One-quarter of Singapore adults believe they deserve 50% pay raise after first degree

Money seems to be the first priority for many when it comes to further education.

About 23% of adult learners in Singapore believe their first Bachelor's degree entitles them to a 50% average increase in salary. Overall, Singapore adult learners expect an average 35% pay raise upon receiving their first degree qualification.

These are some of the findings in the 2012 JobsCentral Learning Rankings & Survey. The independent research project reflects the learning preferences of the general population and the rankings of Singapore's private education institutes landscape. A total of 5,476 respondents took part in the survey which was conducted online from September to October this year.

Interestingly, a similar proportion of those surveyed (24.6%) expect to get 50% increase and above in wages when they attain post-graduate qualifications such as a Masters, PhD or MBA.

"Most employers acknowledge their employees' new qualifications but will not automatically increase pay. Usually a pay increment will only be given if the employee is outperforming, underpaid or taking on new duties. So it is important to discuss wage expectations with your employer before you embark on a costly education programme," says Mr Lim Der Shing, CEO of JobsCentral Group.

The survey also found a marginal increase in the proportion of those seeking further education, bucking a downward trend since 2009.

"There seems to be a co-relation between number of workers seeking further education and the state of the economy. In 2009, we saw recessions in many parts of the world and in that year, 79.3% of the people surveyed were keen on further education. As the economy recovered in the next two years, the percentages dropped. It's too early to tell, but if the current gloomy and uncertain economic sentiments continue, we may see a gradual increase in adults applying for further learning in 2013," Mr Lim adds.

In addition, when it comes to furthering education, Singapore adult learners favour:

Certificate of recognition over course fees

Nearly all the respondents (93.4%) chose 'recognition of certificate' as their top priority when deciding on a school for further learning. In comparison, 83.9% of respondents indicated 'course fees' as their first considering factor. This suggests Singapore adult learners are willing to pay more for quality education.

Websites and social media over traditional media

If you're seeking further education, chances are you would turn to digital information channels as your preferred information source on PEIs and courses. 'Websites of institutions' (58.1%) remain the most popular information channel, while 'Learning portals', such as the JobsCentral Learning portal, observe an increase in popularity by 28 per cent in this year's survey.

Although only ranked seventh, 'Social network sites' has shown the greatest promise and growth in popularity among adult learners. 'Social network sites', such as Facebook and Twitter, saw an impressive 48.2% increase from 2011.

Accounting over Science

This year, Accounting sees a surge in interest, rising four places to become the third most preferred further education course after gathering votes from 17.4% of the respondents. In the other hand, Science courses experiences the greatest popularity dip, dropping 11 places to 23rd place.

For the full report, download it for free at:

The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for more career-centric content!

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