Do Private University Students Face A Tougher Time Securing Good Jobs?



In 2016 and 2017, The Straits Times reported that it was tougher for private university students to find good jobs compared to local university students.

Some published stats

‘Just 6 in 10 polled found full-time work half a year after completing their studies’ – The Straits Times

‘The results showed that just six in 10 (60.1 per cent) private school students found full-time permanent work within six months of finishing their studies. Their median starting pay, the midpoint salary in a range, was $2,550 a month.

This contrasts with the 79.9 per cent full-time job rate of graduates from the autonomous universities – the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design and Singapore Institute of Technology. The median starting pay for graduates from these autonomous universities was $3,325 a month’ – The Straits Times

Take the stats with a pinch of salt

It does seem tougher for private university students to land good jobs initially. But this should not stop students from pursuing their studies in a private school. It must be noted that the study was carried out in 2016, a year that saw the lowest hiring rates since the 2009 financial crisis. Even many local university graduates could not find jobs.

Mr Sim, 25, a graduate in chemical engineering from a local university shares his views:

“Singapore has been facing slower growth over the past few years. When I graduated in 2016, the oil and gas sectors were hiring very few chemical engineers. Despite having a second upper honours degree, I could not obtain a job in chemical engineering in 2016, I then decided to go into another field of engineering where I got a good job.”

Depends on the industry and timing

The job market differs across sectors. Some sectors may experience bad times and slow growth and as a result hire very few graduates. An example was the oil and gas sector in 2016 which was largely affected by low price of oil and sluggish demand for oil worldwide. In Singapore there were around 4,000 retrenchments in that sector in 2016.

By every account, students should still pursue a private school education if they feel that their dream course is there and that they prefer a more flexible style of learning. Private universities are more flexible in their lecture hours; it is easier to work and study while pursuing a private degree.