8 in 10 Singaporeans would work in a different field to get better pay and job prospects

Local workers have no qualms ditching careers in their current field – despite years of study – because they want better jobs.
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It looks like what you studied doesn’t really matter these days.

At least that’s what recruitment company Monster.com found in a recent survey on career paths. It polled 2,400 people across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines (including 410 Singapore respondents) and found that local workers have no qualms ditching careers in their current field – despite years of study – because they want better jobs.

Over one-third of Singaporean respondents cited wanting a higher salary, while 22 per cent said they’d make the switch due to the limited opportunities for growth and promotion in their current field.

The most desirable industry to switch to was tech, followed by the media and entertainment sector.

Among young Singaporeans, nearly 80 per cent would consider switching careers to a different field so long as it gave them better prospects. One-third said they felt “very worried” about their future. Over half of the fresh grads polled added that they wanted to explore different job options.

Among mid-career professionals, reasons for switching careers include feeling underpaid, and the fact that careers in their current field had not turned out as they expected. Most of the senior professionals polled said they would switch careers to find more challenging work.

“It’s no longer an expectation that someone remains in the field they chose to study for 10 or even five years. Professionals and employers understand there are more career options than the path they chose for themselves at university,” said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of Monster.com’s APAC & Gulf regions.

He added that most Singaporeans saw a career change as brave and commendable, rather than risky and irresponsible.