Singapore – Graduates from the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) may be able to land jobs easily, but their monthly salaries are significantly lower than their peers at publicly funded universities.
The institution’s first employment survey, which polled 700 SIM full-time graduates, revealed more than 90% managed to find a job within six months of completing their course, with most receiving at least two offers and one third getting three offers or more.
However, their average monthly salaries in both the private and public sectors - which ranged from S$2,400 to S$2,600 - contrasted with the average monthly salary among graduates from the Singapore Management University (S$3,388), Nanyang Technological University ( S$3,152) and the National University of Singapore (S$3,112).
Lee Kwok Cheong, CEO of SIM Global Education, said this discrepancy could be due to the fact that it is not a government institution.
“This is peculiar to Singapore, where when it comes to higher education, only the government-run institutions are seen to be of high quality,” he said. He noted while the institute has a good record, several private schools have been exposed over the years for running sub-standard programmes.
Another reason could be that employers were unfamiliar with its model of education, which involves partnerships with foreign universities, Lee said. “We need to reach out more to explain how we ensure that the overseas university programmes we run here are as rigorous as the ones run in the home country.”
“It's known that some government ministries and stat boards, if they do hire them, put them on a different scale,” an anonymous HR manager told The Straits Times. “So, companies would use that as an excuse to pay Singapore Institute of Management grads less.”
“They tend to be job-ready. They are also hard workers willing to take on additional responsibilities, have a good work attitude and tend to stay on with the company,” Phan Yoke Fei, vice-president of human resource at SMRT, commented. “I guess it comes from being the underdogs, having to fight harder to have an edge over their peers.”
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