EMPLOYMENT INDICATORS FOR PRIVATE EDUCATION INSTITUTION (PEI) GRADUATES IN 2019/2020 REMAIN SIMILAR TO 2018/2019

About 1 in 2 PEI graduates in full-time permanent employment 6 months after graduation

According to the findings of the Private Education Institution (PEI) Graduate Employment Survey (GES) about one in two PEI fresh graduates in the labour force found full-time permanent employment six months after graduation. 

The survey findings, released by SkillsFuture Singapore, focused on the employment outcomes1 of economically active fresh graduates who graduated between May 2019 and April 2020 from full-time bachelor’s level external degree programmes (EDPs). There were about 9,300 full-time bachelor’s level EDPs graduates across 30 PEIs, with three quarters of them graduating in 2019, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 39.2% of the full-time bachelor’s level EDP graduates responded to the PEI GES survey. Among the respondents, about 2,500 individuals are economically active fresh graduates. 

As the GES is meant to reflect the employment outcomes of new entrants to the labour force, the survey findings do not cover the following groups of students –   fresh graduates who are not economically active; part-time students; and mature learners. International students working or seeking employment overseas have also been excluded from the analysis to better reflect employment opportunities for PEI graduates in the Singapore labour market.

Key Findings of PEI GES 2019/20 

Employment rates for PEI fresh graduates from the 2019/2020 cohort were similar to those of the 2018/2019 cohort.  Of the 2,500 economically active PEI fresh  graduate respondents, 80.7% were employed within six months of their final examinations and 49.0% obtained full-time permanent employment. In comparison, the corresponding figures for Autonomous University (AU) fresh graduates from the 2020 cohort2 were higher, at 93.6% and 69.8% respectively, while the figures for post-National Service polytechnic graduates3 were also higher, at 91.9% and 65.5% respectively. 

The proportion who were unemployed and still looking for a job, or who were in involuntary part-time/temporary employment, was 30.0% for PEI fresh graduates - higher than the 15.2% for AU fresh graduates and 9.5% for post-National Service polytechnic graduates. 

The survey also showed that the median gross monthly salary of PEI fresh graduates in full-time permanent employment was $2,900, compared to $3,700 for AU fresh graduates and $2,500 for post-National Service polytechnic graduates.

Notwithstanding the median figures, there is considerable variation in the employment outcomes of the PEI graduates across the different institutions. Potential students looking to pursue EDPs are therefore advised to look at the outcomes for specific institutions before making their decision.

Detailed results of the survey can be found in Annexes B, C & D, and on the SSG website at www.ssg.gov.sg/cpe/ges.html.


[1] Definitions of the employment indicators are in Annex A.

[2] This referenced the 2020 Joint AU Graduate Employment Survey (JAUGES) results that were published on 19 Feb 2021. This includes full-time undergraduates who graduated in May 2020 from NUS, NTU, SMU and SUSS only.

[3] This referenced the 2020 Joint Polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey results that were published on 12 Jan 2021.