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More mature learners in Singapore are pursuing a diploma: 2014 JobsCentral Learning survey

Zafirah Salim | Jan. 20, 2015
Majority of the survey respondents cited career-related reasons as the main driving force to further their studies.

The demand for further education has been seeing an exponential growth. This trend can be observed in respondents keen on diploma studies, which displayed an increase from 18 percent in 2013 to 26 percent this year.

This is according to survey findings from the 2014 JobsCentral Learning survey by CareerBuilder Singapore, which polled 3,078 individuals in Singapore above the age of 16.

The survey noted an increase in older individuals, aged 40 and above, pursuing a diploma. This was bolstered by the prominent rise in interest from respondents 60 and above, with 247 percent, a 2.5-fold increase since 2013.

According to the survey, this surge is likely contributed by the Singapore government efforts in championing the continued employment of older workers through training grants such as the Workfare Training Support.

"More people are heeding the call to improve themselves academically, with the government encouraging organisations and the older workforce to retain their employability through upgrading," said Jessica Ang, Strategic Marketing Director of CareerBuilder Singapore.

"This corresponds with the growing trend of continuous improvement via better paper qualifications. Working adults may feel that equipping themselves with a diploma could open the doors to a promotion, or are taking the opportunity to study when they may not have had the chance to do when they were younger," she added.

Doors to a better career prospect

Majority of the survey respondents cited career-related reasons as the main driving force to further their studies.

Specifically, 21 percent listed Career Advancement as the key reason for continued studies, followed by Employability Improvement (17 percent), and Prospect of Switching Industry (8 percent). Other motivations for pursuing higher education include self-improvement (20 percent) and personal interest (13 percent).

Additionally, the survey revealed that a significant 87 percent of respondents expect a growth in salary upon receiving their qualification, with 27 percent and 26 percent looking to receive an increase between 30 to 59 per cent, and below 30 percent respectively.

As a means to facilitate career advancement, most of the adult learners (91 percent) polled feel that obtaining an academic certificate from an institution recognised by their employers is essential. This is the most important factor influencing their choice of a private education institution, followed by cost fees and the school's reputation.

"Overall, more people are viewing receiving higher education as significant, and consider it important to career advancement. This is especially prevalent in adult learners, who may also see an education upgrade as essential in keeping up with their younger co-workers," said Ang.

 

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