3 surprising truths you need to know about a traditional degree

Thinking about getting a degree locally? Most people know that it is essential to have a degree in Singapore but the reality of getting that degree might not be what you expect!

1. Everyone is a graduate

Around 40%¹ of the local workforce are degree graduates, which is 50%¹ more than what we had just a little over 10 years ago. With close to 20,000² degree graduates graduating every year from just public universities alone, the percentage of degree holders in the local workforce will only go up in years to come.

If I may put these numbers in a simple statement: degree graduates are almost everywhere.

2. Graduate or not, you may not get a job

Because of this abundance of degree graduates in Singapore, a recent survey from the Committee for Private Education (CPE), the regulator for the private education industry, suggests that things may not be looking as rosy for them anymore.

Some degree graduates, especially private degree graduates, are having difficulty securing employment after graduation. 60.1%³ of private degree graduates manage to secure full-time employment within six months after their graduation.

3. Fresh grads get fresh pay

Even for the fortunate ones who have secured a job, the median gross salary of these graduates is $2,550³ a month, around 40%⁴ lower than the nation’s median gross salary.

All of this may sound depressing, but is there a way out?

The answer to that question lies in a statement by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who shared that a combination of degree and skills are needed for Singaporeans to succeed in the new digital economy⁵.

The perfect solution that combines both of those is the applied learning pathway, which will allow you to get both a degree, and develop relevant skills, at the same time. This is the exact same pathway that was adopted by Switzerland, and resulted in their workforce being ranked the most competitive globally by the 2018 Global Talents Competitiveness Index (GTCI).

At Lithan, an SSG (Skillsfuture Singapore) appointed CET (Continuing Education and Training) centre that provides digital skills and qualifications, we have developed our applied learning pathway in conjunction with our hiring employers to offer aspiring degree holders a work and study degree journey. Not only do our learners develop critical industry skills, and attain an internationally recognized degree in one go, there is the added benefit of being financially stress-free through the availability of funding, work allowance, and employer sponsorship.

Students attending a flipped class, undergoing personalised mentoring, and on-the-job training.
Lithan graduates waiting in line for an interview at one of our graduate-exclusive recruitment drives

The outcome of our applied learning pathway is an edge our learners have over their counterparts pursuing conventional degree pathways. They will graduate with work-ready skills and experience, allowing them to greatly increase their employability rate and command a much higher salary compared to their peers.

Lithan’s future-ready campus at Lifelong Learning Institute

If you are keen to embark on the applied learning pathway and be more than just a traditional private degree graduate, fill-up the form below to find out more!


This post is brought to you by Lithan Academy



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    ¹Source: Ministry of Manpower, Report: Labour Force in Singapore 2018

    ²Source: Singapore Department of Statistics, Education, Language Spoken and Literacy

    ³Source: Private Education Institution (PEI) Graduate Employment Survey (GES)

    ⁴Source: Ministry of Manpower, Summary Table: Income

    ⁵Source: The Strait Times, ‘If you work like a robot, you will be replaced by a robot’: Ong Ye Kung



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