Most pioneer Yale-NUS grads had jobs in 6 months

They are working in sectors including public admin, finance, infocomm and the arts

More than nine in 10 graduates from Yale-NUS College's pioneer cohort secured jobs within six months of their final examinations, according to the latest joint graduate employment survey.

The poll, which was done last November, found that graduates from the liberal arts college earned a median gross monthly salary of $3,500.

Their counterparts from the National University of Singapore also took home that amount.

Yale-NUS graduates recorded an overall employment rate of 93.3 per cent, which includes full-time employment as well as part-time or freelance work.

According to the survey, the median starting salary of Yale-NUS graduates with Bachelor of Science with Honours degrees is $4,083, while that for their peers with Bachelor of Arts with Honours degrees is $3,500.

A total of 106 Yale-NUS graduates - out of the class of 119 - took part in the survey.

Yale-NUS College president Tan Tai Yong said in a statement yesterday: "We are very happy with the outcome of the survey, which shows that our graduates are highly sought after in the workplace."

The graduates have gone into both public and private sectors with the top industries being business and management consultancy; financial and insurance; information and communication; education; public administration and defence; and arts, entertainment and recreation.

Dr Trisha Craig, Yale-NUS' dean of International and Professional Experience, said the curriculum at the college, which emphasises broad-based multidisciplinary learning across the natural and social sciences and humanities, is "a very important factor in today's environment, where complex issues require a broad understanding of the field".

To prepare students for careers, the college has secured internships, she added.

While not compulsory for Yale-NUS students, 70 per cent of them embark on a summer college-sponsored internship, and others find their own placements.

Dr Craig also told The Straits Times that the college is piloting "group internships" where it works with partners to develop a project with specific outcomes.

One example is a project which involved students working with staff from a museum on cultural and environmental heritage, to produce a final report with recommendations for the museum.

"At the same time, we involved faculty members from history, environmental studies, and research methods as well as landscape architects and museum educators who helped the students, through lectures and readings, apply knowledge from these fields to their work," said Dr Craig.

Mr Linus Seah, who read politics, philosophy and economics at Yale-NUS and graduated last year, said that being from the pioneer cohort was a "double-edged sword".

"We didn't have the shoulders of years of alumni networks and experience per se to stand on and really had to advocate for ourselves," said the 25-year-old, who is working as a procurement associate at GSK Asia, the British pharmaceutical giant's Asia headquarters.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2018, with the headline 'Most pioneer Yale-NUS grads had jobs in 6 months'. Print Edition | Subscribe