PM’s May Day Speech – Highlights for the job market in Singapore

singapore job market may day 2016

During his May Day rally speech, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that workers are living in a “time of change.”

However, he believes that both the Government and labor movement will help workers to meet the challenges of these changes effectively.

Did you miss the speech? If so, here are the top seven things you should know about. You can also watch the speech at the end of this article.

There Will Be Ups and Downs

Just as the global economy has slowed down, so has the Singaporean economy.

One example of the state of the country’s economy, was that there have been several shifts a day in some cases, of no ships entering the country’s most used port, the Tanjong Pagar Terminal.

However, there are areas of the country’s economy that look hopeful.

Information, finance, communication, technology, healthcare, and insurance are all seeing boosts.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is still set to decrease overall, rather than increase.

In fact, Singapore remains a country where there are more jobs than workers, and the real challenge remains in getting Singaporean workers properly qualified to take on those jobs.

PMETs are On the Rise

PMETs are the largest section of the workforce in Singapore (at 54 percent), and the number is only expected to rise further (to two thirds by 2030).

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong suggested in his speech that NTUC can further the rise of this number by offering useful career counselling and courses that will boost networking and skills for PMETs looking to enter the new Singaporean workforce.

Dealing with Disruptors

With the rise of new sharing economy apps, Uber and Airbnb in particular, the business models of these industries in Singapore will never be the same. In many ways these companies have made it harder for local business.

However, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong does recognize the benefit these companies have for the consumers.

The Government has promised to cement measures that will allow all competitors, new and old, to compete fairly.

The Prime Minister also challenged those in the industry to be the new “disruptors.” He stated, “Be the disruptor. And, if we can do this industry transformation, it’s not just the businesses and consumers who benefit, but the workers in those businesses.”

Some Big Changes are Coming

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pointed out three specific areas of change that Singaporean workers should anticipate:

  • Now that more PMETs exist, the workforce demographics will be changing.
  • Singaporean jobs are changing as emerging industries are putting forth new jobs. However, old jobs are also being lost because of outsourcing.
  • With industries changing every day, new business models are challenging old ways of production.

Workers Must Push Forward

If you want to remain successful in the Singaporean job market, you will need to upgrade your skillset and resume.

Most companies investing in Singapore currently are from industries that have never been present in the country before, such as the solar energy company REC, and they require specific kinds of workers.

To help workers adjust for this huge change, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has created multiple programs to help workers learn new and useful skills. These programs are meant to assist PMETs in modernizing their skillset through education/training/etc. at various institutions in Singapore.

For example, the Government is putting $150 million toward the NTUC Education and Training Fund, as long as NTUC itself raises $50 million first.

If NTUC raises this money, they will use it to assist higher education for Singaporean workers, and will work toward training 30,000+ new workers every year. To reach this goal, the organization will be partnering with Nanyang Technological University in August.

Do Not Invest in Unemployment Insurance

In a time when unemployment seems more likely for certain Singaporean workers, many are considering an investment in unemployment insurance.

However, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thinks this is a bad idea. Instead of using a scheme to get paid to do nothing, he says Singaporeans should take advantage of the new government programs that will train them for free.

The Government also has plans to restructure the workplace so that more workers can be moved into roles they can perform properly, hopefully cutting down on unemployment rates.

One such program is the Career Support Programme for PMETs who have lost their jobs and been retrenched. This program subsidizes the cost of hiring such individuals for a full year. Due to this, over 200 older, less immediately-qualified PMETs have been able to secure employment over the last five months.

Singapore is Unique in its Business Model

Speaking on the uniqueness of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, “Only in Singapore, do you have a Government that is on the side of the workers, but also one that helps businesses to transform and become more competitive.”

Continuing his sentiments, he said, “Only in Singapore do we have a dynamic and constructive labor movement, that not only says it believes in tripartism, but practices it.

In many countries, union leaders, Government and business leaders cannot be in the same room.”

Overall, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s speech was optimistic about the future of Singapore and its workforce.

Most Attractive & Top employers in Singapore (2016)

best top employers in singapore 2016

The top 10 employers for business students/professionals in Singapore are:

  1. Google
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Walt Disney Company
  4. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  5. J.P. Morgan
  6. EY (Ernst & Young)
  7. KPMG
  8. Changi Airport Group
  9. Apple
  10. Deloitte

The top employers for engineering in Singapore are:

  1. A*STAR
  2. Google
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. ExxonMobil
  5. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  6. Ministry of Education (MOE)
  7. Shell
  8. Rolls-Royce
  9. Ministry of Health (MOH)
  10. Changi Airport Group

This is according to a survey of professionals and students (from SMU, SIM, NTU, and NUS) by Universum.

Google remains the number one employer among business students/professionals. However, it slipped to second place among the responses from engineering and natural sciences respondents who now consider A*STAR to be the hottest employer.

  • The primary focus when looking at future employers is personal growth in a company.
  • Though it doesn’t hurt to be a company that has a prestigious name, that isn’t quite what Singaporean students/professionals are sold on.
  • Another big driver when considering potential employers is an organization’s people and culture.
  • Employer reputation was not considered as important as “a friendly work environment.”
  • 66.75 percent of the students/professionals consider a strong desire for a healthy work-life balance as one of their top priorities.
  • Other top priorities are “to be secure or stable in my job” (53.11 percent), followed by “to be dedicated to a cause or to feel that I’m serving the greater good” (39.32 percent).

Rachele Focardi, SVP at Universum said, “Singapore’s talent has significantly evolved over the last few years, and all the key trends that have characterized Millennials in the west for the past 10 years are now widely witnessed in Singapore.” She continued, “Students no longer choose an employer based on the industry or corporate brand but based on its culture, its environment and its purpose. They believe that work should be part of who they are and not just a way to make a living, and therefore, expect employers to embrace the complexity of their lives.”

Focardi pointed out that it is now more vital than ever for organizations in Singapore to fully understand the preferences and expectations of their target employees, and their perception as an employer.

She continued, “This is particularly important for Singaporean organizations who have not worked with Employer Branding as extensively as their MNC counterparts. And, it’s the perfect time since multinational companies are now losing ground to national champions: with a strong Employer Brand, Singaporean organizations will become hard to compete with.”

Here is a list of top employers in Singapore (2016), for other disciplines based on the same survey:

Information Technology

  1. Google
  2. Microsoft
  3. Apple
  4. Facebook
  5. IBM
  6. Samsung
  7. Walt Disney Company
  8. Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
  9. Intel
  10. Singapore Airlines


  1. Ministry of Health (MOH)
  2. A*STAR
  3. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  4. Pfizer
  5. Novartis
  6. Ministry of Education (MOE)
  7. Google
  8. Walt Disney Company
  9. Singapore Airlines
  10. United Nations

Humanities/Liberal Art/Education

  1. Walt Disney Company
  2. Google
  3. Ministry of Education (MOE)
  4. Ministry of Social Family and Development (MSF)
  5. United Nations
  6. Singapore Airlines
  7. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  8. Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)
  9. MediaCorp
  10. Changi Airport Group


  1. United Nations
  2. Google
  3. J.P. Morgan
  4. Goldman Sachs
  5. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  6. Walt Disney Company
  7. Singapore Airlines
  8. Apple
  9. Resorts World Sentosa (Universal Studios)
  10. Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)

MOM warns of weak job market in Singapore during 2016

slow employment market in singapore 2016

According to a recent report from the MOM, growth in the Singaporean employment market is expected to stay weakened.

This will prove to be a tough year for job seekers in Singapore, as the report paints a difficult picture for the 2016 local employment market.

As reported by MOM, Singapore workforce growth is predicted to stay soft on the back of demographic effects, with the foreign workforce growth remaining muted.

Wages are also expected to grow at a slower pace, as compared to 2015.

MOM’s report projects that the overall labour demand in 2016 will remain modest throughout the year.

Construction, in particular, is expected to be affected. Due to fewer awarded contracts in 2015, and an overall sluggish performance in the private construction sector, few new job opportunities are expected to arise.

The manufacturing sector is also expected to be poorly affected in 2016. Both marine and offshore segments of the industry are expected to be weakened over the year. Further cancellations and deferments remain a possibility for many current projects in the sector as well.

In addition to this, lower oil prices have weakened the prospects for any kind of new development in the area. For firms in the precision engineering cluster in particular, there may be negative spillover effects, for those supporting the O&G market.

Of the few industries that are projected to have a good year in 2016, the services sector shines the brightest. Community, personal services, and social services sectors are estimated to receive a newly enlivened demand for talent, especially in the healthcare segment of the industry.

In sectors which are reliant on external demand, restructuring and redundancies are expected to occur. However, domestic-oriented service sectors, such as food and beverage services, community, social, and personal services, are expected to stay reliant on new labor needs.

Due to the cyclical weakness, and the economic restructuring happening in Singapore, MOM has predicted occasional consolidation, and even exiting of businesses in the country over 2016.

Singapore is currently experiencing its highest number of redundancies since the 2009 Global Financial Crisis.

MOM explains that it intends to strengthen employment support. It also plans to support in the assistance of helping displaced locals re-enter employment within the Singaporean workforce.

Engineers in Singapore can look forward to higher salaries and better career planning

engineering jobs in singapore

In the current year, Singapore’s public engineers can look forward to higher salaries and more structured career paths. There has been a move to both attract and retain talent in this industry, which has been losing its shine as of late.

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, engineers have, “played a big part in Singapore’s development over the past 50 years and have put in place housing, public utilities and communications infrastructure to improve residents’ lives.”

Teo Chee Hean also added that, “As we transition into an innovation economy, we need to build up capabilities in newer engineering and multidisciplinary fields.”

He made the statement during the opening of The Institution of Engineers (IES) building located at Bukit Tinggi. Continuing his sentiments, he stated, “We need more and better engineers who go beyond just designing, building, operating and maintaining public infrastructure and systems with their deep technical expertise.”

Mr. Teo said that the government is in need of an additional 1,000 engineers by the end of the year, if the country’s industry wants to rise to several important challenges.

To help reach this goal, Singapore plans to introduce a leadership program that will groom engineers meant to take on the following positions: chief technologists, chief engineers, public agencies specialists, and chief scientists in ministries. These efforts are expected to help public engineers “continually refresh and upgrade their skills.”

To ensure that “engineers are fairly compensated for the work they do,” the Minister stated that a salary review would be conducted by the end of the year.

Elaborating on the issue, he stated, “Specifically, we will be revising the salaries for fresh graduate engineers, as well as in-service engineers to keep pace with market benchmarks.” Further details about these initiatives are expected to be announced at the Committee of Supply debate happening in April 2016.

The IES President, Mr. Chong Kee Sen, believes the changes will be a “good start” to attract more qualified talent to the Singaporean industry.

With an emphasis on the ability to use the new IES building to further professional development opportunities for workers, Chong stated, “Schools can make classes more exciting and employers can make engineers’ jobs more interesting.”

Salaries in Singapore going nowhere in 2016

bonus and salary guide singapore 2016

The 2016 report on salaries in Singapore, prepared by Hays, shows that:

  • 47% of employers in Singapore plan salary increases of three to six percent in 2016.
  • The remaining 28 percent plan salary increases only up to three percent.

Increased salaries and benefits in Singapore greatly motivates employees to begin looking for a new job.

However, this year, people looking for new jobs should look beyond the salary increase (which is expected to be small) and focus on professional development instead.

“To make the best of these conditions, candidates should do their research thoroughly before pitching for salary and give more weight to other benefits, such as career development opportunities, that will pay off when the salary climate is more favorable to candidates,” says Christine Wright, the Managing Director of Hays in Asia.

The Salary Guide indicates that 11 percent of employers in Singapore plan to increase salaries by six to 10 percent in 2016. Only seven percent plan increases above 10 percent. Seven percent do not plan any increases at all.

“We will see some tension this year between employers taking a cautious approach to salaries to help navigate economic conditions in the region more generally and candidates hungry for advancement,” says Wright.

Looking at some other countries in the Asian region:

  • China leads the next review period with 60 percent of employers planning to increase salaries by six to 10 percent.
  • In Japan, 63 percent plan on salaries increases, but only up to three percent.
  • The majority of employers in Hong Kong, and Malaysia plan salary increases of between three and six percent.
  • Sixty-three percent of employers intend on awarding staff bonuses in 2016.
  • Only 10 percent of employers guarantee bonuses to their employees, but the value of the bonuses differ from employer to employer. Thirty-three percent of employers will award up to 10 percent of staff salary as a bonus, and 44 percent of employers plan to award 11 to 50 percent of salary as a bonus.
  • 84 percent of employers will include staff benefits in addition to salaries and bonuses. The most commonly offered benefit is medical coverage, followed by life insurance, car allowances, and pensions.

Higher salary and a better benefits package is the main reason that most people in Singapore begin the hunt for a new job.

Of the people in Singapore, 60 percent say that a balance between work and life is what keeps them with a current employer. If a job keeps them from their life outside of work, they will be inclined not to stay.

Singapore’s workforce is very culturally diverse, with 28 percent of roles held by foreign employees. 18 percent of employees in Hong Kong are foreign, and 15 percent are foreign in Malaysia. The numbers are even lower in Japan (9%) and Chine (8%).

Although Singapore leads in cultural diversity, it lags in promoting women into management.

Only 27 percent of management roles in Singapore are held by women compared to 37 percent in Malaysia, 32 percent in China, and 28 percent in Hong Kong. In Japan, women hold only 19 percent of management roles.

Contract Jobs in Singapore Becoming More Popular With Employers

contract jobs in singapore part time

In the past year, 54 percent of employers in Singapore have hired flexible / contract staff.

According to the Hays, the hiring of temporary employees and contractors is up by eight percent from 2013.

Almost a quarter of the employers in Singapore now use temporary/contract staff regularly, and 36 percent of employers use flexible staff on special projects as needed.

Innovative staffing solutions have become a high priority for employers and 18 percent of companies in Singapore plan to keep increasing their usage of flexible staffing in 2016.

“Given the speed of change most organizations have to navigate in today’s global business environment, being able to tap into a flexible workforce is vital to staying competitive,” says Christine Wright, MD of Hays in Asia.

Overall, 66 percent of employers in the Asian region plan on continuing to use temporary staffing solutions in the future. It has been working well so far, and so employers want to increase the number of people who work as flexible staff.

At the same time, Asian employers are focusing more attention on the way people want to work. Our research shows work-life balance is increasingly important to candidates across Asia making policies such as flexible hours and leave options a great way for employers to stand out,” says Wright.

Across Asia, 70 percent of employers have begun to offer flexible working hours, and 49 percent now allow some employees to work from home. 29 percent of employers offer part-time employment opportunities, and 19 percent increased maternity-paternity leave.

These new employment options and benefits will greatly help the people of Singapore and Asia as a whole.

Singapore Job Market To Remain Sedated in 2016

jobs in singapore hiring slow 2016

Singapore job-hiring rates are expected to remain slow going into 2016, keeping in line with the cautious sentiment many sources had in 2015. recently reported data concerning this slowdown in their monthly Monster Employment Index (MEI).

The study examines online job posting activities so that it can effectively record the occupations and industries that have the lowest and highest growth in an economy.

Main highlights:

  1. Those in the financial and banking sectors are likely to feel the slowdown most intensely.
  2. Following these two sectors, the hospitality sector will feel the economic burden the most.

Speaking on the recent MEI findings, Mr. Sanhay Modi, the Regional Managing Director of Monster, stated, “Overall, online recruitment has slowed down in Singapore in recent years.

Much of the slowdown is driven by external factors, such as China’s economic slowdown and the influence of the declining oil industry, and these global shifts undoubtedly have an affect on the local labour market over time.”

Continuing this train of thought, Modi added, “Productivity has also remained weak in Singapore, while the tightened labour market has continued to push up real median incomes.

All these factors play into a more cautious approach to hiring across industries, which is likely to continue across 2016.”

Last year, employment growth in both the financial and banking service industries showed quite a decline and this is expected to continue in 2016 as well.

Monster attributed these declines to the practice of banks switching their back offices to reside in cheaper locations. The government’s push for companies to cut down on foreign hiring also led to this decline.

Hospitality talent tends to be in steady demand in Singapore, but slowed down significantly during 2015.

According to Monster’s year-on-year data, there was a full 19% drop in hiring practices in the hospitality industry between August 2014 and 2015. This decline is the steepest the industry has experienced in Singapore since December 2013.

A review of the Singapore job market in 2015

singapore job market full year review 2015

The Ministry of Manpower released preliminary information on how the Singapore job market fared in 2015.

Here are the highlights:

  1. In 2015 there was a slower period of growth in overall employment, after reaching exceptionally high levels during 2014. Total employment increased by 0.9 percent in 2015, which is the lowest year-on-year growth Singapore has experienced since 2003.
  2. Growth in foreign employment has continually slowed down since 2011.
  3. Both resident and citizen unemployment levels continue to stay low.
  4. The median income for Singaporean citizens has maintained a sustained growth.

After a High Growth Rate in 2014, Local Employment Rates Have Flattened

In 2015, local employment experienced a marginal increase, estimated at 100, which was very low in comparison to the strong growth of 96,000 in 2014.

This was due to the large exit of casual workers in the Retail Trade industry, as well a as slowdown in other sectors such as Real Estate Services and Manufacturing.

Since 2011, Growth of Foreign Employment Has Slowed

Growing at a moderate pace in 2015 (2 percent, excluding foreign domestic workers), the increase is only slightly lower than levels seen in 2014, but significantly lower than those of 2011 and 2013.

The Services sector led growth in foreign employment:

  • Information and Communications sector was responsible for the bulk of growth for Employment Pass holders.
  • Other sectors, such as Construction, and Transport & Storage, helped growth for Work Permit Holders.

Unemployment Stayed Low

Overall, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped slightly from 2.0 percent in September 2015 to 1.9 percent in December 2015.

Additionally, unemployment rates improved among citizens (3.1 percent to 3.0 percent) and residents (3.0 percent to 2.9 percent).

When looking at the annual average of unemployment rates in 2015, it barely changed since 2011 in the categories of residents (2.8 percent), citizens (2.9 percent) and overall (1.9 percent).

Overall, Singapore Experienced Broad-Based Income Growth

Nominal median monthly income for full-time employed citizens rose by a full 6.5 percent (or 7.0 percent in real terms).

Income growth has been decent over the years. Full-time employees saw a rise of 32 percent in nominal terms from 2010 to 2015.

More Business Restructuring & Redundancies

In the fourth quarter of 2015, company redundancies rose.

Due to this, 4,200 workers were laid off during the quarter, which was higher than both the previous quarter (3,460), and the fourth quarter of 2014 (3,910).

During the entire year there were 14,400 displacements and many of the layoffs occurred in the Manufacturing & Services industry.

singapore job market full year review 2015

Employees are optimistic about job prospects in Singapore during 2016

employees job prospects singapore 2016

While Singapore experienced slower job and economic growth in 2015, employees are still confident in the job market going into 2016.

When asked if they felt they could secure a job with a new employer within six months in 2016, approximately 67% of employees believed that they could. These statistics are according to the recruitment firm, Randstad Singapore.

Millennial and Generation Z employees had more assurance in their job prospects than the older generations, with about 78% of them being confident about the job outlook.

A majority (67%) of employees were optimistic about their employer’s’ financial achievements in the last year (2015); however, 9% of employees believed there was a high probability of losing their job in 2016.

Jaya Dass, Country Manager of Randstad Singapore, believes that the demand for skilled workers will increase in 2016 due to the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Additionally, future Government initiatives will allow employees to develop new skills that will help them quickly find a similar job if they leave their current position.

The survey states that 27% of Singapore employees switched jobs in 2015. Almost 40% of these employees said that they wanted better working conditions, for example, an improved work-life balance.

Those who changed jobs also noted reasons such as a general need for change, pursuing work at a management level, and changes/restructuring in their organization.

Dass stated that satisfaction with workplace conditions and career opportunities are key to attracting new employees and keeping current ones.

Employees in Singapore want more annual leave

employees in singapore annual leave

Employees all have secret wishes they wish their employer would fill, and according to new research by Robert Half, more leave days tops the wish list for those employed in Singapore.

Well, right after the choice that always tops every employee wish list: higher salaries.

Robert Half’s 500 employee survey found that 36% of employees select more leave as their top choice on their wish list. The request was followed in popularity by more flexible hours (32%), and increased professional development opportunities (20%).

Singaporean employers have a different perspective of what their employees desire.

150 C-level executives were asked the same question as their employees, and the results showed that the majority (54%) considered flexible working hours as the top desire of their employees. A mere 18% of those surveyed felt that leave days would be the top choice, and 12% felt professional development opportunities would be on their employees’ minds.

Other perks made their way onto the survey’s list as well, including: childcare services, laundry rooms, fitness facilities, and more. However, they all scored at less than 10% in both the employee and employer survey, making them far less relevant then the more pressing desires listed above.

Stella Tang, the Managing Director of Robert Half in Singapore, stated that she found the employers responses much more realistic than those of employees.

She said, “While everyone would like more days off very few companies will increase the amount of annual leave above that which was agreed to when the employee started with the company.  So while the desire among employees for more days off is strong, it is a wish that is unlikely to come true.”

Continuing her statements, Tang commented, “Work-life balance is important and flexible work arrangements can go a long way to helping an employee manage their personal and professional responsibilities.  But as all employees know, there is still no substitute for having a whole day to themselves to do what they want or need to do.”

Muted hiring plans in Singapore during 1Q 2016

jobs in singapore 1q2016

The hiring outlook is positive overall for the first quarter of 2016, according to the recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

However, when looking at the numbers in more detail, hiring activity is muted.

Manpower measures outlook using a term known as Net Employment Outlook (NEO), which is the percentage of employers expecting total employment to increase, minus the percentage who think total employment will drop.

Although the overall mindset for Q1 may be positive, the NEO of +11% remains the weakest reported since Q3 2009, which could be a sign that employers in Singapore are preparing for slower growth, both locally and abroad.

The NEO of +11% for Q1 2016 compares with an outlook of +18% projected in Q1 of 2015.

Speaking on the results of the report, country manager for the ManpowerGroup Singapore, Linda Teo, stated: While some employers report very cautious increases in hiring for the first quarter of next year, there are more employers indicating that they may decrease headcount, and forecasts decline by varying margins in six of seven industry sectors in a year-on-year comparison.”

Adding to her comments, Teo continued, At home, exports have shrunk, manufacturing activity has fallen, and small and medium-sized firms report little or negative growth. China’s economy continues on a sluggish track, impacting our shipments there. To a certain extent, these factors contribute to the muted hiring sentiment for the next quarter.”

When employers were surveyed about their hiring expectations, 68% expected to make no headcount change, 15% reported possible increases in the number of employees, and 6% stated a decrease in staff would be necessary.

The survey covered seven industry sectors – finance, insurance & real estate, manufacturing, public administration & education, wholesale & retail trade, transportation & utilities, and mining & construction.

While employees can expect an increase in job opportunities in all seven of the above sectors overall, the interest and intensity of hiring processes will likely vary quite a bit between industries.

  • Currently, job prospects in the Public Administration & Education industry show the most promise, with a NEO of +21%.
  • These numbers are followed up by the Finance/Insurance & Real Estate industry (+16%) and the Mining, Construction, Transportation & Utilities industry (+13%).
  • The Wholesale Trade & Retail sector is showing the least growth potential, with an Outlook stat of a mere +5%.

Six of the seven industries are weakening in potential when compared year-on-year with Q1 of 2015. Once again, the biggest declines are reported within the Wholesale Trade & Retail sector, with a decline of 12%.

Looking at the outlook for the rest of Asia Pacific, according to the survey 8 of the countries included expect to add to their payrolls during Q1 of 2016, especially in Taiwan and India. When compared to the previous year, employers in Japan and Australia report stronger hiring outlooks, while those in China, Taiwan, New Zealand and India report weaker outlooks. NEO for Hong Kong is at the same level.

National University of Singapore (NUS) places 17th in ranking of “ready-for-work” graduates

nus university ranking

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has been found the have some of the most sought after graduates in the world. Ranking at 17th in the world in the Global Employability University Ranking list, the institution has risen from its prior place of 39th from last year.

This survey took place with participation from 2,200 recruiters in 21 different countries, who were asked what educational institutions were providing the highest quality “ready-for-work” graduates.

NUS found itself just 7 places behind the top ranking Asian University, Japan’s University of Tokyo (which placed 12th overall). Additionally, Harvard overthrew the University of Cambridge this year as the overall winner.

Speaking on the recent announcement of placing within the top 20, Tan Eng Chye, the Deputy President of NUS said he was delighted by the amazing recognition given to the university, and its talented graduates.

Tan stated that this success was largely due to the university’s focus on developing curriculum to live up to local and global industry leaders’ standards. Additionally, students attending NUS are strongly encouraged to communicate, interact with, and work for companies in Singapore, as well as pursue educational/training opportunities abroad. Currently, NUS has various programs in six different business hubs, including Silicon Valley, New York City, and more.

Tan continued his comments, stating, “This is a strong affirmation of the quality of NUS graduates and the university’s focus on producing “future-ready” graduates.” He placed an importance on continuing to adapt to the quick-changing nature of the business environment worldwide. Speaking on this, Tan said: “Through a holistic combination of local and overseas experiential programs, enhanced general education curriculum and personalized career advising, we equip our students with the knowledge, skills and ability to approach ideas and issues in creative, thoughtful and multidisciplinary approaches.”

Beyond the recognition from the Global Employability University Ranking List, NUS found that recent graduates are enjoying a higher median salary than past graduates. Currently, fresh NUS graduates can expect a gross monthly salary of $3,200 for a full-time position. This number is up from $3,000 reported in 2013. Also impressive was the fact that a full 9/10 students were able to find work within six months of graduating.

The US remains the top country on the important list. Of the 150 positions on the list, 39 places belong to US universities, as well as 7 of the top 10 spots.