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PwC voted by local university students and graduates as most popular graduate employer.

PR Newswire Asia - 2017

Accounting and financial management firm, PwC, was voted as Singapore's most popular employer among local students and university graduates in 2017, according to an annual national survey of local university students’ and graduates’ job-hunting expectations by GTI Media Singapore.

Over 12,000 students and fresh graduates from local institutions of higher education were invited to name the employers they intended to apply to upon graduation. Following close behind PwC in terms of student popularity was DBS Bank, which moved up one spot to second place from 2016. Another “Big Four” accountancy firm, EY, cemented the third spot for the most popular graduate employers of 2017.

“Principles matter tremendously to graduate jobseekers in 2017,” said Isaac Hee, managing director of GTI Media Singapore. “83 percent of the students we surveyed stated that ethical and moral considerations played an important role in determining their choice of employer.”

“In students’ eyes, among the most important factors in choosing a prospective employer in 2017 was seeing strong, principled leadership and equal opportunities for staff regardless of gender, background, or creed,” Hee said. “This makes sense when put in the context of the 2017 news cycle – talk of leadership shortages, the spread of populist agendas, and social awareness efforts like the #MeToo movement.

“Our graduate jobseekers are feeling the pulse of the world around them. Finding a job isn’t just about seeing good career prospects. They want to work with employers whose principles and ethics resonate with theirs.”

Through the survey, students and graduates also identified the most popular employers by sector of work whom they intended to apply to in 2017. They were:

· Accountancy & Financial Management — PwC

· Banking and Financial Services — DBS Bank

· Consulting — PwC

· Fast Moving Consumer Goods — L’Oreal

· Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism – Changi Airport Group

· Insurance & Risk Management – American International Assurance (AIA)

· Investment Banking & Investment Management — J.P. Morgan

· Media & Advertising – Mediacorp

· Property & Real Estate – CapitaLand

· Public Sector — Ministry of Education (MOE)

The survey showed that 53 percent of local students and graduates expected their job search to last less than two months before landing their first job. 74 percent of them also expected to submit only 10 applications or less before receiving a job offer. Both factors indicate an overall sense of confidence among students in the strength of the local job market.

However, only 49 percent of students surveyed in 2017 had completed a formal internship with an employer. By contrast, 62 percent of students stated that they believed their degree course alone had already adequately prepared them for the demands of the job market.

“There’s still work to be done in building an employability mindset in our local students and graduates,” Hee said. “Ironically, students’ perceptions that the job market is strong may also lull them into thinking that employment is a given so long as they can graduate with a degree. This often results in them being ill-prepared for the demands of the 21st century job market and having to play ‘catch-up’ later on.”

“Ultimately, it’s about persisting in the message that employability is more than just a matter of good grades. It’s about challenging students to look beyond the classroom and to pursue real work experience. It’s about encouraging them to become more well-rounded individuals by stepping out, seeing the world, and exploring interesting opportunities. Only then can they build their employability skill stack.”

The survey – The Singapore Graduate Barometer 2017 – was administered by GTI Media with the support of the careers services centres at NUS, SMU, NTU, SIM and SUTD. The results of the survey determined the rankings of Singapore's 100 Leading Graduate Employers of 2017.

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