Know Your Edge as a Diploma Jobseeker

As a diploma holder, you may not know that you are highly sought after by employers, with your specialised skills and training acquired in your polytechnic years. Do you know what sets you apart as a diploma holder looking for a job?
Anne Grace Savitha
Writer, gradsingapore

If you’re in your second or third year in polytechnic, you might be thinking about what’s next after you leave school. If you are considering to enter the workforce or work for a few years before furthering your studies, read on to find out what makes you attractive to employers with your diploma background.

1. Specialising in your field of study

If you think you’re special, you’re not wrong! Polytechnic students receive academic and vocational training in industry-oriented courses, being more oriented to the real world compared to their peers in junior colleges.

You already have an edge over your peers in the same age group who did not do a diploma. Reason being, you have a substantial understanding in the subject matter through the lecturers and tutorials, projects and group assignments, which you have been through for the completion of your diploma already!

2. Applying your knowledge in practice

Diploma courses often require students to complete a coursework internship, which lasts for at least for 16 weeks or four months, which takes up one entire semester. It may seem long while you’re still in school, but it is key to giving you a smooth transition into the working world!

Industry training is a much valued opportunity – as employers value hands-on experience and you get to put your knowledge gained in the classroom to the test, giving you an edge as a diploma jobseeker.

3. Having the option to dive right into work

Right after you’re out of polytechnic, you have the options of working or studying, or even take a gap year first.

If you wish to work right away, be sure to look out for the guide on job hunting that has been released by the Singapore government to the graduating cohort in polytechnics and the respective Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs), as part of the Career Starter Programme launched in 2019.

4.  Paving the way for further studies

If you choose to study in university, you can either enrol in a complementary course to your field, or choose something entirely new.  Local universities such as the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) accept polytechnic students with specific requirements. Check out the requirements on specific school websites, see if you can get any exemptions and compare the course information pages to plan your next step! If you’re applying for overseas universities, it is all the more important to choose the right course and school!

At the end of the day, don’t forget that you can choose to work part-time while pursuing a degree, and that you can also make your own impact in the workforce even if you do not possess a degree.