SIT grads in demand despite rising jobless rate

Almost 90.5 per cent of Singapore Institute of Technology graduates secured jobs within six months of completing their degree courses.
Almost 90.5 per cent of Singapore Institute of Technology graduates secured jobs within six months of completing their degree courses. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Poll shows 90.5% find jobs within 6 months, comparable with peers from other unis here

The job market may have turned choppy for university graduates, but Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) students who graduated at the end of last year have kept their heads well above the water.

SIT graduates continued to enjoy good job prospects, comparable with those of peers from other universities here, the university's latest graduate employment survey released yesterday showed.

Almost 90.5 per cent of SIT graduates secured jobs within six months of completing their degree courses, with 83 per cent of them securing full-time jobs.

Their median gross monthly salary increased to $3,055 last year, up from $3,000 in 2014.

While SIT was set up only in 2009, its overall employment rate is higher than the 89.5 per cent for graduates from the older universities, which released their yearly survey results in March this year.

But the salary level of SIT graduates is lower than the $3,300 median monthly salaries earned by fresh graduates from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University.

MEETING NEEDS

It shows that we are on the right track to meet Singapore's industry and manpower needs. To this end, we will continue to offer specialised, applied degree programmes which are industry-relevant, as well as produce graduates who are imbued with the SIT DNA and are well prepared to contribute to the 'future-proofing' of Singapore.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IVAN LEE, SIT vice-president (Industry & Community).

The release of SIT's latest graduate employment survey - only its second - comes as official figures released earlier this month show that job vacancies continue to fall, as job seekers outstrip job openings for the first time since June 2012.

The rise in unemployment hit resident degree holders the hardest. Their unemployment rate rose to 4.3 per cent in June, from 3.5 per cent in the same period last year - the highest level since 2009.

At SIT, the starting salaries and employment rate of its graduates differ across industries, the survey showed.Those who studied culinary arts had a high - 92.6 per cent - job rate but their median monthly salary was lower than those of other courses, at $2,400.

In comparison, allied health professionals enjoyed good job and salary prospects.

The median gross monthly salary for SIT's nursing graduates was $3,615, while the other allied health graduates, including those with physiotherapy degrees, earned median gross monthly salaries of between $3,125 and $3,488.

The university this year launched new allied health degrees, including radiation therapy, where there is demand for specialists, given the rapidly ageing population of Singapore.

Associate Professor Ivan Lee, SIT's vice-president (Industry and Community), said he was encouraged by the survey results, which affirm the university's applied learning approach and emphasis on being industry-relevant.

He said: "It shows that we are on the right track to meet Singapore's industry and manpower needs.

"To this end, we will continue to offer specialised, applied degree programmes which are industry-relevant, as well as produce graduates who are imbued with the SIT DNA and are well prepared to contribute to the 'future-proofing' of Singapore."

The survey included graduates from SIT's 10 overseas university partners in 28 degree programmes.

Around 79 per cent of SIT's cohort of 1,363 fresh graduates participated in the survey conducted from March to May this year.

Mr Adam Kee Yong Han, 26, who graduated with a first-class honours degree in diagnostic radiography, received a scholarship for his university studies.

He was sponsored by the Ministry of Health Holdings and had a job waiting for him at Singapore General Hospital upon graduation.

Mr Kee, whose mother, a ward clerk, influenced him into going into the allied health field, said: "It is good to be in a profession which is in demand. I find the job interesting and fulfilling."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'SIT grads in demand despite rising jobless rate'. Print Edition | Subscribe