SINGAPORE – Job prospects for fresh graduates from private education institutions (PEIs) in Singapore continue to lag behind those of their peers from autonomous universities (AU), the results of the latest graduate employment survey released on Tuesday (April 13) showed.
Released by SkillsFuture Singapore, the survey findings focused on the employment outcomes of about 2,500 graduates across 30 PEIs who currently hold jobs or are actively looking for one after graduating between May 2019 and April 2020.
The survey found that about 81 per cent of economically active graduates from PEIs were employed within six months of their final examinations. The figure was about 94 per cent for those from the autonomous universities such as NUS, NTU, SMU and SUSS.
Among the graduates from PEIs who found a job within six months, 49 per cent found full-time permanent employment, compared with 69.8 per cent from the AUs.
The figures for post-national service polytechnic graduates were also higher, at 91.9 per cent and 65.5 per cent respectively.
The survey showed that the median gross monthly salary of PEI fresh graduates in full-time permanent employment was $2,900, compared to $3,700 for AU fresh graduates and $2,500 for post-NS polytechnic graduates.
Fresh PEI graduates also had the highest levels of unemployment or involuntary part-time/temporary employment – at 30 per cent, compared with 15.2 per cent for AU fresh graduates and 9.5 per cent for post-NS polytechnic graduates.
There were about 9,300 full-time bachelor’s level graduates from external degree programmes, with three-quarters of them graduating in 2019, before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The graduate employment survey is conducted annually by the Committee for Private Education under SkillsFuture Singapore to learn about the employment outcomes of each PEI graduating cohort.
The study noted the considerable variation in the employment outcomes of the PEI graduates across the different institutions, which include Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), James Cook University and PSB Academy, as well as smaller institutions like Parkway College of Nursing and Allied Health, and Curtin Education Centre.
An AskST report published in March said that although employers do discriminate against PEI graduates, graduates could take heart in the fact that once they were in a job, it is their performance that matters.
In 2019, SIM released a survey in which it tracked the career progression of its class of 2013 five years on. The overall employment rate of the 1,133 SIM graduates who responded to the survey was 97.4 per cent, and 94 per cent held full-time jobs.
Their gross monthly salary on average was $4,551, with the majority working for private firms and about one in 10 was in the public sector.
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