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Survey: Ecommerce employers jump in popularity among Singapore graduates

In 2021, there has been a surge in interest among local students and fresh university graduates in Singapore to work for ecommerce companies such as Shopee, Amazon, and Lazada. That’s according to an annual national graduate careers survey by GTI Media Singapore.


In addition, US tech giant Microsoft remained unbeaten as the most desirable company to work for among graduates for the third year running.


The report surveyed more than 13,900 students and fresh graduates from local universities as part of the annual Singapore Graduate Barometer survey, which ran from June 2020 to February 2021. Respondents were asked to vote for the employers they intended to apply for upon graduation.


Of the top 100 ranked companies that respondents were most keen on working for in 2021, ecommerce employers saw huge gains in popularity. In particular, Shopee ascended more than 30 spots from the previous year, joining fellow online marketplace Amazon among the top 10 most desirable employers.


Players like Grab and Lazada also surged in the rankings, ascending from the previous year by 18 and 17 spots, respectively.


“Given how ecommerce proved to be a resilient growth sector in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic, it should be no surprise that local graduates view it as an exciting industry to be in during this time,” said Isaac Hee, managing director at GTI Media Singapore. Despite global supply chain disruptions, graduates appear to be optimistic that the ecommerce boom over the past year will be here to stay, he adds.


Among Singaporean graduates who were keen on careers in tech, the top 10 firms they intended to apply to for their first jobs were:

  1. Microsoft

  2. Shopee

  3. Amazon

  4. Micron

  5. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

  6. Grab

  7. IBM

  8. Government Technology Agency (GovTech)

  9. Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA)

  10. Dyson


When asked about key factors that influenced their choice of employer, graduates keen on tech careers identified the following as their top five priorities:

  1. Good career progression prospects

  2. Working under a good leader

  3. Equal opportunities

  4. Personal development and growth

  5. Good work-life balance


“It is interesting to note that while graduates searching for work in other sectors listed job security as one of their top five priorities in 2021, graduates keen on careers in tech don’t seem to be feeling that same pressure,” Hee said.


According to the managing director, the tech industry has not only stayed stable, but it has also grown in 2021. Add this to the difficulties that employers in Singapore are currently facing to employ foreign tech talent, and it’s a good time to be entering the tech industry for local graduates. “The demand for local tech talent far outstrips supply.”


But when respondents were asked if they intended to launch a startup of their own after graduation, only 26% said “yes” – the lowest percentage in recent years. This implies that the economic volatility due to the pandemic has made local graduates a lot more risk-averse, preferring to ride things out by starting their careers with an established employer instead of launching out on their own.


While the recent pandemic has influenced new graduates’ job hunting attitudes, continued interests in the tech industry is ultimately a positive for Singapore’s ongoing growth in this sector.

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