SINGAPORE, March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Canvas, a learning management system (LMS) created by the company Instructure, has released findings that students from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) in Singapore are not as well-prepared for their careers in their fields upon graduation. Only 9.5 per cent of current and former students in Singapore "strongly agreed" that they were equipped with the skills needed for their workplace, while 7 per cent cited that they were provided with career-relevant experience at the tertiary level. The findings are based on a 14-country study that addresses how well tertiary education is preparing students for their careers.
According to the study, current and former students in Singapore reported that the country's tertiary education system prepares them for their careers at 65 per cent, on a scale defining 100 per cent as "fully prepared." Students from countries such as Australia, Denmark, U.K., South Africa, Norway and Turkey also reported similar scores, with Japan receiving the lowest score at 49 per cent.
Also, 66 per cent of current students in Singapore said that they were satisfied with their tertiary education learning environment, the lowest amongst all the countries surveyed. This is followed by China (68 per cent), Turkey (69 per cent) and Sweden (69 per cent).
In contrast, current and former students from the U.S. and Brazil reported at above 80 per cent on the career preparedness scale. They also reported highest in their overall satisfaction of their learning environment, with more than 30 per cent of respondents also "strongly agreed" that they were equipped with the skills needed for their workplace.
Learning experience and career-preparedness
In general, the study by Canvas found that current students' overall satisfaction with their respective tertiary learning environment is correlated with their career preparedness.
Similar to students and former students in Singapore, Turkey's and China's respondents who reported low rates of tertiary learning environment experience expressed lower rates in career preparedness as well.
While current and former students in Singapore had expressed that their studies might not have prepared them well for the workplace, a third of Singaporeans with four-year degrees were found to be working in the field that they had majored in.
Amongst those former students working in their chosen career, they felt that their tertiary education prepared them 70 per cent for their careers versus 58 per cent of those working out-of-field. This figure is considerably higher than the average 47 per cent of those working out-of-field.
Lifelong learning includes enabling people to self-direct, and use the skills, resources and social connections to continuously enhance their skills. This is key to enabling Singaporeans to be equipped with the right skills needed at work when tertiary institutions are seen as too academic. Addressing this issue, the Singapore government is investing more than $1 billion a year from 2015 to 2020 in lifelong learning under its SkillsFuture program.
"Findings from this study echoes the Singapore governments call for working adults to embrace the concept of lifelong learning," said Troy Martin, director of Canvas Asia Pacific. "Increasingly, the government is nudging tertiary institutions in Singapore to develop continuing education courses for working adults. But, instilling lifelong learning also begins in schools where teachers need to teach students to teach themselves."
Similar to the sentiments of their counterparts across the countries in this study, only two out of five students in Singapore said lifelong learning is an important goal of their tertiary education institution. Nevertheless, those who do currently rely heavily on the Internet. The most common form of informal learning found included the use of social media.
"We live in a world where knowledge is quickly outdated and professional fields constantly change. This makes it more that students both gain career-relevant skills and develop their capacity for lifelong learning. Education can do a better job addressing these goals, and technology can help bridge the gap between formal education in the classroom and informal learning in the real world," said Jared Stein, VP of research and education, Instructure.
About the data
7,848 current and former students in 14 countries were polled, including Australia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Sweden and South Africa among others. 1,000 respondents were Australian, evenly split between current and former tertiary education students. Instructure designed two survey instruments: one for former students and one for current students, and executed the survey with the help of Qualtrics, LLC. Instructure's analysis of tertiary education's role in career preparedness, lifelong learning and other associated factors were conducted via Pearson correlations, t-tests and F-tests by Country and Status. Because we were working with such a large sample size, we did not rely on statistical significance alone, but based our decisions on moderate – strong correlations (r > .25) and practical significance.
Instructure, Inc. is the software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company that makes software that makes people smarter. With a vision to help maximize the potential of people through technology, Instructure created Canvas and Bridge to enable organizations everywhere to easily develop, deliver and manage engaging face-to-face and online learning experiences. To date, Instructure has connected millions of teachers and learners at more than 1,800 educational institutions and corporations throughout the world. Learn more about Canvas for higher ed and K-12, and Bridge for the corporate market at www.Instructure.com and https://www.CanvasLMS.com.hk/
Evelyn Lee, IN.FOM Pte Ltd
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Rachel Matthews, Instructure
Director, International Public Relations
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