08 June 2019
The Straits Times and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) recently conducted a survey on 19-year-old students to understand how they view the world and what they want out of life. The students were mostly either about to enter their first year in university, or were final-year polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education students.
Over forty percent of the respondents said that their future job should hold some meaning for them. They also said that other considerations, such as work-life balance, how related the job is to one’s field of study, and the opportunity to progress in the career of their choice, mattered to them.
The survey also showed that ITE students had more practical considerations. More of them said factors such as salary and how related the job is to their discipline of study would influence their decision to take it up.
Labour economist Randolph Tan, who led the ST-SUSS study, said: “Young people value their freedom and have greater confidence in their own abilities than the generations before them, and do not believe in serving merely as a cog in the system.”
In response to the survey results, SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said that the Government must continue to open up alternate pathways to career success for young people. It must also keep pushing the message that in this age when information can be “Googled”, skills are what will carry a premium, not degrees.