SUSS graduates continue to shine amidst economic challenges

  • Close to nine in 10 SUSS fresh graduates were employed within six months of their final exams in 2023

Singapore, 22 February 2024 – Despite a challenging job market stemming from the weaker economic climate of 20231, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) graduates have demonstrated resilience. Among those in the labour force, close to nine in 10 full-time SUSS graduates were employed within six months of their final examinations last year, while nearly eight in 10 held full-time positions. Notably, disciplines such as Supply Chain Management and Accountancy boast employment rates exceeding 94%.

These 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 587 out of the 781 full-time graduates from the Class of 2023 participated in the survey, equivalent to a response rate of 75%. They were from the Early Childhood Education, Human Resource Management, Social Work, Accountancy, Business Analytics, Finance, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management programmes.

The mean and median gross monthly salaries for those in full-time permanent employment2 also rose to $3,986 and $3,700, compared to $3,833 and $3,600 in 2022, respectively. Of the remaining graduates, a number have pursued meaningful endeavours through or alongside part-time roles.

SUSS President, Professor Tan Tai Yong, said: “SUSS is proud to witness our graduates’ resilience and adaptability amid a challenging economic landscape and competitive job market. The increase in salaries for those in full-time employment also reflects employers’ recognition of our students’ qualifications and industry-relevant skillsets. Moreover, it is equally inspiring to see many of them embracing meaningful pursuits beyond traditional employment. In embodying SUSS’ ‘Dream, Dare, Do’ ethos, our graduates shape their futures with purpose and passion.”

1According to the Ministry of Manpower’s Labour Force in Singapore Advance Release 2023, 30 Nov 2023.
2Full-time permanent employment refers to the number of graduates working on a full-time permanent basis, as a proportion of graduates in the labour force (i.e. those who were working, or not working but actively looking and available for a job).

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Integrating theory and practice: Donovan's path to supply chain job-readiness

Graduates credited SUSS for its emphasis on applied learning and curriculum tailored to industry needs, recognising that their education not only provided relevant qualifications and essential skills, but imbued qualities vital for success in the workforce.

SUSS has also empowered individuals like Donavan Chua Kailun to pursue new career paths. Switching to an entirely new field, Donavan’s journey illustrates the potential for personal and professional growth when embracing change. Although he possessed a Diploma in Biotechnology, Donavan set his sights on venturing into the field of Supply Chain Management, which he felt was better aligned with his long-term career aspirations.

Donavan Chua Kailun_SUSS

Upon graduating from SUSS with a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management, Donavan embarked on a dynamic career path at Dyson. As a Global Supply Chain Graduate under Dyson’s Management Trainee programme, Donavan's role involves implementing a new system to collect data for analysis.

The relevance and responsiveness of SUSS’ curriculum to industry needs played a crucial role in Donavan’s professional development, providing him with valuable insights and skills essential for success in his new field. By integrating theory with practice, Donavan was able to transition smoothly from academia to the professional realm, setting the stage for his continued growth and success at Dyson.

He said: “Key modules such as Ocean Freight Management provided me with a solid understanding of the intricacies of my role, while holistic modules, such as those that cultivate business acumen, fostered critical thinking and seamlessly integrated theoretical and real-world skills. This comprehensive approach not only facilitated my transition from academia to the working world but also laid a sturdy foundation for my career growth in supply chain management.”

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Reaping the benefits of flexibility: Klarance’s success in blending work and study

As a Bachelor of Accountancy graduate, Klarance Tan Zhen Wei’s undergraduate learning journey highlights the value of a flexible curriculum that empowers students to balance academic pursuits with gaining work experience to tackle real-world challenges beyond the classroom.

Klarance Tan Zhen Wei_SUSS

SUSS’ provision of a flexible learning arrangement aligned with Klarance’s goal of accumulating hands-on work experience to enter the field of consultancy. Under this arrangement, Klarance embarked on three 6-month full-time internships during the day, where he refined his practical and professional skills while attending evening classes to further enrich his educational journey.

Navigating the demands of a work-study arrangement posed its share of challenges as he juggled between a full-time internship, classes and assignments. Clear communication with his superiors on his evening class commitments helped him balance school and workplace expectations.

“Studying hard to secure a ‘good job’ is a vague notion we often hear from our parents. What defines a good job? What does money truly bring? For me, it’s about clarity of purpose. It’s what fuels my determination, especially during challenging times. Knowing what we’re fighting for keeps us going when exhaustion sets in, motivating us to push through any obstacle,” shared Klarance.

Klarance has accomplished his goal by securing the role of an Associate at Deloitte's Financial Advisory Services arm. Yet, his connection with SUSS extends far beyond graduation. He remains actively involved in the Peer Mentoring programme, where he imparts his knowledge to current SUSS students as a volunteer tutor.

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Embracing a non-traditional pathway: Eunice’s journey in early childhood education

Not all professional journeys follow a conventional path. Some graduates opt for meaningful part-time roles to enrich their experiences and navigate varied circumstances.

Eunice Tan encountered an unexpected opportunity to work at Republic Polytechnic as a project support staff. Motivated by the chance to delve into research on children’s cognitive wellness, a topic deeply resonant with her academic pursuits, she opted to embrace this part-time role in August 2023.

Eunice Tan_SUSS

Today, Eunice works as a full-time English language teacher at an MOE Kindergarten, applying the knowledge she gained from her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree programme at SUSS. She also readily offers valuable guidance to her colleagues on research processes and suggests possible inquiry topics to explore in their Professional Learning Communities.

Reflecting on her formative years at SUSS, the only autonomous university in Singapore to offer an ECE degree, Eunice credits her alma mater for instilling in her a profound commitment to experiential learning and applied knowledge. Through attachments with different preschool environments, she honed her skills, gaining firsthand insights into the nuances of early childhood education. True to SUSS’ spirit of lifelong learning, Eunice intends to pursue an ECE master’s degree.

Eunice said: “I am grateful for my education at SUSS, as there was a strong emphasis on applied and experiential learning, which provided me with ample opportunities to acquire firsthand experiences in observing, assisting and teaching in real-world early childhood classrooms. This has prepared me well to enter the workforce and contribute positively to the sector.”

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