Private-school grads see better prospects but still lag behind peers

While job prospects for fresh graduates from private education institutions have improved slightly, they continue to lag behind those of their peers from autonomous universities (AUs).

The latest graduate employment survey released yesterday showed that the overall employment rate of private-school graduates who completed full-time bachelor's-level external degree programmes (EDPs) between May 2017 and April last year grew to 80.7 per cent, up from 79 per cent previously.

Their full-time permanent employment rate also grew from 47.4 per cent to 48.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the median gross monthly salary remained at $2,650.

In comparison, fresh graduates from the following AUs - National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) - have an overall employment rate of 90.2 per cent and a full-time employment rate of 81.2 per cent.

Their median gross monthly salary is also higher, at $3,500.

Fresh graduates of private education institutions (PEIs) also face the highest levels of unemployment or involuntary part-time/temporary employment - at 27.2 per cent, compared with 9.3 per cent for fresh AU graduates and 8.9 per cent for post-national service polytechnic graduates.

Fresh graduates of private education institutions also face the highest levels of unemployment or involuntary part-time/temporary employment.

There were about 10,200 fresh PEI graduates last year, the same as the preceding year.

The survey had responses from around 2,800 graduates who currently hold jobs or are actively looking for jobs.

A total of 40 PEIs were surveyed, 27 of which had graduates from full-time bachelor's-level EDPs. These include Singapore Institute of Management, James Cook University and PSB Academy.

 
 
 

The survey is conducted annually by the Committee for Private Education under SkillsFuture Singapore, to learn about the employment outcomes of each PEI graduating cohort.

In response to the survey findings, PSB Academy chief executive Derrick Chang said graduate employment outcomes are "an important metric that PEIs should be measured against".

He also said PSB is "cognisant of the pace at which (its) students and even graduates must move to adapt to the disruptions in the workplace".

In the past two years, PSB has developed specialised programmes, together with industry partners, to meet the needs for skills.

A spokesman for Singapore Institute of Management Global Education also said the employability of graduates is a priority for the school, adding that its Career Development Office provides counselling and career development opportunities, such as internships and employer networking sessions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2019, with the headline 'Private-school grads see better prospects but still lag behind peers'. Print Edition | Subscribe