Ask: NUS Economists

Fixation on academic qualifications will be hard to break

Q It is a person's ability that counts, not his academic qualifications. How true is this?

A Labour economists have, for a long time, sought to understand how schooling affects people's labour market prospects. There is much agreement now that schooling has a large positive impact, with most research indicating that each additional year of schooling increases one's future earnings by between 7 per cent and 10 per cent. This is perhaps one reason more people are aiming to be graduates. While only 8.1 per cent of Singapore residents aged 25 to 29 had a degree in 1990, 54.1 per cent in this age bracket have a degree today.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2019, with the headline 'Fixation on academic qualifications will be hard to break'. Print Edition | Subscribe