Skills VS Grades: More Thoughts On Poly VS JC




We are living in a world that is constantly evolving. The government is emphasising skills and lifelong learning so that we can stay ahead of the change. While both JCs and Polys are good education pathways, a polytechnic journey which teaches more skills could be more beneficial. However, parents must understand that a child should pursue an education based on his strengths and passion.

Poly starting pay


Polytechnics offer three-year-long courses. The student graduates with a diploma. A diploma graduate can earn typically $2,100 starting pay. There is a whole array of courses to choose from: engineering, design, media, and IT. There are mainly 5 polytechnics in Singapore: Ngee Ann Poly, Singapore Poly, Republic Poly, Nanyang Poly and Temasek Poly. Some polytechnics offer courses that are niche to them, such as Law and Management in Temasek Polytechnic.


Value of “A” level certificate


A Junior College is a full government school that offers a two-year curriculum. One will graduate with an “A” level certificate. Typically an “A” level certificate carries less cachet and employability than a polytechnic diploma.


Real world skills

A polytechnic emphasises on skills. These skills can include computing skills like Programming which a student will definitely become proficient in by the time he graduates. JC usually relies on notes and examination papers to learn theory and concepts. Polytechnic students are not just graded through exams. There are countless projects in polytechnics where one needs to be able to present his projects well. This teaches presentation skills, teamwork and how to work in groups with diverse views.


Skill-based learning

Some polytechnic offers niche courses like precision engineering where one is taught skill-based learning. This makes the graduates highly employable in their relevant sectors.

However, if the student is still not quite sure what industry he sees himself developing in, then, a suggestion is to go to a JC first, preferably followed by a degree in that course sector.