Working After Poly: Pros and Cons



With many new young entrepreneurs dropping out of university and building successful startups, is getting a degree still worth it? Or should polytechnic students start working first?

How poly graduates see it

The New Paper interviewed some top Singapore polytechnic students and they had this to share:

‘Miss Chong, who is working with media agency Starcom, said she does not feel that a degree is necessary for her career in the industry. The former media and communication student said: “A degree might matter when it comes to promotion. “But my company has directors who do not have degrees and they are on the same level as degree holders.”

Miss Ong also studied media and communication and did a four-month internship with advertising agency Arcade. She said: “My internship experience made me realise that you do not need studies to get you far. You just need to learn fast and adapt.” ‘ – The New Paper



When one starts work after polytechnic, he gains insights and skills about the industry before his peers who are still in university. This allows the polytechnic graduate to re-evaluate whether or not this industry or company suits him.

Should your child decide to pursue a degree after working for a couple of years, some companies do sponsor the child’s tertiary education after he has worked for some time. Naturally, he will have to perform well in the company.



Without a degree, the child may feel that he is lagging behind his peers or colleagues. Some positions in companies might only accept university graduates.

Generally, it is common for university graduates to earn more than polytechnic graduates, all things being equal.  However, this is usually at the entry stages. After gaining experience and proficiency, the gap should narrow, if not disappear.

Students should understand what the drawbacks are before choosing to forego a university degree.  Working for a couple of years first before attaining a degree can seem like a more secure and plausible route in Singapore.