Private school grads find it harder to get jobs: Survey
Fresh graduates from private education institutions (PEIs) are finding it harder to secure full-time jobs than their peers from autonomous universities (AUs).
And even when they do, their average salary is much lower than that of those who graduate from AUs and is closer to a polytechnic graduate's pay instead.
These findings, released yesterday, are part of a PEI graduate employment survey conducted by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) from July to September.
Among the more than 2,500interviewees who graduated from full-time external degree programmes between May 2015 and April last year, six in 10 found a full-time job within six months after graduation.
This is in contrast with the eight in 10 full-time employment rate among their peers from AUs.
The gross median monthly salary of $2,550 for fresh PEI graduates is also lower than that of fresh AU graduates, which is $3,325.
It is closer to what fresh and post-national service polytechnic graduates earn - $2,180 and $2,517 respectively.
These figures were released yesterday.
SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong said the figures will help prospective students make informed choices.
But the Singapore Association for Private Educationpointed out the need to encourage more participation in the survey to get a "more meaningful picture" overall.
"Many students who pursue a degree programme in a PEI are working adults who are seeking to upgrade themselves," its spokesman told The New Paper.
These employment numbers are "not as strong" as those of AUs and polytechnics, said Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung separately at an event yesterday as he expressed concern at the private education sector. It is why it is important to have enough pathways to help students get jobs, he added.
That employers are less willing to hire PEI graduates full-time or pay them more does not point to a lack of high-quality programmes in PEIs, said National Institute of Education don Jason Tan.
Rather, it reflects the sector's "reputational damage" before the Private Education Regulations (2009) weeded out the bad apples and shrank the sector.
It will take some time before employers start to see PEI degrees as equivalent to those offered by AUs, said Dr Tan.
"A lot of that damage will take a while to undo in the minds of employers," he added.