Over half of Singaporean graduates work in fields unrelated to what they studied – but most still find their degrees very useful

53 per cent of Singaporean graduates have ended up in careers unrelated to what they studied in universities.
Reuters

Choosing a course to pursue at university can be mind racking for most teens who have no clue what they want in life. In reality though, one’s choice of study may not necessarily determine a person’s life trajectory to such a great extent.

Just ask Singaporeans, who, according to a new survey by YouGov, tend to end up working in fields completely unrelated to their degrees.

The survey of more than 600 Singaporean graduates found that more than half, or 53 per cent, have ended up in careers unrelated to what they studied in universities.

Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that what a person studies in university doesn’t matter (47 per cent did end up in job fields related to their degrees), the survey highlights the fact that not all degrees were created equal.

Among the Singaporeans surveyed, those who studied accounting and finance were more likely to end up working in a related field (70 per cent), while those who studied business, administration and law were less likely to do so (27 per cent).

 

YouGov

Those who studied abroad were also more likely than those who studied locally to work in jobs related to their degree, the market research firm said.

And while many people ended up in fields unrelated to what they studied, most (57%) Singaporean graduates said their degrees were still “very useful”. Around four in 10 said their degrees were only “somewhat useful”, while a small 4 per cent said their degrees were “useless”.

Those who studied information and communications technology were also more likely to think of their degrees as very useful compared to those who studied science and mathematics, YouGov said.

Degrees still important to Singaporean graduates

Almost all (99 per cent) of all graduates surveyed said that having a university degree was important.

Despite that, only one in seven (15 per cent) said that they would be unwilling to hire someone without a university degree if they were an employer.

More than half (53 per cent) said they would be willing to hire workers who did not have a degree, while the remaining one-third did not think it would make a difference whether the job candidate had a degree or not.

In addition, the survey also found that more than one-third (37 per cent) of graduates chose what to study on their own, while a similar proportion (35 per cent) said they were influenced by their parents. Around a quarter (26 per cent) were influenced by friends, while a small 14 per cent chose what to study based on media influences.

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