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Life after polytechnic

We explore four options for polytechnic graduates to direct their next journey.

CareerBuilder Singapore


Published: 13 October 2015, 11:48 AM

Your polytechnic experience might have consisted of some of the best years of your life, or it might have been merely a slow trudge towards graduation. Regardless, it is time to put your polytechnic days behind you and look forward to greater things.

Unlike your junior college peers, your next course of action after polytechnic is not limited to pursuing a degree. We explore the options from which polytechnic graduates can choose to direct their next journey.

Enrol into university

The practical skills gained in polytechnic would be a good complement to the theoretical knowledge imparted at university. University undergraduates would also be quick to identify their peers who came from polytechnic, because they often seem more experienced than the rest of the cohort.

Furthermore, polytechnic graduates who apply to NUS or NTU are exempted from a good amount of credit units. Subject to approval, this means that polytechnic graduates can enter university as second-year students.

Gain some work experience

If you do intend to pursue your degree eventually, prior work experience comes with a raft of benefits. It helps you determine if the sector is really the path you want to take – after all, your polytechnic study is not always commensurate with the working world. It also gives you a temporary break from your textbooks and strengthens your portfolio substantially.

Put your skills to the test.

Work experience might also trump your polytechnic grades if you intend to enter universities that adopt a holistic approach in applicant assessments. For instance, the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) takes into account their applicants’ work experience (internships included) when assessing them.

If you feel you did not do too well in polytechnic but still want to study in a local university, consider putting work experience and SIT in your plans.

Or get that first job!

In Singapore, a diploma is very marketable. Diploma holders are able to compete against degree holders for plenty of roles. Even as you consider that the starting pay of diploma holders are relatively lower than that of degree holders, also consider that polytechnic graduates enter the workforce at a much younger age. Diploma graduates are thus able to gain a headstart in terms of career progression.

You can even choose to join many others in managing the dual priorities of work and study. By staying committed to your full-time career and taking up a part-time degree, you would be able to gain theoretical knowledge and rise up the career ladder concurrently.

Take a gap year

A gap year is a great option, especially if you are experiencing a burnout after a dozen or so years of formal education. It presents you with myriad opportunities to satiate your interests before you pursue work or further education.

Taking a gap year can be an empowering experience.

Regardless of whether this gap year is spent travelling, volunteering or taking up a new sport, you will be developed to become a more self-aware and confident individual. Many of those who take a gap year also move forward with school or work feeling empowered by all their meaningful experiences.

All in all, you are the only with one the answer to what you should do. Consider your priorities and weigh all the benefits, and commit yourself to your decision after you have made it.

At the end of the day, nothing is more important than giving your all in everything you set your mind to do.

Thanks to CareerBuilder Singapore for this article contribution!


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