Graduates from Singapore's state-owned institutions NTU, NUS, and SMU earn a median gross monthly salary of $3,200. In comparison, graduates from the nation's private education institutions (PEIs) earn a median gross monthly salary of $2,700.

These figures are for full-time fresh degree graduates in full-time permanent employment, from the Private Education Institutions’ Graduate Employment Survey, surveying about 4,200 of the 12,600 students who graduated from PEIs in 2014.

The survey is a pilot, conducted by Council for Private Education, with support from the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Manpower, with data from nine PEIs listed below*.

Another key finding was around how soon PEI graduates are getting jobs upon graduating, where the results were encouraging. More than half (58%) of the full-time fresh PEI degree graduates were able to secure full-time permanent employment within six months of their final examinations.

The overall employment rate of fresh PEI degree graduates six months after completion of their final examinations was about 79%.

The survey results were released at The Lasalle convocation ceremony, presided by Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister (Higher Education And Skills), Ministry Of Education.

He commented on the survey findings: "Earlier this year, the Council for Private Education conducted a graduate employment survey for the nine largest PEIs. Six months after graduation, the employment rate for fresh graduates with no prior working experience, in full-time jobs, is 58%. This is much lower than the outcome for autonomous universities.

"Median salary for PEI graduates is about 15% lower than those of autonomous universities. Students intending to enrol into degree programmes at PEIs need to know these pragmatic but important facts."

Adding that the objective is to see the quality of education and employment outcomes of this sector improve, the MOE and the Council for Private Education are studying further measures to this end.

He advised: "Whether you are an adult learner, or a young student, we want to make sure you are equipped with the necessary information to make informed choices. When you make a decision to pursue a degree, it should be after a thorough exploration of the choices and pathways available – not because a degree programme is the default pathway."

Full list of private education institutions that participated in the survey:

  1. Curtin Education Centre
  2. ITC School of Laws
  3. James Cook University
  4. Kaplan Higher Education Institute/Kaplan Higher Education Academy
  5. Management Development Institute of Singapore
  6. Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre
  7. Singapore Institute of Management
  8. SMF Institute of Higher Learning
  9. Trent Global College of Technology and Management

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