Half of Singaporeans work in jobs unrelated to their degrees

Half of Singaporeans work in jobs unrelated to their degrees
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One in seven unwilling to hire someone without a university degree

What you study at university is unlikely to be what you end up doing as a career, with latest YouGov research showing that over half (53%) of Singaporean graduates work in jobs unrelated to their degrees. The remaining half (47%) work in jobs related to their degrees.

This isn’t the same across all degrees, however. Those who studied accounting and finance are more likely to end up working in a related field, compared with those who studied business, administration and law. Seven in ten (70%) of those who studied accounting and finance ended up working in jobs relevant to their degree, as opposed to just over a quarter (27%) of those who did business, administration and law.

Other factors also seem to affect whether someone moves into a job linked to their degree. Those who studied abroad (29%) are more likely than those who studied locally (71%) (51% vs. 45%) to work in jobs related to their degree. Older Singaporeans (aged 55 and above) are also more likely than their younger compatriots (aged 25 to 34) to work in jobs relevant to their degree (54% vs. 42%).

Overall, almost six in ten (57%) Singaporeans find their degrees ‘very useful’. Four in ten (39%) find them somewhat useful, and the remaining 4% find them useless.  Those who studied information and communications technology are more likely to think of their degrees as very useful compared with those who studied science and mathematics (72% vs. 43%).

When choosing a degree, over a third (37%) made the decision in selecting their field of study on their own. The rest were influenced by their parents (35%), friends (26%) and even the media (14%).

The vast majority (99%) of graduates agree that having a university degree is important. Assuming the position of an employer, one in seven (15%) would be unwilling to hire someone without a university degree. Half (53%) would be willing, and the remaining third (33%) thinks it makes no difference.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov Omnibus commented: “For those currently figuring out which field of study to go in to, it could be comforting to know that it might be unrelated to one’s future career. No matter what field of study, almost all graduates agree a university degree is important, and a significant percentage would be unwilling to hire someone without one.”

***Results based on 646 Singaporean graduates surveyed by YouGov Omnibus