Poly grads still finding jobs despite downturn
The Straits Times (Interactive) - Thu, 20 Feb 2003

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By Jane Lee

THE polytechnic graduate is not only employable, but gets a recession-proof salary despite an economic downturn, according to a study released on Thursday.

The annual employment survey by the four polytechnics -- Nanyang, Ngee Ann, Singapore and Temasek -- found that seven in 10 of their graduates found jobs within three months of completing school last year.

Those who were sponsored by Singapore hospitals to do courses such as nursing and physiotherapy even had jobs waiting for them.

Optometry graduates, for instance, commanded a starting pay of about S$2,500, a pipe dream for many fresh university graduates who will get only about S$2,000.

The average gross monthly salary for a poly grad has remained almost as high as in the boom years.

Last year's fresh grads got S$1,499, a slight drop from S$1,535 in the pre-recession year of 2000.

Those who completed national service and started work last year got S$1,805, down from S$1,882 in 2000.

A similar survey by the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University is yet to be released, but other studies suggest that university grads will not fare as well as their poly counterparts.

In September last year, a record 12,900 degree-holders, both old and new, were out of work. Those, who landed jobs had to be satisfied with leaner pay packets.

The polytechnics' survey, conducted in September last year, involved 6,013 fresh graduates and 2,429 male graduates who had completed national service.