Five per cent of Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates managed to get degrees from local public universities, while 10 per cent hold degrees from private or overseas universities.
ITE yesterday shared this new finding from a 10-year graduate employment survey that tracked 3,500 graduates from 2007 to 2017. The institution had not provided the breakdown between public and private or overseas universities previously.
Other findings of the survey, commissioned by ITE to look at its graduates' salaries over time and whether they furthered their education, were reported by The Straits Times in 2018.
Another 44 per cent of graduates eventually attained qualifications higher than an ITE certificate, though they did not go to university. Some 25 per cent listed their highest qualifications as a polytechnic full-time diploma, while 19 per cent said they attained diplomas not offered by polytechnics.
Their median salary also increased from $1,200 in 2007, when they left ITE, to $3,000 in 2017. The top 10 per cent of graduates drew $4,500 a month and the top 25 per cent, $3,600.
Compared with their peers who went on to work after secondary school, ITE graduates were also better off, earning $500 more a month.
By way of comparison, fresh graduates from the five polytechnics - Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Republic, Singapore and Temasek - reported a median gross monthly salary of $2,400 last year.
Like many ITE graduates and his mates in school, second-year student Krishnan Isaac, who is currently doing a Nitec in visual communication and design, aims to go beyond an ITE certificate. He wants to be an art teacher.
The 18-year-old has his mind set on going to Singapore Polytechnic - he needs a minimum grade point average of 3.5 out of four to qualify - to study experience and communication design.
Following that, he aims to get a teaching qualification from the National Institute of Education, which is part of Nanyang Technological University.
He said: "If I can't make it to a polytechnic immediately, I will do a Higher Nitec in ITE first (which will take another two years), and then try again. Without the skills and interest in a particular field, a diploma is just another certificate. But for me, I see a purpose."