6 in 10 Private Education Institution (PEI) Graduates in full-time permanent employment 6 months after graduation

Singapore, 15 Nov 2017 – The Committee for Private Education released the results of its Private Education Institution (PEI) Graduate Employment Survey (GES) today. The annual survey aims to help students make better informed decisions on their education choices. 40 PEIs were surveyed in this exercise, of which 29 had graduates from full-time bachelor’s level External Degree Programmes (EDPs). Similar surveys have been conducted for the Institutes of Higher Learning – the Autonomous Universities (AUs), polytechnics, and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).  

2.            The PEI GES was conducted from July to September 2017, and focused on students who graduated from full-time EDPs between May 2015 and April 2016, and had no prior full-time permanent jobs (i.e. fresh graduates). The survey findings do not cover part-time students and mature learners as the results would not be meaningful in reflecting the impact of EDPs on employment outcomes for new entrants into the labour force. 

3.            Of the 11,003 graduates who graduated from full-time EDPs during May 2015 and April 2016, 32% responded to the survey1, of which three in four were fresh graduates.

Key Findings of PEI GES 2015/16

4.            The survey revealed that overall employment rate, including full-time, part-time, freelance, and contract work, of these fresh graduates six months after completion of their final examinations was 84.3%. Taking into account just full-time permanent employment2, the employment rate was 60.1%. In comparison, the corresponding figures for Autonomous Universities (NUS, NTU, SMU, SUTD, SIT) were 89.6% and 79.9% respectively. 

5.            The survey also showed that the median gross monthly salary3 of the graduates in full-time permanent employment was $2,550.  The median gross monthly salary of fresh AU graduates was $3,325, and that of fresh and Post-National Service Polytechnic graduates was $2,180 and $2,517 respectively. For a comparison of employment indicators between PEIs and AUs, please refer to Table 1 below.

Table 1: Employment Indicators of PEIs and AUs 2016

Employment Indicators


(Full-time EDPs)

Autonomous Universities (NUS, NTU, SMU, SIT, SUTD)

Overall Employment Rate



Full-Time Permanent Employment Rate



Median Gross Monthly Salary



6.             It is mandatory for all PEIs offering EDPs to participate in the survey. The list of PEIs with graduates from full-time EDPs are listed in Annex A. The employment outcomes of PEIs with 10 or more fresh graduate respondents who participated in the survey are listed in Annex B. Employment outcomes of PEIs with less than 10 fresh graduate respondents, either due to small enrolment or low response rate, are not reported. These PEIs are listed in Annex C.

7.            The next PEI GES results will be published in the first quarter of 2018 for fresh graduates who completed full-time EDPs between May 2016 and April 2017.

8.            Mr Brandon Lee, Director-General (Private Education), SkillsFuture Singapore, said, “The PEI GES will help increase information transparency for prospective students considering private degree programmes, and help them make informed decisions about their upgrading. Given the wider range of publicly-funded and private upgrading options available, I would strongly encourage every student to assess their needs carefully before deciding on the pathway they would like to pursue. The Committee for Private Education will also continue to review its requirements periodically to ensure that consumers’ interests are protected and PEIs meet minimum standards.”


1The response rates for the Graduate Employment Survey for Autonomous Universities and polytechnics was around 70%.

2Full-time permanent employment refers to employment of at least 35 hours a week and where the employment is not temporary. It includes those on contracts of one year or more.

3Gross monthly salary comprises the basic salary, fixed allowances, over-time pay and commissions, before deductions of the employee’s CPF contributions and personal income tax. Employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, stock options, other lump sum payments, and payments-in-kind are excluded.


Annex A - List of Private Education Institutions with Graduates from Full-Time EDPs that Participated in PEI GES 2015/16

Annex B - Employment Outcomes of Fresh Full-Time PEI Degree Graduates1 by Institution (for institutions with 10 or more respondents)

Annex C - Private Education Institutions with 10 or more Graduates from Full-Time EDPs, but fewer than 10 Fresh Graduate Respondents/Private Education Institutions with fewer than 10 Graduates from Full-Time EDPs