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The most coveted employers for Singapore's business graduates

In the Singapore portion of Universum's annual global talent survey, Google has emerged as the most attractive employer for graduates across business, engineering, IT and arts degrees.

The survey features responses from more than 8,500 students from Singapore Management University (SMU), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

Following Google, local champions, Singapore Airlines and A*Star follow second among preferences of business and engineering talent respectively.

Top 10 employers in Singapore – business and commerce students

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

Top 10 employers in Singapore – engineering and natural sciences students

  1. Google
  2. A*STAR
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  5. Ministry of Health (MOH)
  6. Rolls-Royce
  7. ExxonMobil
  8. Changi Airport Group
  9. ST Engineering (ST Aerospace, ST Electronics, ST Kinetics and ST Marine)
  10. Ministry of Education (MOE)

The choice of Google as top employer seems to be an outlier, given when asked about their preferred industry to work in post-graduation, software and computer services is only the seventh most selected. This choice was even more unpopular among women students, (7% for women compared to 16% for men), pointing to a gap in gender balance in the tech and computing space.

In Singapore, the top overall industry choice for men was banking and finance, while women was arts, recreation and entertainment.

Career goals upon graduation

When asked about their career goals upon graduation, regardless of field of study or gender, ‘to have work/life balance’ remains the most selected choice (69%). In 2012 this career goal was only selected by 55% and has risen every year since – showing that this trend isn’t going away soon.

The second most selected career goal was ‘to be secure or stable in my career’ and thirdly, to ‘feel dedicated to a cause or to serve a greater good’.

"Aligning candidates with cultural fit during the hiring process is critical, it leads to stronger engagement, higher retention, lower cost per hire and, mostly, happier more productive employees and a more positive working environment," noted Rachele Focardi, senior vice president APAC at Universum.

Pay expectations among Singapore graduates

When asked how much they expect to as salary upon graduation, the average expectation was S$41,964 per annum (PA), i.e. 6.7% higher than it was in 2017.

Despite the more confident overall expectations, this year saw a widening of the gap between the genders. In 2017, the gap had narrowed to S$2,850 PA, while it has now increased to $4,593.

For those striving for gender pay equality, this isn’t good news. However, the issue seems more complex than companies simply paying men and women the same. The data shows that women tend to opt for industries that typically don’t pay as well as those that men aim for, for example; arts and recreation vs. banking and finance.

Joy Lee, head of campus recruitment for Asia Pacific at J.P. Morgan, said on the findings: "A diversity of backgrounds and a collaborative work culture are critical to our success as a firm. We continue to invest heavily in our people, technology and infrastructure and we believe junior talent makes an impact by bringing their perspectives and innovative ideas to the table."

Photo / StockUnlimited

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