How Poly Students In Singapore Can Land A Job Once They Graduate

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the job market in Singapore, but it has also thwarted the career paths of some graduates, with most companies imposing hiring freezes.

Recent data from the 2020 Polytechnic Graduates Employment Survey shows that new polytechnics have had a harder time in the job market last year, amid a slowdown in hiring caused by COVID -19.

The survey found that 87.4% of polytechnic graduates were employed within six months of graduating in 2020. This is down from 90.7% the year before.

In addition, the proportion of polytechnic graduates who were unemployed climbed to 12.6% in 2020, from 9.3% in 2019.

While polytechnic graduates are indeed entering the labor market at an unprecedented time, the labor market is gradually recovering, albeit at a slow pace.

How to get a job after you graduate

So how can polytechnics maximize their chances of getting a job after graduation?

First of all, it’s important to strategically choose your middle finger. By determining the specialization of your degree, you can somewhat map out your potential career possibilities.

While there is no such thing as a “ right ” course, it is worth taking note of the fastest growing jobs in Singapore and undertaking the relevant degrees associated with the position. For example, the tech sector is a good bet because it is future-proof and in demand as more and more tech giants are setting up offices there.

Second, one way to get a job is through an internship. Although hiring has slowed amid COVID-19, many companies are still hiring interns.

New graduates lack work experience and that’s one way to earn them. The great thing is that internships are a time to experiment – you can learn new skills, ask questions, and come up with new ideas without the pressure to get it wrong.

In addition, internships generally only last three to six months. This allows you to get a feel for the different industries in a short period of time. It will help you on your overall career path if you are unsure of what to do in the future or are stuck between two options.

You can also acquire a greater variety of skills when working in different industries, which can make you more attractive to employers.

Image Credit: Meetup

Finally, it is important to network early. Networking is about building relationships and connecting with others: people you know, people you don’t really know, or new people you’ve never met before.

Networking is a great way to find a job because people usually do business with people they know and love. Plus, job postings tend to attract loads of applicants, which puts you in intense competition with many others. However, networking allows you to be a recommended member of a much smaller pool.

There are also times when the job you want cannot be advertised at all. Networking leads to information and job leads, which will certainly help speed up your chances of success in the job search race.

Get a head start in your career

Beyond the above, you can get a head start in your career with SkillsFuture Work Study Programs (WSP).

The SkillsFuture work-study program offers Singaporeans the opportunity to pursue a work-study pathway from diploma to postgraduate and diploma levels offered by institutes of higher education (DIH) and private providers appointed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG ) as well as Industry.

Such work-study arrangements give you more opportunities to build on the skills and knowledge acquired in school and allow you to gain longer-term work experiences that provide a good mix of hands-on learning and learning. theory.

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Siti Nurhanis, beneficiary of the SkillsFuture work-study program / Image credit: Siti Nurhanis

Siti Nurhanis, 21, can vouch for this program. Through the SkillsFuture work-study program, she was able to turn her training program into a career opportunity.

Nurhanis had studied chemical engineering at Temasek Polytechnic and graduated in 2019. She discovered the SkillsFuture work-study program during her final semester when SkillsFuture Singapore came to her school to share more with students. on the program.

I decided to take it back because I was unsure whether I should continue studying the same major to get a degree or start a career in this field. I was interested in what the program can offer as it allows me to get a taste of both worlds – working and studying at the same time.

– Siti Nurhanis

Find a job related to your discipline of study

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Siti Nurhanis, technician at Pacific Refreshments / Image credit: Siti Nurhanis

As part of this program, Nurhanis has been working with the local Pacific Refreshments manufacturing facility since October 2019. To date, she has been with the company for 17 months.

This is a 100% owned unit by The Coca-Cola Company that produces concentrates, which are then sold to licensed bottlers around the world.

As a technician, Nurhanis must ensure that the line of operation of the plant runs smoothly through the various processes.

One of the main features of the SkillsFuture Work Study Program is that it will match applicants with roles related to their discipline of study.

The beauty of working and studying in a related field is that candidates for the SkillsFuture Work Study Program can immediately apply the key concepts learned to their work. Their working knowledge of the industry also improves their understanding of course materials.

Although her specialization at school was oil and gas manufacturing, the processes she had learned so far were applicable to a manufacturing plant that produces beverages and concentrates.

Coming from a background in chemical engineering, she admitted that she didn’t expect to work in a beverage factory. However, she was grateful for taking the opportunity, as it helped her open her mind to explore other roles within the manufacturing industry, beyond the oil and gas sector.

When asked if she faces a steep learning curve, she said her mentor and colleagues played an important role in helping her adjust.

Most of the things I learned here came from on-the-job training and peer mentoring. My mentor is very open when it comes to sharing his knowledge and experiences (with) me.

– Siti Nurhanis

According to Nurhanis, his mentor regularly assesses his knowledge and technical skills, and gives him constructive advice and feedback.

“I learned a lot not only from him, but also from my colleagues, (who) are experienced and knowledgeable in their areas of work. They are ready to help and guide me in my work, especially during my first months. “

“The teamwork and synergy in the factory is great, and I’m grateful for that because I couldn’t progress this far without them.”

She also shared that the companies involved in the Work-Study SkillsFuture program are working hand-in-hand with SP PACE Academy to ensure that the progress of interns at work and at school is on the same page.

Besides their mentors at work, they have respective Liaison Officers (LOs) from Singapore Polytechnic, who will check on their progress and well-being at work. LOs will also organize feedback sessions for interns to share their experiences.

Receive a Singapore $ 5,000 login incentive

The program for new poly graduates lasts 12 to 18 months, depending on the course.

For Nurhanis, the duration of his training program is 18 months. She spent three “staggered” months at school (October, December and March) and the remaining 15 months at work.

As the time spent in school is shorter, the things she has learned in her Advanced Diploma modules are “more in-depth and concise”.

The flexible arrangement also meant that his work and study schedule never collided, making it easy for him to divide his attention between the two.

I would definitely recommend it to those who are keen to work and study, but are afraid that they won’t be able to juggle these two at the same time. This is a good opportunity to find balance in the program, which is specially designed for individuals on a work-study basis.

– Siti Nurhanis

She added that interns also receive a lot of support from the company and the school, which greatly helps them in their careers and academic progress.

At the end of the program, interns may have the option of continuing with the company and may benefit from salary progression or career advancement based on their performance.

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Siti Nurhanis at work / Image Credit: Siti Nurhanis

When Nurhanis’ training program ended, she hired as a full-time technician at Pacific Refreshments. She felt that the short stint had helped give her a new perspective on the manufacturing industry, and she now sees herself working there in the same industry in the future.

She added that the career advancement opportunities for her are brilliant. With the right skills and experience, it could move from the line of operation to batch production of higher quality concentrates.

Besides being a technician, she might also advance to take on management roles such as team leader, supervisor, or even venture into other departments such as quality assessment to work in a laboratory.

In addition, SkillsFuture work-study interns who successfully complete the program will receive industry-recognized qualifications, which are good to include in your CV to show future employers that you have the relevant skills.

Upon completion of the program, participants would also be eligible for a S $ 5,000 registration incentive (applicable for most programs).

Check out the SkillsFuture work-study programs here.

This article was written in collaboration with SkillsFuture Singapore.

Featured Image Credit: Pang Yuhao via Unsplash

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Jothi Venkat

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