3 in 4 Singaporeans say they weren’t taught enough skills to excel at work – and millennials feel the worst prepared

Respondents said this lack of skills caused them to make mistakes at work, with some even wanting to quit their jobs as a result.
The Straits Times

Feeling inadequate at your job? You’re not alone.

According to a survey published by Singapore-based networking and mentorship app Tigerhall on Tuesday (June 18), three-quarters of employees in Singapore feel they lack the necessary skills needed to do their job well.

These include technical skills like digital marketing, financial modeling, and agile methodologies, as well as soft skills like negotiation, people management, and presentation skills.

The survey, conducted in May, polled a nationally representative sample of 1,000 white-collar employees aged 21 to 60.

It found that about three quarters of those surveyed said that their education and workplace training had not equipped them with enough skills to excel at work.

Half the respondents cited job-specific technical skills as missing from their skillset, while the other half said they lacked key soft skills.

Over half of the respondents said this lack of skills had resulted in them underperforming or making mistakes at work.

A further 43 per cent said it made them “feel unhappy about work”, with one-quarter saying it made them want to quit their job.

This feeling of under-preparedness was highest among those 21 to 29 years old, with nearly 80 per cent saying they felt under-equipped to perform their jobs, compared to respondents aged 30 to 44 (77 per cent), and those aged 45 and above (67 per cent).

Tigerhall CEO Nellie Wartoft said that this was likely because educational curriculum had failed to keep up with rapid changes in the workplace, resulting in graduates being taught content that was “out of touch” from reality.

In terms of educational qualifications, the group most confident about their skills was PhD holders, with about 70 per cent of survey respondents in that category feeling confident about their skill set.

This confidence fell to just 20 per cent among Bachelor’s degree holders, and 30 per cent among respondents with Master’s degrees, Diplomas, and ‘O’ Level certificates.

Wartoft added this raised “serious questions” about the value of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

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