Summary of NTU Career Aspiration Survey 2010 - 15

The NTU Career Aspiration Survey (CAS) has been conducted since 2010. The main aim of the survey was to understand, analyse and monitor students’ career motivations, efficacies and intents towards entrepreneurship in relation to competing career choices in the professional and leadership fields. In 2015, 4,754 NTU students (comprising 3,909 undergraduates and 845 postgraduates) provided valid responses.

Some of its findings are summarised below:

  • 7-9% of NTU students intend to pursue entrepreneurial careers upon graduation, 68-71% prefer professional careers, and 21-25% prefer leadership careers. Figure 1 shows these findings compared with past years’ results (See Figure 1).

Figure 1. Career aspiration of NTU students immediately upon graduation

There is substantial entrepreneurial potential in NTU that can be nurtured:

  • About one-third of respondents report having engaged in at least two entrepreneurial activities out of a checklist of 9 possible activities.
  • For students who do not wish to pursue entrepreneurial careers immediately upon graduation, a quarter (25%) of them intends to start a business within ten years upon graduation (See Figure 2).

Figure 2. Intention to start a business by future time frame
  • Comparing across the four main colleges, College of Engineering has the highest proportion of entrepreneurially motivated students (54%) followed by the Nanyang Business School (NBS; 49%), College of Science (37%), and College of Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS; 33%) (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Entrepreneurial Aspiration of undergraduate students by NTU Colleges
  • PhD students from STEM disciplines dominate the rankings for entrepreneurial motivation. Following Engineering (56%), Science (46%) and IGS students (41%) reported a higher level of entrepreneurial motivation in comparison to their HASS (32%) counterparts [note: NBS PhD student sample was too small to report].

Figure 4. Entrepreneurial Aspiration of undergraduate students by NTU Colleges
  • Consistent with the 2012, 2013, and 2014 NTU CAS Reports, Figure 5 shows that the more the students were exposed to activities related to a particular career, the more they aspired towards that particular field. For entrepreneurship in particular, it was found that continued exposure to entrepreneurial activities was needed to maintain one’s career aspirations (comprises intent, motivation, and efficacy) in this area.

Figure 5. Changes in NTU students’ entrepreneurial career aspiration over time
  • The 2014 and 2015 NTU CAS studies found that students that were most “multi-dimensional” in their career motivations (i.e. with highest entrepreneurial, professional and leadership scores) were the most “career adaptable”, and perceived themselves to be more employable. In contrast, students lowest in E, P & L motivations deemed themselves least adaptable and employable (see Figure 6).

Figure 6. Perceived Employability & EPL profiles