Business (34%) and finance-related courses (28%) are the most preferred courses of study amongst Singaporeans, given the nation’s base as a financial hub.
As a result, just about one in 10 respondents, to the 2015 JobsCentral Learning survey by Careerbuilder Singapore, would opt for courses in HR (10%) or arts and social sciences, psychology (11%).
Even so, Singaporeans remain firm advocates of higher education, with most believing that it would boost career prospects, and 73% noting intentions to further their education, up marginally from 71% in 2014.
The respondents comprise 2,932 individuals aged 16 and above, of which 54% are working adults holding full-time positions – perhaps a reason why 71% prefer part-time academic programmes, while 38% are satisfied opting for full-time academic programmes.
The top reason for pursuing further education? 72% said it was for their career advancement, while close to two in every three (64%) went for it with an intention towards self-improvement.
While 58% said they want to pursue further education in order to improve their employability, just 38% said they owed this decision to their job requirements. [cue a quick refresher on SkillsFuture].
Among the naysayers to further education, 38% said they are satisfied with their current education level.
However, a sizeable number were constrained by things like their financial situation (33%), work commitments (32%), and family commitments (28%).
Jessica Ang, director at CareerBuilder Singapore, analysed the report to note that the Singapore government has been extremely supportive of higher education, in providing more financial schemes and grants both at the corporate and individual levels.
She added: “Intentions to further studies should not be hindered by financial constraints. Workers must be able to make the best use of grants available to improve prospects, especially in recent times with the many subsidies available to Singaporeans.”