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YKA, Trends

Careers: Attitude, Aptitude or Academic?

Study hard, get a good degree and you will be set for life. This was the guiding mantra of the baby boomer generation. In today’s environment, do paper qualifications still matter for career progression? Mostly yes, it seems.

According to our latest YKA findings, 71% of Singaporeans feel academic qualifications are still important when it comes to applying for jobs, regardless of the position. This figure rises to 82% when it comes nailing that first job. Only 30% of Singaporeans feel what we graduate with matters little during job hunting. In addition, 4-in-10 Singaporeans (40%) believe grades are an accurate prediction of a person’s potential in the workplace.

Does this justify the paper chase happening in our schools? Education Minister Ong Ye Kung recently urged hiring companies to look past academic transcripts and wished for change in our social mindsets.

When we asked Singaporeans to rank individual traits that would influence their hiring decisions, qualifications was not a big consideration. Personal aptitude and willingness to learn (68%), general attitude (68%) and work experience (61%) came in at the top. Academic qualifications came second last at 37%.

Hiring companies appear willing to make the change. 70% of Singaporeans credit their employers as flexible enough to focus on a candidate’s experience and aptitudes over paper qualifications, though 78% feel a review of hiring policies are still needed to keep in step with changing job market conditions.