askST: Do tech graduates still enjoy good job prospects?
My son has a place to study computer and information systems at Singapore Management University (SMU). How concerned should students be about the news about layoffs and hiring freezes in the tech industry? What are the universities doing to help improve the job prospects of tech graduates?
The job outcomes for SMU’s class of 2022 should be out by the end of this month. But anecdotally at least, SMU graduates, including those from the School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS), continue to do well.
I looked at the employment outcomes for 2021 graduates and SCIS graduates had an overall employment rate of 98.2 percent, with seven out of 10 jobs before graduation.
The average monthly salary for Information Systems graduates was $4,906 and the median gross monthly salary was $5,000, compared to $4,542 in 2020. Those with Cum Laude or better had an average gross monthly salary of $5,499 and a median gross salary of of $5,350 earned.
Some of the fields the school graduates have gone into include digital transformation, artificial intelligence, IoT (Internet of Things) solutions and cyber security. Their employers are not only technology companies, but also from the banking and finance industry, as well as consultants plus retail and trade, healthcare, education, marketing, advertising and media firms.
You asked what the universities are doing to help tech graduates with their job search. SMU, and indeed all six local universities, have programs to help students find the jobs that will be the right fit for them and gain access to those jobs.
For example, SMU assigns certified career coaches for every student. They hold one-on-one sessions on researching and identifying potential careers, guiding them on choosing the right internships, building their resumes and writing cover letters. They even conduct mock job interviews.
Recruitment talks and information sessions on campus for companies to seek prospective interns and full-time staff are also held. SMU recently had several sessions for students, including SCIS sessions.
SCIS Dean Professor Pang Hwee Hwa assured parents and students that the school continues to focus on the industry relevance of its programs and career preparation for its students, including internships.
He said IT professionals who can innovate solutions that create value are still in demand, stressing that graduates should be flexible and consider various job opportunities.