Hi Mr. Tan,
I came across your blog and would like to share my thoughts and experiences with you.
I have a diploma in business (merit) from a local polytechnic. After NS, I was rejected by NUS for a place in Business School but was offered sociology instead. Because of my interests in business, I did a minor in management and realised to my shock that 30% of those in business school were foreigners – from Vietnam, China, Malaysia who don’t even understand business terms!
After a year, I lost interest in my course and just breezed through and scraped by with a basic pass degree. Although I admit this is my fault for not working hard and securing a comfortable government job like a few of my peers, but the whole idea is that the private sector is a completely different ball game although.
When I graduated, I sent in hundreds of resume but only got two interviews. The reality for fresh graduates is that unless you have a law, accountancy or medicine degree where you have secured a training contract of some sort then you are safe. Civil service aside, the private sector is very unwilling to take on someone with a general degree with no experience.
In fact, I have been unemployed for 2 years after graduating and helping our my mother in her restaurant. This has made me feel very inferior towards the S-pass holders from third-world countries!
Eventually, I decided to put my diploma as my highest educational level and secured a part-time job as an admin executive earning $1,200 a month with a local SME working about 20 hours a week.
I can tell you for a fact that the graduate employment surveys are bullshit! It is done on a voluntarily basis and only those who have secured jobs would have sufficient information to fill such as basic salary and so on. The reality is that the unemployed like myself are too ashamed to fill up the survey.
Even for those who do, what does 15% of FASS (faculty of arts and social science) graduates who are unemployed SIX months after graduation is no joke, considering the amount they spent on their education. I would personally estimate that around 30% of my peers are unemployed and another 30% are like me underemployed doing jobs like estate and insurance agents which do not even require degrees!
In my free time, I am also studying for an ACCA to enhance my future prospects after seeing how general degrees have no value in the job market while there are so many foreigners competing with Singaporeans who have served NS.
I have really really lost faith in our PAP.