Current trend of flexible work and the rise of gig economy have swept across Singapore, and its leading private school is also witnessing a growing number of its graduates opting for more part-time, freelance, and contract-based job.
Recent report from the Singapore Institute of Management found that from 82.7 percent of graduates who found jobs within six months after completing their degree studies, as much as 18.8 percent chose flexible work, such as freelancing or taking jobs as part-time or contract-based workers. The figure for the same category was 17.4 last year.
According to the report, the median gross monthly salary for SIM graduates stayed on $2,700, the same amount as in the previous year. This number is less than the starting salaries of $3,360 for graduates from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore Management University.
Released their graduate employment survey in last February, NUS, NTU and SMU reported that 80.2 percent of their graduates landed full-time jobs within six months of completing their education. However, the number of part-timers had rose up to 9.5 percent, from just over 6 percent the previous year, Straits Times reports.
On the other hand, SIM found that half of the 18.8 percent of graduates who took freelance, temporary, or contract work because they were unable to find a full-time position. Of those who opted for flexible work, about 14.4 percent said it was by choice, while another 19 percent said they took such work to try out the job and industry.
SIM’s global education arm has the largest number of Singaporean students among other private schools in the country. From its total enrolment of 20,000 students, majority 16,500 are local Singaporeans who are studying for full-time degrees offered by SIM’s overseas university partners, including the University of London and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
The Head of SIM private education arm, Mr Lee Kwok Cheong stated that flexible work trend will be here to stay, partly because the younger generation of workers prefers to try out jobs before committing to them. He pointed out that his school offers many measures to help its students find good jobs. It organises internships, mentorships and networking sessions, as well as job fairs.
Additionally, Mr Lee said that with the rising number of graduates seeking flexible work arrangements, institutions need to reassess how they measure employment outcomes. Regarding to this matter, he said, “Should we be looking at just full-time jobs and starting salaries? Or should we be asking our graduates whether they are doing what they really want to do?”