The Straits Times Education Forum 2018
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DEGREES vs SKILLS
Soon the annual degree chase will begin with A-level and diploma holders vying for places offered by the six universities in Singapore. Those who fail to land a place will look overseas or at the private school route. In the minds of students and parents, a university degree is the passport to better jobs, higher salaries and success in life. The higher starting salaries of degree holders compared to diploma holders bears this out and what’s more, the earnings gap widens further over the years. Yet, there is a less rosy future facing graduates in many other countries. Globalisation and technological changes have brought on disruptions in the workplace and unemployment and underemployment of degree holders is common in many economies. The dampening effect on graduate salaries is exacerbated by the oversupply of degree holders.
Does the conventional thinking that a degree equals success still hold true? Or should young people be focused on developing deep skills in fields that are relevant to the new economy?
Come listen to a robust debate on the degrees vs skills issue at The Straits Times Education Forum, presented by the Singapore Management University.
Arguing the motion – You don’t need a degree to succeed in life – will be OECD Education Director Andreas Schleicher, SkillsFuture Singapore Chief Executive Ng Cher Pong, SMU President Arnoud De Meyer and the SMU Law Dean Goh Yihan. And SPH Consultant Patrick Daniel will chair the debate.