SINGAPORE Airlines has emerged as the most sought after employer among business, engineering and science students here, beating big-name financial institutions to the top spot in a recent employer image survey.
While business graduates remained partial to the financial sector - banks dominated the top-10 - Google and Walt Disney Company ranked seventh and ninth, showing that a strong brand counts too.
These findings came from Swedish research firm Universum's online poll of 1,200 business and 1,500 engineering and natural sciences students from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore Institute of Management from February to April. Each student was asked to name five employers that they most wished to work for.
CEO of Universum APAC, thinks that it made 'perfect sense' that SIA took the top spot, given that it ranked 33rd on Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies last year, is Singapore's flagship carrier and one of the largest companies here strongly linked to innovation, safety and service excellence.
Business students naturally gravitate to the financial sector too, noting that since Singapore is one of the world's biggest foreign exchange trading hubs, the largest currency traders are in the top 10.
Even so, hints of the recent crisis' impact crept into this year's rankings. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, though still popular, slipped a few spots, while the Monetary Authority of Singapore rose to debut in the top 10 this year. [ I believe it is not easy for graduates unless their grades are top, getting into MAS would be very slim chance ]
Management consulting seems to have become less popular with business graduates too. McKinsey & Company dropped out of the top 10 while others such as The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company each tumbled some 20 rungs from their placings last year.
Engineering and natural sciences students chose a more diverse set of ideal employers, spanning industries from oil & gas and IT to pharmaceuticals. Public service organisations made the list too, with the Ministry of Education's teaching jobs rising four spots to rank sixth. [ Probably the emphasis on teachers salary scale and adjusting to match market or industrial figure for graduates have helped pull in alot of job seekers into the teaching sector ]
Given the growing significance of petroleum refining and chemicals industries to Singapore's economy, it is no surprise that ExxonMobil and Shell ranked second and third after SIA. Keppel Corporation also rejoined the leader board as ninth most preferred employer of engineering and science students this year, after slipping to eleventh in 2009. [ Keppel Corp has taken steps and alot of initiatives in promoting it's Corporation image and what lies ahead with the future prospect of marine and offshore industry. It has also tied up with universities to work on specialised field of studies relating to such industry and the efforts have surely reached the young minds into coming to this "no more a sunset" industry. Having interviewed so many fresh graduates, everyone of them walked in and tell me, with their facial expression full of sincerity, they wish to work in Keppel group of companies and they tell me Keppel is "Big and well-established" and hope to land a job here. Keppel has also set up a research company KOMTech hiring many doctorates specialising and working on new areas of expertise and research in the offshore and marine arena, area like the artic sector. ]