Fresh graduates earning more, prefer temp roles

Polytechnic graduates in Singapore are choosing to start work later to pursue their interests

Fresh graduates earning more, prefer temp roles
The median gross monthly salary of fresh polytechnic graduates in full-time jobs stood at $2,200 last year – a slight increase from 2016’s figure.

Only about half of all graduates had permanent roles, based on the latest Graduate Employment Survey of five local polytechnics.

For those who entered the workforce after national service, the median pay had fallen slightly to $2,480 – down from $2,517 in 2016.

Among the fresh graduates in full-time jobs, those from the health-sciences diploma courses were the top earners with a median gross monthly pay of $2,500.

Next in line were those from the built environment, engineering and maritime course category, as well as information and digital technologies, earning a monthly salary of $2,200.

A spokesperson from the survey committee told TODAY that the overall employment rate is the lowest since the survey first began in 2005, and reflected a shift in polytechnic graduates’ preferences – that more are choosing to start work later, either to pursue further studies, or to set up their own businesses.

“While the number of polytechnic graduates who cannot find employment has not changed significantly over the years, with the shrinking base of economically active graduates, this results in a rising unemployment rate,” the spokesperson added.

Among the polytechnic fresh graduates in the labour force last year, close to one-third are in part-time or temporary employment (30.9%), with a handful doing freelance work (2.8%).

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