Transitioning into the Working World with Work-Study Programmes

What if there was a way you could have a taste of the working world while still fulfilling your education needs? Here's where work-study programmes might work out for you.
gradsingapore G logo
The gradsingapore Team
Transitioning Into The Working World

The debate about whether experience or qualifications is more important can be likened to the 'chicken versus egg' debacle; that there's no right answer that works for everyone. But instead of going around in circles pondering about the ‘what ifs’, there are ways for you to get a taste of both before making a decision.

Adding value

Internships play a pivotal role in helping undergraduates and graduates gain real exposure to working environments, and better develop the necessary skills required to stand out in their respective industries. They also help in determining whether you are in the right career field.

In addition to being able to apply the knowledge learnt from internships to your future workplaces, you are simultaneously establishing a critical network of connections. This could be a stepping stone to bonus opportunities, and also help you understand how different people utilise their different skill sets in a work setting.

Before graduating, most students in polytechnic or ITE will go through an internship; usually during their final year. These programmes are designed to help students gain real work experiences, and help them transition seamlessly into the working world once they graduate..

Although it might seem like a hassle to go through the internship application process, being able to dip your toes into your industry of interest is better than not having any experience at all. Most employers seek employees who have at least a bit of experience related to their industry before considering them for employment.


Expanding your education

Continuing your education path and choosing to temporarily move away from the working world is not entirely a bad thing. In fact, furthering your education can open up closed doors and potentially lead to better job opportunities. 

Perhaps, it is simply not the right time to apply for a job due to the recession, or an economic downturn. This serves as the perfect time to improve skills, and even obtain a higher qualification.

If you truly enjoy learning or simply want to qualify for certain jobs, furthering your education might be the path for you. However, do remember that you can 
return to school at any age; whether it be for personal growth or to upskill. 


Alternative options

Choosing internships might seem like a no-brainer due to its many benefits. However, what about those who want the best of both worlds: studying whilst earning an extra income?

Aside from school internships, MySkillsFuture has partnered with various institutions to promote its Work-Study programmes. It offers prominent  opportunities that graduates can look into: SkillsFuture Work-Study Programmes (WSP), Work-Study Certificates (WSCert), Work-Study Diplomas (WSDip), and Work-Study Post-Diplomas (WSPostDip). ITE also offers traineeships, allowing students to work three days out of the week while spending the remaining two at school.



The WSDip helps ITE and polytechnic graduates gain a head start in their careers while simultaneously pursuing a nationally-recognised diploma, allowing them to upskill themselves while still working. The diploma obtained will be fully-sponsored and provide you with even more opportunities for career advancement, and further education.

Polytechnic and junior college graduates can further deepen their knowledge with the SkillsFuture WSDeg programme. Although the framework is the same – closely integrating classroom learning with structured on-the-job training – it differs by interconnecting companies and universities.