Around 9 in 10 of Singapore University of Social Sciences’ (SUSS) second batch of full-time graduates, who entered the labour force in 2019, secured a job within six months of completing their final examinations. This indicates a continued strong demand for SUSS graduates, their skillsets and aptitude.
The results were revealed in the annual Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey (JAUGES), jointly conducted by SUSS and the other Autonomous Universities. A total of 220 of the 252 SUSS alumni who graduated in 2019 participated in the survey – a response rate of 87.3%. They were from the Accountancy, Finance, Marketing and Human Resource Management (HRM) programmes.
Among graduates employed in full-time permanent positions, 93.6% received at least one job offer. 46.8% of those with full-time permanent jobs received more than two job offers.
81.3% of the graduates surveyed felt that their SUSS education and experience prepared them well in self-directed learning and helped mould their character. Two-thirds of the respondents felt that they gained valuable soft skills such as time management, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving – all essential in today’s workplace.
Among SUSS’ second batch of full-time Accountancy graduates who entered the labour force in 2019, 91.1% secured a job within six months of completing their final examinations.
Among SUSS’s pioneer batch of full-time HRM graduates, 87.1% of those in the labour force gained employment within six months. The distinctive HRM programme, developed by HR practitioners in collaboration with SUSS faculty, is the only such full-time undergraduate programme offered by an Autonomous University in Singapore.
SUSS President, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat said, “We are proud and privileged to be part of our graduates’ learning journey. We believe they are work-ready, have a practical bent, and will make impactful contributions to employers and society.
They reflect the outcomes of the ‘Head, Heart, Habit’ education that SUSS has given them and will make their mark for the greater good of society. We also encourage our alumni to continually upgrade themselves and remain socially conscious, plus stay relevant and competitive in our changing world.”
How has SUSS helped our graduating students find jobs?
The survey also revealed that two-thirds of graduates found that SUSS’s Career Services had a positive impact on them and prepared them for the job market.
SUSS’s Career Development Office, a department of the Centre for Experiential Learning, curates and facilitates a wide spectrum of work-related programmes, courses and workshops to support students in their transition from the university to the workforce.
Students receive training in personal branding, job search and interviewing skills, opportunities to engage with industry practitioners through talks, company visits and networking sessions, as well as career-related coaching. Students also receive career advice from career mentors which are tailored to their needs.
A work attachment of minimally 24 weeks is a graduation requirement for all SUSS full-time degree programmes. The stint exposes students to authentic work environments, provides opportunities for the application and development of skills and competences, as well as facilitates the assimilation of work ethics and soft skills for work. Every student on work attachment is paired with a career mentor who guides him/her throughout the learning experience.
These mentors bring with them a wealth of commercial and professional experience, strong connections in many industry sectors, and deep knowledge of industry trends and developments – all of which are important in helping students be competitive in the job market. Almost half the graduates surveyed were offered full-time positions at the companies where they did their work attachments.
In addition to the work attachment, other graduation requirements include overseas experience programmes and service-learning and community engagement initiatives. The e-portfolio and SUSS Core courses, together with the academic curriculum, round up the suite of academic and experiential components of a holistic education, focused on developing the ‘Head, Heart and Habit’ of every SUSS graduate.
What do SUSS graduates say about the University’s educational experience?
“SUSS helped in my character building. I was shy and afraid of change. However, throughout the course of my degree, I was able to join many school programmes which helped build my soft skills and enhanced my employability.” –Kavin Kautham, 26, SUSS Accountancy Graduate
Mr Kavin Kautham graduated from SUSS with a Bachelor of Accountancy.
Kautham is presently working with Deloitte as an Associate Auditor, where he feels that the company’s culture is conducive for learning and growth. He was offered the full-time role because of his outstanding work attachment performance.
Kautham is grateful for the myriad opportunities provided by SUSS for students to build their portfolios, such as leadership programmes and multiple internship opportunities – both local and overseas. After his work attachment with Deloitte, he took the initiative to join Donasco & Co., an auditing firm in Cambodia, for an additional 8-week internship.
Kautham believes that the compulsory 6-month internships helped him gain insightful experience in the workforce, which gave him an edge over other undergraduates.
During his time in SUSS, he was active in Social Entrepreneurship and participated actively in an immersive learning programme in Canada. Kautham also took part in a 15-day Adventure Leadership Programme in New Zealand, where he was the Team Leader for expeditions.
“The best thing you can take away from a University is not what you learn. Rather, it’s about learning how to learn and nurturing a spirit of lifelong learning. Combined with a passion for community, the knowledge enables us to make a positive, lasting difference in people’s lives.” –Melissa Lim, 26, SUSS HRM Graduate
Ms Melissa Lim graduated with a 2nd Upper Honours degree in 2019 from our full-time Bachelor of HRM programme. She was the Valedictorian of S R Nathan School of Human Development.
“The university ensured we are up-to-date with the relevant skills and knowledge, and it also exposed us to real-life work experience and learning opportunities via work attachments. These various career development initiatives helped empower and ease us into post-graduation working life.” –Joven Lee Jun Hon, 27, SUSS Finance Graduate
Mr Joven Lee Jun Hon graduated with a 2nd Upper Honours in our Bachelor of Science in Finance with a Minor in Analytics, from the Class of 2019. Joven is presently working with Schroder Investment Management, where he is grateful for the growth opportunities and support given by his supervisors.
He undertook his work attachment with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank), and interned as an Analyst in the private equity investments team with Pavilion Capitol, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. Through these industry experiences, Joven is confident that he is equipped with the skills and acumen to embark on a career in finance.
 The SUSS Core courses provide a common experience in the humanities and applied social sciences to all SUSS undergraduate students to achieve the broader goals of cross-disciplinary knowledge and competencies, and emphasises the importance and role of human skills in a technologised world. It offers a dedicated cluster of courses focused on emerging and complex local and global issues, teaching students to think critically, reflexively, empathetically, and creatively to provide well-reasoned personal responses as well as responses as trained professionals in their respective areas.