Over 9 in 10 polytechnic graduates in Singapore found jobs in 2019; those in health sciences have the highest pay: Graduate survey

90.7 per cent of polytechnic graduates who entered the labour force last year found full-time, freelance, or part-time jobs within six months of graduation.
The Straits Times

Despite a global economic slowdown, most polytechnic graduates in Singapore are enjoying higher salaries and employability compared with their 2018 counterparts, according to the latest Graduate Employment Survey.

Released on Tuesday (Jan 14), the survey found that 90.7 per cent out of the 7,724 polytechnic graduates who entered the labour force last year found full-time, freelance, or part-time jobs within six months of graduation.

This is a 1.2 percentage point increase from the figure for the 2018 batch.

The proportion of unemployed polytechnic graduates also fell from 10.5 per cent in 2018 to 9.3 per cent in 2019.

The number of polytechnic graduates in part-time or temporary employment also fell, from 26.4 per cent in 2018 to 25.5 per cent in 2019.

For graduates in full-time employment, the overall median gross monthly salary rose from S$2,350 in 2018 to S$2,400 last year.

Those in the Health sciences cluster commanded the highest median gross monthly salary, at S$2,600.

This is followed by engineering graduates who took home S$2,470, and those in the information and digital technologies or humanities and social sciences cluster, who earned S$2,450.

Rounding out the top five sectors were built environment (S$2,300) and Business (S$2,270).

In the past three years, graduates in sciences, and arts, design and media continued to earn the lowest salaries.

When broken down to fresh graduates and graduates from 2016 who completed their full-time national service (NS), the survey found that 60.3 per cent of fresh graduates were in the workforce.

This figure fell by 17.8 per cent for post-NS graduates, of which only 42.5 per cent are in the workforce.

But this is because there were more post-NS graduates pursuing or preparing to begin further studies – 57.2 per cent – than fresh graduates, of which 38.9 per cent are doing the same.

Most of the remaining fresh graduates and post-NS graduates said that they were taking a break and not looking for jobs.

The survey polled 8,685 out of 11,598 fresh graduates in 2019, while post-NS graduates who completed NS between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019, numbered 5,845 out of 9,931.

The survey was jointly conducted by the five polytechnics in Singapore, namely – Republic, Temasek, Singapore, Nanyang, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

A spokesman from the survey’s Polytechnic committee described the outcomes as heartening, and said that “polytechnic graduates continue to do well in the job market despite the global economic slowdown”.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat said that the results of the survey were encouraging.

He wrote: “Education and economic growth go hand in hand…The (Institutes of Higher Learning) collaborate closely with industry partners and economic agencies to provide our graduates with a good education and relevant skill sets to take on these jobs and thrive in the workplace.”

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