Most students make the choice between Polytechnics and Junior Colleges after the release of O level results. Although JCs were highly popular (and are still so), polytechnics are now becoming a more common first choice rather than a backup plan. Just look at the increasing number of top scholars who choose to enter polytechnic despite being perfectly equipped to enter famed junior colleges like RJC or HCJC.
However, one of the main caveats of entering poly for many students is the working pay when they graduate with just a diploma. Only 20% of polytechnic graduates go on to university, which then allows them to get a degree that is worth more in the working world, as compared to more than 70% of JC students.
The average starting pay for a poly graduate used to be around $2,000 in the past. However, a recent graduate employment survey has shown that this number has risen to about $2,100 – a $100 or 5% increase in salary. NS men have always gotten slightly higher starting pay, but the $100 increase also applies.
Although the overall employment rate remained high at 88.9% for fresh grads and 91.5% for post-NS grads, the catch is that there has been a decrease in the proportion of grad with permanent full-time jobs. Many of them are taking up part-time or temporary employment (31%) as compared to 29.8% last year.
However, it’s not clear whether this trend is because those students are purposely doing so because they were pursuing or preparing to commence further studies in universities. One thing we can be sure of is that more poly graduates are now moving on to local universities (20%) as compared to the past few years (15%), so we may be seeing the start of a positive trend here!