53% of S'porean graduates work in jobs unrelated to their degrees: Study

But 57 per cent of them still find their degrees 'very useful'.

Melanie Lim | October 04, 2019, 12:48 PM

What you study in university is probably not going to be what you end up doing as a career.

According to a study of 646 Singaporean graduates by online research company YouGov, only 47 per cent of them are working in jobs related to their degrees.

The remaining 53 per cent of them are not.

Results not spread equally among all degrees

These results are not spread out equally amongst all degrees, however.

For instance, 70 per cent of students who took accounting and finance degrees were more likely to work in a related field after graduation, compared to just 27 per cent of students who studied business, administration and law.

Chart via YouGov

Age & overseas studies influence job choices

It seems those who studied abroad are also more likely to find jobs related to their degrees — 51 per cent of those who studied abroad now work in the same discipline they studied, as compared with 45 per cent of the local university graduates polled.

Age, as it turns out, is another significant factor, with 54 per cent of those aged 55 and above working in jobs related to their degrees.

In contrast, only 42 per cent of those polled aged between 25 and 34 currently do.

More than 1/3 of graduates' choice of degrees influenced by parents

Interestingly, while slightly more than a third (37 per cent) of the Singaporean graduates polled decided what to study on their own, some 35 per cent said their choice was influenced by their parents.

A further 26 per cent said friends influenced their choice of degree course, while 14 per cent said the media contributed to their decision-making.

Most graduates find their degrees useful & important

That being said, 57 per cent of the graduates polled found their degrees "very useful".

39 per cent found them somewhat useful, while the remaining 4 per cent found them useless.

However, these results differed depending on what each graduate studied.

For instance, 72 per cent of graduates who studied information and communications technology found their degrees very useful, compared with 43 per cent of science and mathematics graduates.

99 per cent of graduates agreed that having a university degree was important, with 15 per cent of them stating that they would be unwilling to hire someone without a university degree if they were an employer.

The other 53 per cent would be willing, while the remaining 33 per cent did not think it mattered.

Top image via Pang Yuhao on Unsplash