advice on Forumosa. :doh:
2-Many locals make more than 50K per month. YES
3-There are still many foreigners working white collar in Taiwan, but not like 15 years ago and the days of the full expat package are done. Still there, just less.
6-Big local companies that are still growing and trying to become international are a better bet these days than international firms who are slashing overseas budgets. YES
7-if you are serious hire a head hunting firm that specializes in management positions. YES
8-Be willing to consider China KEY IF EARLY IN YOUR CAREER

My :2cents:

Curious why you’re surprised my wife would want to come back?

I have no intention of working for 50k a month. Rather, I want to position myself to get that elusive transfer when it comes along. Kind of fishing to see if folks here were familiar with that world and the types of skills that will translate best, but hey, no worries :slight_smile:

Appreciate all the input.[/quote]

I’d be suspicious of any Taiwanese who are already settled down in a Western country and want to return to Taiwan :smiley: I’m not saying it’s wrong, but the source of my surprise is from knowing many Taiwanese that want to move to a different country. I’m not on the up and up on the job prospects for foreigners here, so I’m sorry I can’t be of any help as far as advice goes. But I know a few locals that work for tech companies. It’s common for MBA graduates with a few years experience to get job offers at large local companies for less than 50k a month, although it can translate to a sizable chunk more depending how their annual bonuses work. If you calculate their pay per hour worked it’s not good at all. Having an MBA at a good school will likely help one get hired, but doesn’t necessarily translate to big bucks starting out. In order for that to happen they have to be both lucky and kiss the right butts for long enough. Being competent and working hard doesn’t seem to have much to do with the process of job advancement. Others might disagree, but I base that on what I’ve heard from other people in the biz. I certainly wouldn’t want to work for a local company with local bosses unless the perks were high and deep, but that’s just me. I’ve heard of foreign engineers and big wig-type managers coming here, but don’t know much about the MBA types without a lot of experience in management getting local jobs. I’d be curious to find out if there’s a market for it. I wish you luck finding what you’re after :thumbsup: