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Graduate Employment: Degrees of Relevance


A degree is no longer a guarantee of a good job as more graduates face underemployment, working in jobs that pay less well or require lower-level skills than their qualification prepares them for.

Eye of the Economy

A university degree used to be seen as a golden ticket to job security and career success, but some of the shine is coming off that path. More graduates here are experiencing underemployment, which the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) defines as workers who clock at most 35 hours of work a week, even though they want and are available to work more hours.

Some 15,100 degree holders were underemployed last year, up from 13,000 in 2012. This works out to 2.3 per cent of all employed graduates last year, inching up from 2.2 per cent the year before. While the increase is slight, it comes amid a tight job market and falling underemployment rates for all other types of school leavers, from secondary school dropouts to diploma holders.