Singapore’s Fresh Graduates are More in Demand Than Ever |

Credit: Nur Safarah Zaharudin

Fresh graduates from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) have found that their career prospects are looking stronger than ever.

In SIT’s 2021 Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey (JAUGES), more than 9 in 10 (95.6%) of graduates among SIT’s class of 2021 were employed within 6 months upon graduation. Of these, 86% secured full-time permanent (FTP) positions, an improvement of 16.2% from its previous cohort. This mirrors the national trend for fresh graduates so far this year.

Grooming students for post-graduation success

It’s more than just what you learn in the classroom that matters. SIT’s curriculum is built upon a solid foundation of industry collaborations, which have a proven track record in enhancing its students’ employability. SIT’s signature Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) immerses students in the working world for up to 12 months, allowing them to build upon their specific competencies in their field of interest whilst gaining the practical job skills to be work-ready upon graduation. 

What is key about IWSP is that it allows students to try out a real role in their chosen industry before even finishing their studies. This was the case for Civil Engineering graduate Eldrynn Tan Swee Yong’s 8-month IWSP with Woh Hup (Private) Limited. 

“I’ve always been intrigued by the engineering phenomenon of sophisticated skyscrapers and structures. So, I naturally pursued my passion in the built environment sector. I began my work attachment as a Design Engineer, assisting the technical team for three months. After that, I gained further experience with the on-site production team to help manage an actual construction project,” she says.

Eldrynn Tan Swee Yong, a graduate of the SIT-University of Glasgow Civil Engineering degree programme. (Image credit: Woh Hup)

Moreover, IWSP attachments expose students to a wide range of opportunities. Nur Safarah Binte Zaharudin, a 2021 Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services) graduate, credits her IWSP experience at AlfaTech Asia Pte Ltd for the opportunity to learn hands-on skills in order to pursue her long-time passion in the built environment sector: “It was my 12-month Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) at AlfaTech that gave me the hands-on experience to kickstart my career while I was still studying. Not only did I learn key technical skills in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems, I also had the opportunity to hone transferable skills such as project planning and facility management, where I assisted in the decommissioning and reinstatement of a data centre.”

Nur Safarah Binte Zaharudin, a graduate of SIT’s Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services) degree programme. (Image credit: AlfaTech Asia)

A curriculum with employability in mind

The IWSP is also an opportunity for students to get hired – half of SIT’s graduates received job offers from their IWSP companies before graduation, and of these, over half accepted the offers.

“I was given immense opportunities to learn and grow at AlfaTech. After my IWSP, the company eventually hired me as an Engineer of Facility Services,” says Safarah. Her current job role includes providing facility services to clients as well as conducting operational checks and inspections.

Similarly, for Eldrynn, the diversity of her on-the-job IWSP experiences had a direct pay-off when she was offered a full-time role at Woh Hup as a Site Engineer, where she continues to pursue her passion in the built environment sector.

“Today, my work scope entails structural inspections, liaising with fellow engineers and the technical team, planning, and collaborating with subcontractors. I look forward to continuing to make a difference in the built environment sector, and lead by example for aspiring female engineers,” says Eldrynn.

Another key element of the educational experience at SIT is the support rendered by the university’s Centre for Career Readiness, which organises everything from career fairs and workshops to coaching sessions. Students have access to the tools and resources they need to build their industry networks and prepare for a professional career. “The university has helped me prepare successfully for job interviews that were pivoted to an online format during Covid-19,” says Eldrynn. 

SIT Graduate Employment Survey 2021 at a Glance

SIT survey

Tourism and construction are biggest gainers

As they say, a rising tide lifts all ships. Thanks to strong economic growth, gains in employment have been across most sectors such as Information and Communications Technology and Allied Health.

The latest data also showed there was a significant recovery in sectors like tourism, hospitality, and construction, which have started to boom again. With restrictions eased and a resurgence of travel and infrastructure projects kicking back off, the demand is surging for these industries. 

The aviation sector is another industry that’s gaining momentum in employment this year for fresh graduates. This has translated to a 100% employment rate for the pioneer cohort of the Aircraft Systems Engineering programme. Muhammad Noor Hakeem Bin Yusof credits the programme in helping him land a Trainee Aircraft Engineer role at SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC). 

“I’ve always been fascinated by the world of engineering and the inner workings of aeroplanes. Some of the classroom lessons at SIT that most stood out for me included the fundamentals of gas turbine engine operations, and the test procedures to ensure the airworthiness of an engine. The knowledge came in very handy during my eight-month work attachment participating in heavy maintenance checks on double-decker A380s!”

Muhammad Noor Hakeem Bin Yusof, a graduate of SIT’s Aircraft Systems Engineering degree programme. (Image credit: SIT)

He was first drawn to the programme’s industry-focused curriculum that was developed in collaboration with SIAEC, because it allows graduates to shorten their time frame to earn an Aircraft Maintenance Licence.

Salaries have surpassed pre-pandemic levels

It’s not just employment trends that are on the up – starting salaries have also increased across the board for fresh graduates. Despite coming out of a pandemic-induced global recession, both mean and median salaries are at an all-time high.

Those in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) continued to record the highest wages among graduates in FTP jobs. Engineering programmes with ICT components also recorded decent median monthly starting salaries.

Overall, it is heartening to see that employment outcomes have rebounded and even exceeded pre-COVID levels. Employers continue to express confidence in local graduates through advance job offers, even before they graduate – a strong testament to the university’s applied learning pedagogy and programmes. 

If you’re ready to innovate with industry to impact the economy and society, check out the slew of programmes available at SIT to set you on the path that’s right for you. Visit to find out more.