JobsCentral Learning Survey 2014: More Mature Learners Are Pursuing A Diploma

Survey saw a 2.5 fold increase in those aged 60 and above taking up Diploma studies

(Singapore, 14 January 2015): As the great Michelangelo once said: “I am still learning”. Indeed, education is a lifelong process and according to the results from the 2014 JobsCentral Learning survey by Careerbuilder Singapore, the demand for further education has been seeing an exponential growth. This can be observed in respondents keen on diploma studies, with an increase from 18% in 2013 to 26% this year.

Never Too Old to Learn

The JobsCentral Learning Survey Report 2014 notes 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%, a 2.5 fold increase since 2013. 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."

Climbing Up the Academic Ladder

Interest in Postgraduate studies as a whole is at its highest in five years – climbing from 37% in 2010 and 42% in 2013 to 48% this year. 53% of those aged under 30 has indicated an interest to pursue a Postgraduate degree, up from 43% in 2013.

Doors to a Better Career Prospect

Respondents largely cited career-related reasons as the main driving force to further their studies. Of this, 21% listed Career Advancement as the key reason for continued studies, followed by Employability Improvement (17%), and Prospect of Switching Industry (8%).Other motivations for pursuing higher education include self-improvement (20%) and personal interest (13%).

Expecting More Salary with an Educational Upgrade

87% of respondents polled expect a growth in salary upon receiving their qualification, with 27% and 26% looking to receive an increase between 30 – 59% and below 30% respectively.

It’s All about The Recognition

As a means to facilitate career advancement, most of the adult learners (91%) 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. With the numerous government subsidies and grants available, many who were not financially able to continue their studies previously may take the chance to do so now," says Jessica.

First started in 2009, the JobsCentral Learning Survey is the most comprehensive study conducted on higher education landscape in Singapore. It was conducted online from October to November 2014 among 3,078 respondents, of which 54% are under the age of 31 and 62% are working adults holding full-time positions. At a confidence level of 95% and a sample size of 3,078, the results have a margin sampling error of +/- 1.77%.

Nearly two dozen institutes of higher learning will be participating in the Postgraduate Executive Fair 2015, which will be held on 31 Jan 2015 from 10am to 5pm at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Level 3, Begonia Room - Register Here Now! CareerBuilder Singapore is the owner of JobsCentral.com.sg, 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 JobsCentral Facebook Page or Follow JobsCentral on Twitter for more career-centric content!

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