More SUTD students securing jobs before graduation

More undergraduates from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) are securing jobs before graduation, with many benefiting from Singapore's push towards becoming a Smart Nation.

The employment rate at the point of graduation this year stood at over 60 per cent - 15 per cent higher than the year before - with about one in four receiving return offers from their internship companies, said the university in a media release yesterday. In comparison, Nanyang Technological University reported that about 66 per cent of their students secured jobs pre-graduation this year.

SUTD president Thomas Magnanti said at the university's third graduation ceremony yesterday, where more than 300 students received their degrees: "SUTD has prepared our students with the relevant skills aligned with Singapore's push towards becoming a Smart Nation, with three in four students securing jobs with companies in this area."

He added that graduates were equipped with the skills to be "technically grounded leaders and innovators who can help create a better world through technology and design".

SUTD was set up as Singapore's fourth university in 2009 to offer students a multi-disciplinary education, cutting across fields like engineering, design and the humanities.

Yesterday also saw the university's first batch of eight PhD students graduating.

Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, who was the guest of honour at the event, said that SUTD has "delivered a stellar report card" for a young university.

The 2016 Joint Graduate Employment Survey, which looks at employment rates six months after students complete their final examinations, showed that SUTD graduates earned the highest median monthly salary of $3,650 across all local universities, he said.

Mr Ong also urged the graduates to identify their "unique selling proposition" and work on it in their new jobs.

He said that many young working adults believe in jumping from one job to another for two years to three years to build up their portfolio, but this "might be a big mistake".

"It is not about having a portfolio of jobs, but being able to demonstrate that all your learning and working experience adds up to a deep, specialised and valued skill," he said.

"Otherwise, to make a superhero reference, you are like an Avenger with no superpower, and will be out of the team."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 10, 2017, with the headline 'More SUTD students securing jobs before graduation'. Print Edition | Subscribe