Internships help students decide on graduation plans: Polytechnic survey

Nanyang Polytechnic students Cheryl Chua and R. Punitha are among those who will start nine-month internships in the biologics industry, in line with the push towards specialised skills. A recent polytechnic survey has found work experience is key in
Nanyang Polytechnic students Cheryl Chua and R. Punitha are among those who will start nine-month internships in the biologics industry, in line with the push towards specialised skills. A recent polytechnic survey has found work experience is key in helping young people make career decisions, and influencing them to stay in their jobs. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Work experience is key in helping young people make career decisions, and influencing them to stay in related jobs, a recent polytechnic survey has found.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic polled more than 850 of its students before and after they went on internships in their final year. They are part of the batch of full-time 5,177 students graduating from the polytechnic this year.

This is the first polytechnic-wide survey that Ngee Ann Polytechnic has conducted to find out how internships affect students' job plans after graduation, in a bid to improve such work stints in line with SkillsFuture, a national movement to encourage students and workers to develop specialised and industry-relevant skills.

The students were given the online questionnaire before and after they went on their work placements, which ranged from two to 11 months.

The polytechnic found that internships gave students more certainty in their graduation plans. Only 18 per cent were still undecided about what to do after graduation, after going on internships, compared to 32 per cent who were unsure before their placements.

Also, after internships, 63 per cent of those polled said they would pursue their interests in fields related to what they studied, up from 53 per cent of students who indicated the same before their internships.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic principal Clarence Ti, who revealed these findings at its first graduation ceremony this year, also said that more than 60 per cent of students expressed interest in a second internship.

The polytechnic held its first in a series of graduation ceremonies on Monday, for some 300 graduates of its school of film and media studies.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who was the event's guest of honour, encouraged the graduates to stay relevant by continuing to learn skills required in a changing world.