Better job prospects, pay for poly grads last year
Overall median gross monthly salary up slightly at $2,400, from $2,350 the previous year
Polytechnic graduates last year saw good employment outcomes and higher salaries despite a global economic slowdown, the annual Graduate Employment Survey (GES) said in a release yesterday.
According to the survey done last year, 90.7 per cent of the poly graduates who entered the workforce last year were employed within six months of graduation. This is up from 89.5 per cent in 2018 and 87.3 per cent in 2017.
The survey, jointly conducted by all the five polys - Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Republic, Singapore and Temasek - showed that the overall median gross monthly salary for full-time employed graduates was $2,400 last year, up from $2,350 in 2018 and $2,235 in 2017.
Last year, health sciences graduates earn the highest at $2,600 a month.
Engineering graduates came second at $2,470 a month, followed by information and digital technologies or humanities and social sciences graduates at a close third with $2,450.
In comparison, fresh graduates from four publicly funded universities in full-time jobs had reported a median gross monthly salary of $3,500 in 2018.
The survey polled 8,685 out of 11,598 fresh graduates, who were asked about their employment status as at Oct 1 last year - about six months after their final exams.
About 60.3 per cent of these were either working or not working but actively looking and available for work.
Another 38.9 per cent were pursuing or preparing to begin further studies.
Most of the remaining 0.8 per cent said that they were taking a break and not looking for jobs.
Ms Agnes Chua, 21, is an optometry graduate from Singapore Poly who earns $2,800 a month.
"I chose the polytechnic route as I prefer hands-on learning.
"I got to interact with real patients and I have always wanted to be a part of the healthcare industry," she told The New Paper, adding that practical lessons at SP's Optometry Centre were the most enjoyable.
Ms Hoa Peng Sum, manager and senior lecturer at the diploma of business in Temasek Polytechnic, said: "Employers always look for work experience, and polytechnic graduates are equipped with the knowledge and practical skills that come from their internship attachment programmes.
"These are skills that are valuable not just in the workforce, but also when applying for universities."
A spokesman for the Polytechnic GES Committee said that he was heartened that poly graduates are sought after by employers.
"The polytechnics will continue to work closely with industry partners to help ensure that our graduates have the relevant knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the economy, and are able to find good jobs and enjoy fulfilling careers."