Top Employers in Singapore, as Voted by Fresh Graduates

July 16, 20199:00 am5055 views

Technology firm Microsoft was voted as Singapore’s most popular employer among local students and university graduates in 2019, according to an annual national graduate careers survey by GTI Media Singapore.

Over 13,800 students and fresh graduates from local universities participated in the survey, which ran from 2018 to early 2019, indicating the employers they intended to apply to upon graduation as well as their early career preferences. Trailing Microsoft for the position of most popular graduate employer in 2019 was the Ministry of Education (MOE), followed by Big Four accountancy and professional services firm PwC.

“Local graduates are now increasingly seeing tech as the next big frontier when it comes to their early careers,” said Isaac Hee, managing director at GTI Media Singapore. “The data on student preferences from this year’s survey show that careers with tech firms now have universal appeal to students across all disciplines of study – including those who do not come from STEM-related majors.”  

The survey results also indicated students’ preferences for the most popular graduate employers across 16 industry sectors in 2019. The top employers for these sectors are as follows:

  • Accounting & Financial Management — PwC
  • Banking and Financial Services — DBS Bank
  • Consulting — McKinsey & Company
  • Energy, Oil & Gas, Utilities — ExxonMobil
  • Engineering, Design, & Manufacturing — 3M
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) — Unilever
  • Healthcare & Pharmaceutical — Ministry of Health (MOH)
  • Hospitality, Leisure, & Tourism – Changi Airport Group
  • Insurance & Risk Management – AIA Singapore Pte Ltd
  • Investment Banking & Investment Management — DBS Bank 
  • IT & Technology — Microsoft
  • Aviation, Transport, & Supply Chain — Singapore Airlines
  • Media & Advertising – Mediacorp
  • Property & Real Estate – Mapletree
  • Public Sector — Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • Scientific Research & Development – GlaxoSmithKline

The survey showed that local students and graduates were more optimistic about the ease of landing their first job in 2019 compared to 2018. 81 percent of job-seeking students expected to be hired in 2019 within 10 applications or less, up from 74 percent in the previous year.

Respondents to the survey also indicated that the three most important factors that influenced their choice of graduate employers were – in order – the promise of good career prospects, positive leadership styles at an employer, and prospects for personal development.  

“It’s interesting to note that each year, graduates consistently rank good leadership as one of the key determining factors behind their choice of employer,” Hee said. “Employers would do well to showcase the types of leaders that graduates can expect to work under during the recruitment process. It’s clear that graduates buy into the leaders first before they buy into the company itself.”

“The fact that personal development now ranks as one of the top three attraction factors shows that graduates are also concerned about how they will grow not just as professionals, but also as individuals while on the job. They want to know how working under this employer will build their character and make them better, more well-rounded people. That’s another angle that employers can approach during their student outreach.”   

The survey was administered by GTI Media Singapore with the support of the careers services centres at local universities including NUS, SMU, NTU, SUSS and SUTD. The results of the survey determined the rankings of Singapore’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers 2019. For the full list of sector finalists and employers ranked in the top 100 according to the latest survey, visit

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