Photo from Straits Times

In the recent statistic released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a better paper qualification translates to higher salaries in Singapore:

“…in Singapore, the association between literacy proficiency and hourly wages is stronger than in other countries/economies. An increase of one standard deviation in literacy proficiency (about 49 points) is associated with an 11.7% increase in hourly wages – almost double the average estimated effect across participating OECD countries and economies (6.1%).”

This finding effectively ended the long-time debate in Singapore whether if one need a degree to survive, especially for Singaporeans who are pondering whether to invest in their own education.

The survey also found that Singaporeans whose native language is English (27.4% of the Singapore population), performs better in literacy and numeracy as compared to those whose native language is their Mother Tongue. Singaporeans born in Singapore and whose mother tongue is English scored an average of 277 points, more than 25 points above Singaporeans born in Singapore who do not speak English as their native language.

Singaporeans scored an average of 259 points in the survey, below the OECD’s average of 271, but still performed slightly better than foreigners in Singapore (average score of 254 points).

You may read the report here.