2 out of 3 Singaporeans want to further studies, nearly half want postgraduate degree: Survey

Office workers in the central business district area.
Office workers in the central business district area. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About two out of three Singaporeans want to further their education - and nearly half want to get a postgraduate degree, a survey found.

The survey by recruitment firm CareerBuilder Singapore showed that Singaporeans are concerned about their career advancement and employability. Many who were planning to get higher qualifications said this would boost their career prospects.

For this pragmatic bunch, the most preferred course of study was, unsurprisingly, business and finance-related programmes.


"The popularity of business-related courses is tied to the fact that Singapore is a financial hub, with over 200 banks establishing their operational bases here," said Ms Jessica Ang, director at CareerBuilder Singapore which released its survey report on Tuesday (March 1).

Singaporeans also believe that business-related courses will help them gain many valuable transferable skills which can be put to use in both everyday life or if they decide to switch careers, said Ms Ang.


The survey polled 2,932 Singaporeans from Nov 4 to Dec 4, 2015.

It found that 73 per cent of respondents intended to attain higher qualifications - with 45 per cent aiming for a postgraduate degree.

But it also found that many Singaporeans were putting off their plans for furthering their studies.

Among the key reasons for doing so were financial constraints (33 per cent), work commitments (32 per cent) and family commitments (28 per cent).

Given these constraints, part-time courses (73 per cent) remained more popular than full-time programmes (38 per cent). And the majority said they would not be going abroad.

But even for those Singaporeans planning to study locally (61 per cent), 43 per cent said they preferred to have their certificate awarded by a foreign institution, the survey found.