Singapore

Poll begins on job prospects for grads of private schools

Last year's survey: Only 58% found jobs within six months of graduating

A survey has kicked off this week to provide the first comprehensive picture of how Singaporeans who attain their degrees from private schools fare in the job market.

It will give an idea of the job prospects of graduates from private schools and also help prospective students choose between different schools.

The six autonomous universities already have yearly graduate employment surveys to help applicants pick the right university and course - and the latest move will shine the spotlight on private schools, too.

16,000 S'POREANS

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), a statutory board under the Ministry of Education, told The Straits Times that 16,000 Singaporeans who attained their degrees last year and in 2015 through 40 private schools here, will be invited to take part in the survey.

Private schools are regulated by the Council for Private Education (CPE), a division under SSG.

Participants will be asked about their employment status six months after the completion of their final examinations, including the nature of their jobs and starting salaries.

The survey results, including the employment outcomes of individual schools, will be published in the CPE website.

SSG conducted a small pilot survey of private school graduates last year, which painted a sobering picture of their prospects.

Of the 4,200 students who graduated with degrees from nine private schools in 2014 surveyed, only 58 per cent, who had no prior working experience, found full-time jobs within six months of completing their studies.

The median starting salary of those with full-time jobs was $2,700 a month.

This is much less than the 83 per cent full-time job rate and $3,200 salaries for graduates from the top local universities during the same period.

The more established private schools, though, complained that schools should not be lumped together.

SIM

Some, like the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), quoted their own yearly surveys.

SIM's showed that 73 per cent of its graduates had full-time jobs within six months and their average gross monthly pay was $2,766.

SIM, James Cook University, Singapore and Kaplan Singapore said they are looking at conducting their own surveys.

Chief executive office of SIM Global Education arm Lee Kwok Cheong said "the employability of our graduates is a priority", and noted that SIM has been conducting its own graduate employment surveys for more than five years now.

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