Singapore’s newer universities are beating NTU, NUS, and SMU at grad employment

When it comes to employment rates for fresh grads from Singapore universities, students from SUSS, SIT and SUTD seem more attractive to potential employers than grads from NUS, NTU and SMU, according to a 2017 Joint Graduate Employment Survey.

Despite being relatively new to Singapore’s higher education scene, how have the three newer universities achieved this level of success in a short span of time? Or, should the question be: are NUS, NTU and SMU losing their polish?

According to the survey, the overall employment rates for graduates are:
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT): 92.3%
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD): 91.4%
Singapore Management University (SMU): 88.9%

How have the newer universities achieved this level of success in such a short span of time?

A strong commitment to an industry-centric and practice-oriented education.

The two universities provide students with an applied-degree pathway that integrate theoretical knowledge with real-life application. The key may lie in their longer-than-usual work attachments; students from SIT typically spend 8-12 months under the university’s Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP).

In contrast, the three older universities tend to take a more traditional and academic approach to designing their pedagogy and curricula. There is a strong emphasis on theoretical knowledge – a ‘chalk-and-talk’ approach – in NUS and NTU among many of its lecturers.

What do you learn from this?

The ultimate aim of a university is to ensure that students are well-educated and capable of securing meaningful employment. This means that in this day and age, simply having an education isn’t enough – it has to be applied in the real world.

So if you’re looking for the next step in your education, you should take into consideration the tertiary institution’s work attachments (unless you intend to stick to a life of academia in the long run).

Edited from a full article on Today, written by Woo Jun Jie (Nanyang Technological University)