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 informed decisions on their education choices. 42 PEIs were surveyed in this exercise, of which 30 had graduates from full-time bachelor’s level External Degree Programmes (EDPs). Similar surveys have been conducted for the Autonomous Universities (AUs), polytechnics, and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). 

2. This PEI GES was conducted from November 2017 to February 2018. It focused on graduates from full-time EDPs between May 2016 and April 2017, and who had no prior experience working in full-time permanent jobs (i.e. they are fresh graduates). The survey findings do not cover part-time students and mature learners, as the GES is meant to reflect the employment outcomes for new entrants into the labour force. International students working or seeking employment overseas have also been excluded from the analysis to further ensure that the findings reflect that of local employment conditions.     

3. Of the 10,171 individuals who graduated from full-time EDPs between May 2016 and April 2017, 37% responded to the survey, of which three in four were fresh graduates. 

Key Findings of PEI GES 2016/17

4. The survey revealed that the overall employment rate  of these fresh graduates six months after completion of their final examinations was 79.0%. The full-time permanent employment rate  was 47.4%. In comparison, the corresponding joint figures for AUs (NUS, NTU, SMU) were 88.9% and 78.4% respectively, while the figures for post-National Service polytechnic graduates were 89.8% and 64.0% respectively. 

5. The survey also showed that the median gross monthly salary  of PEI graduates in full-time permanent employment was $2,650. In comparison, the median gross monthly salary of fresh AU graduates and that of post-National Service polytechnic graduates was $3,400, and $2,480 respectively. Table 1 provides a summary of the comparison of employment indicators between PEIs and AUs.

Table 1: Employment Indicators of PEIs 2016/17 and AUs 2017

Employment Indicators 

(Full-Time EDPs)


 Overall Employment Rate 79.0%88.9% 
 Full-Time Permanent Employment Rate 47.4%78.4% 
 Median Gross Monthly Salary  $2,650$3,400 

6.  It is mandatory for all PEIs offering EDPs to participate in the survey. The list of PEIs with graduates from full-time EDPs is in Annex A. Table 2 provides a breakdown of employment outcomes of graduates by PEI. Employment outcomes of PEIs with fewer than 10 fresh graduate respondents, either due to small enrolment or very low response rates, are not published and the list of PEIs are listed in Annex B. 

Table 2: Employment Outcomes of Fresh Full-Time PEI Degree Graduates by Institution (for institutions with 10 or more respondents)

    2016/17 GES Employment Rate and Salaries of Fresh PEI Graduates from Full-Time PEI Degree Programmes
Response RateNo. of Fresh PEI Degree Graduate Respondents 
 Overall Employment Rate Full-Time Permanent Employment Rate     Median Gross Monthly Salary
 1 CURTIN EDUCATION CENTRE 81.1%56.8% $2,800 22% 37 
 2 NGEE ANN ACADEMY** 84.0%56.0% $2,775 43% 25 
 3 SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT 82.5%49.5% $2,700 44% 1,753 
 4 ERC INSTITUTE 63.0%48.1% $3,000 24% 27 
 5 PSB ACADEMY 62.5%45.3% $2,500 21% 64 
 6 KAPLAN HIGHER EDUCATION ACADEMY 75.4%43.9% $2,500 31% 362 
 8 JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY 72.7%30.9% $2,500 33% 55 
 9 TMC ACADEMY 61.5%30.8% $2,513 37% 13 
 10 RAFFLES COLLEGE OF HIGHER EDUCATION 50.0%30.0% $2,200 16% 20 
 11 AIR TRANSPORT TRAINING COLLEGE 44.4%22.2% $2,500 66% 18 

*Results of PEIs based on a small sample size of fewer than 30, full-time fresh PEI degree graduates may not be representative of the institution’s graduate employment outcomes. Users should exercise caution in interpreting the data.
**This PEI was formerly known as Ngee-Ann Adelaide Education Centre.

7. Mr Brandon Lee, Director-General (Private Education), SkillsFuture Singapore, said, “Today, there are multiple learning pathways and a wider range of publicly-funded and private upgrading options available. With the greater focus on lifelong learning, there are also more opportunities to pursue learning after gaining work experience. We hope that the PEI GES will enable prospective students to make informed decisions on their learning and career paths amidst these varied options. While the overall PEI GES results are useful when considering one’s options, prospective students should also note that outcomes vary across the PEIs as well as across industries. Within the private degree space, we have observed that fresh graduates from more specialised disciplines such as computing obtained higher employment rates and starting salaries than those from general disciplines. It is important that PEIs consider the implications of the results, and we hope that they focus their efforts on what they can do to add value to their students’ educational experience.”

1 If international students working or seeking employment overseas were similarly excluded from the 2015/16 PEI GES, the results would have remained similar with what had been published – overall employment rate, full-time permanent employment rate and median gross monthly salary would have remained at around 84%, 60%, and $2,550 respectively.
2 Overall employment rate refers to the number of graduates working in full-time permanent, part-time, temporary or freelance employment, as a proportion of graduates in the labour force (i.e. those who were working or not working but actively looking and available for work) approximately six months after the completion of final examinations.
3 Full-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.
4 Gross 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.
5 Response rate refers to the percentage of graduates from full-time EDPs in PEIs who responded to the survey.


Annex A - List of Private Education Institutions with Graduates from Full-Time EDPs that Participated in PEI GES 2016/2017

Annex B - Private Education Institutions with fewer than 10 Fresh Graduate Respondents 

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23 Mar 2023