Arts, design & media graduates employment & salary rate lower due to labour market conditions, govt providing help

The government also encourage students to consider longer-term factors before they decide to pursue their passion.

Khine Zin Htet | April 03, 2024, 05:45 PM



Certain courses with lower employment rates and salary levels were discussed during parliament on Apr. 3, 2023.

The 2023 Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey showed that Arts, Design and Media (ADM) graduates have poorer employment and salary outcomes.

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In response to Nominated Member of Parliament Jean See Jinli's question on the reason for ADM graduates' situation, Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang pointed out that they had stable employment outcomes and wage increases over the years.

However, Gan explained that their employment rate and salary level are typically lower than their peers due to the economic demand and labour market conditions of each sector.

Gan explained the measures taken to help such graduates move forward.

Employment rate and salary level for ADM graduates increased every year

Gan said the average employment rate for ADM graduates was around 88 per cent for the past 10 years, and the starting salary increased by about 3.4 per cent yearly.

She also explained that there are more freelancers and self-employed persons in the ADM sector due to its nature of work and business structures.

Support for ADM students and graduates

Gan said the National Arts Council is taking active steps to train and develop such self-employed persons and "grow capabilities and excellence" in the art sector under the SG Arts Plan 2023 to 2027.

"The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and DesignSingapore Council (DSG) have also been working closely with the universities and key industry partners to provide graduates with a good education and relevant in-demand skill sets to take on good jobs and thrive in the workplace," she said.

She also noted that many ADM graduates enter various sectors like public relations, product design, advertising, sales, marketing, graphic design, tourism, and more.

"So indeed, in our education, we hope to equip our students with both broad base as well as vertical skill sets so that they have more opportunities and career choices when they graduate," she said.

Consider career progression and salary before deciding course

Gan also pointed to universities' career fairs, career mentoring workshops as well as employment guidance sites like Workforce Singapore's Careers Connect or NTUC e2i Career Centers for those who require support in their job search.

She also encouraged students to consider longer-term factors such as career progression, salary and growth opportunities in the sector as they pursue their passion and decide on the course of study in the universities.

Top photo from Canva