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60% of new private school grads found full-time jobs, average starting pay of S$2,550

SINGAPORE — Six in 10 graduates from private education institutions found full-time jobs within six months after graduating, drawing an average starting monthly pay of S$2,550, an inaugural employment survey has found.

60% of new private school grads found full-time jobs, average starting pay of S$2,550

Six in 10 fresh graduates private education institution have found full-time jobs six months after graduating, according to an inaugural employment survey. Photo: Baim Hanif/Unsplash.com

SINGAPORE — Six in 10 graduates from private education institutions found full-time jobs within six months after graduating, drawing an average starting monthly pay of S$2,550, an inaugural employment survey has found.

The proportion was lower than statistics from the autonomous universities, including the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and Singapore Institute of Technology.

Based on the latest employment surveys from these universities, 80 per cent of their graduates found jobs within six months after getting their degrees, with the average monthly starting pay pegged at S$3,325. Fresh polytechnic graduates earned about S$2,517 per month.

Overall employment rate among the private education institution graduates surveyed, which included those holding part-time, freelance and contract jobs, was at 84.3 per cent.

Among the 40 private schools polled, the ERC Institute had the highest full-time employment rate (71.4 per cent), followed by Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) Global Education (61.6 per cent), and Curtin Education Centre (58 per cent).

Fresh graduates from TMC Academy drew the highest starting pay of S$2,650 per month. Those from SIM earned S$2,600 per month on average, while those from ERC Institute drew S$2,550.

Conducted by SkillsFuture Singapore and the Committee for Private Education (CPE), the survey polled 3,521 graduates from July to September. Of the group surveyed, 2,109 were from SIM, as compared with 50 from Curtin Education Centre, 14 from ERC Institute, and 12 from TMC Academy.

They made up about a third, or 32 per cent, of the alumni who graduated from full-time degree programmes between May 2015 and April 2016.

The graduate employment survey for private education institutions was among the measures introduced in October last year to better protect prospective students by making information more transparent.

Commenting on the survey results, Mr Brandon Lee, SkillsFuture Singapore’s Director-General for private education said: “Given the wide range of publicly-funded and private upgrading options available, I would strongly encourage every student to assess their needs carefully before deciding on the pathway they would like to pursue.

“The (CPE) will also continue to review its requirements periodically to ensure that consumers’ interests are protected and (private education institutions) meet minimum standards.”

SkillsFuture Singapore chief executive officer Ng Cher Pong added that the survey results can help students “weigh (employment outcomes) against the cost involved in pursuing external degree programmes”.

However, students should exercise caution when interpreting the results, said SkillsFuture Singapore, as it noted that some of the institution-level data was based on small sample sizes. For instance, 18 of the schools polled had fewer than 10 respondents, while 23 had fewer than 20.

“The survey is not intended as a comparison of the quality or value of the respective institutions, and should not be interpreted as such.  Instead, our objective is to enable prospective students to make better informed decisions about their education and career choices, with the key findings,” said Mr Ng.

Private schools approached by TODAY said that while the survey results serve as a reference for prospective students, it does not take into account the employment outcomes of certain segments of their student populations, such as graduates from part-time degree programmes.

“(Private institutions) have myriad differences in their programme offerings…different student profiles and success stories. This survey only focused on full-time graduates, which is just one part of many considerations by both student and parents,” said Mr Leon Choong, president of Kaplan Singapore.

Dr R Theyvendran, Secretary-General of the Management Development Institute of Singapore agreed, as he noted that the sample sizes were not a good representation of the private education landscape.

Dr Sam Choon Yin, dean of the PSB Academy, said that the school’s graduate employment survey, conducted yearly among full-time and part-time graduates from degree-level programmes, found that over eight in 10 found jobs within six months of completing their studies.

The schools interviewed said graduate employability remains a top priority, and that they will continue to strengthen partnerships with foreign university partners, Government agencies and the industry to enhance the quality of their programmes.

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