THE global economy is in a tailspin, and banks are retrenching staff by the busload.
But despite this grim outlook, Isaac Yip, who is in national service, is still going ahead with his plans to study commerce and economics in university.
Explaining his decision, the 18-year-old said: 'I'll just see how things go. After all, no job is stable.'
He is not alone.
The New Paper polled 100 students, asking if the economic climate had an impact on either the courses they intend to pursue or their decision to study overseas. A vast majority said that it hadn't.
Only 11 of those polled said that it had.
It seems that finance-related courses are still hot among university applicants, with many choosing courses based on interests rather than flocking to industries deemed as 'recession-proof'.
Said NS man Claudio Chock, 21: 'I intend to take economics or social sciences. Economics, because I like maths and university economics offers a lot of that.'
But some have wavered. Like Eugene Tay, 19, who said that he was 'reconsidering certain career prospects which might have low demand during times like these, and would rather opt for something more stable'.
Most students also said Singapore's worst downturn has had no bearing on deciding whether to study in Singapore or overseas.
Some, like Kimberly Leong, 18, believe that the strong Singapore dollar relative to some other currencies was an added incentive to study abroad.
'Others may think it's not a wise financial decision, but I take it as the same opportunity (as before) on sale,' she said.
Wan Nur Fadhillah, 18, a polytechnic student, agreed.
'Not only would it be more affordable, but grasping the chance to live and study in a new environment gives me a different take on the world and meeting new people.'
Still, there are others who are reconsidering going overseas to study.
Christianna Huang, 18, a student, said she changed her mind on studying overseas after extensive consideration.
'There are so many things to think about, like finding yourself a place to stay and work, because you need money to keep going,' she said.
For most of those who choose to stay in Singapore, like Darren Chua, 18, the state of economy was not a deciding factor.
Darren, who is awaiting enlistment, said: 'It's not because of the bad economy, but more about commitments here. So even if the economy was good, I'd still choose to stay.'
Another A-level graduate, Michael Da Silva, 18, a research assistant, echoed this sentiment. He said that neither the economy nor the exchange rate were factors he took into consideration.
'In Singapore, I think our local universities are already quite well-respected,' he later added.
By Han Su-Ying and Michelle Tay, newsroom interns
This article was first published in The New Paper.