Issue 51, June 2007
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  NTU - producing highly valued, much sought after graduates  

The 2006 Graduate Employment Survey reaffirms the fact that employers prefer NTU graduates, with the Class of 2006 commanding higher salary, and close to 100% being offered jobs within four months upon graduation.

NTU graduates from the Class of 2006 got a flying start to their career, with close to 100% of the sizeable cohort of more than 4,200 graduates landing a job within four months upon their graduation.

Hired faster, paid more
If you think that's impressive, here's more. The same batch of graduates also commanded a higher salary than their seniors, drawing a mean gross monthly salary of $2,700, up from $2,600 the previous year, with the salaries of top earners exceeding $10,000 per month.

These heartening statistics culled from the 2006 Graduate Employment Survey (GES) attest to the fact that NTU graduates are hired faster and paid more. The results also affirm that NTU's curriculum and faculty adequately prepare our graduates to succeed in their chosen career in the many different fields.

Multiple job offers pouring in before exam
A stellar example is Kong Yi Ling, who graduated with first class honours in Accountancy and has made the Dean List three times. She received eight job offers before her final examinations last year and is now a management trainee with Bank of America.

For Yi Ling, the Nanyang Business School (NBS) has prepared her well for the challenges of her current post, which involves selling foreign exchange products to institution clients like global hedge funds and regional central banks.

"The NBS-NTU curriculum was a sharp and potent mix of knowledge and real-life applications," she explains. "The Project Discovery pedagogy at NBS taught me how to seek and develop knowledge in a dynamic, learning based environment and this has calculated a thirst for knowledge, and preparing me to cope effectively with uncertainty, all of which are essential in my line of work today."

High demand for Biological Sciences graduates
The future is bright for NTU's pioneer batch of Biological Sciences graduates who enjoyed 100%  job placement. Of these, 30% have went on to pursue further studies, giving a boost to Singapore's needed pool of PhD holders for the life sciences industry.

Tan Li Xuan is a prime example of how an NTU education has propelled her in her chosen career. She has benefited from the board based curriculum at NTU's School of Biological Sciences (SBS), which provided her with a foundation in Biological Sciences as well as training in technological and business aspect. Today, she is based in New Hampshire, USA working for a global custom manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals.

"I am very proud to see our first batch of students doing so well," says Prof James Tam, Chair of NTU SBS. "Our tailored curriculum and unique pedagogy have prepared our graduates well for any career."

Equally in high demand are our graduates from the Engineering college, which formed the largest cohort, with 96% employed within four months of graduation. Graduates from Accountancy, Business, Communication Studies and Engineering also enjoyed similar quick job placement, with an impressive 100% of Accountancy graduates and 99% of graduates from Business as well as Communication Studies landing jobs soon after their graduation. 

NTU graduates a cut above the rest
NTU graduates are also high on the list of recruiters from multinational corporations, forming  the bulk of 2006 hires for these major employers. Seven out of 10 graduates which Citibank hired for its coveted management associate positions in 2006 were NTU graduates, while a third of global engineers hired by Toshiba Japan were from NTU, forming the largest number that the corporation hired from a university outside Japan.

Public accounting firm Ernst & Young recruited mainly from NTU, hiring more than 160 business school graduates.  Graduates from NBS also earned an all time high average monthly salary of $2,939, excluding bonuses.

On the good showing of NBS graduates, Prof Choo Teck Min, Assoc Dean of NBS enthuses, "We are pleased that our graduates command better pay, especially since they spent just three years pursuing NBS's three-year direct honours accountancy and business programmes. They join the job market ahead of their peers, and with one more year of work experience, a salary increment of a couple of hundreds can be expected."

Quality Education
Take Jason Chua, who graduated from NBS last year with a Bachelor of Business degree in Banking and Finance. Now a corporate finance analyst with Deutsche Bank, he credits the school for getting him to where he is today.

"As a result of the skills picked up during my three years at NBS, I am now equipped with a solid foundation in banking and finance, which has opened doors to a slew of career opportunities," says Jason.

In addition to getting a world class education, Jason also developed a keen sense of business acumen when he set up the Business Case Club with a group of friends, with support from the school. "This initiative has provided me with the confidence, leadership and organisational skills to launch my career as an investment banker," he adds.

Ready for the industry, ready for the world
What are the attributes that employers value in our graduates and made a NTU graduate stand out from the others?

Mr Ryo Koshimizu, Deputy Manager of Toshiba Corporation's Recruiting Centre in Tokyo shares that his company has confidence in NTU's engineers. "I believe NTU's approach to training its students has helped the university groomed a very special breed of engineers who graduate ready for the industry and the real world," he adds. "The graduates' engineering knowledge and know-how are simply top-notch. They also possess good people management and interaction skills."

Public accounting firm Ernst & Young also gave their endorsement for NTU's quality graduates. "Every year, we notice the quality of NTU graduates getting better - they have a wider perspective, great attitude towards work and articulate issues well," says Mr Ong Yew Huat, Country Managing Partner of Ernst & Young.

The fact that nine in ten NTU graduates were offered jobs before or within a  month of graduation attests to the employability of the NTU graduates. Almost 3,400 graduates - or about 80% of the Class of 2006 - responded to the survey, which also found that the first batch of students who participated in NTU's Global Immersion Programme to China and the United States chalked up an average monthly salary of $2,900.

Getting ahead with overseas exposure
Besides industry-relevant internships and international exposure through global immersion, NTU students also benefitted from the university's unique residential experience, as well as extensive career services offered on campus. Backed by this impressive track record, more than 70% of the Class of 2006 graduates were snapped up by the private sector.

For Darryl Wang Kee Soon, the self development opportunities have given him the added edge he needed to clinch his current job at the Institute of Microelectronics where he is working under a PhD scholarship programme. He shares that he was able to acquire valuable people management and organisation skills when living on campus, and also during his overseas experience as part of the global education programmes offered by NTU.

"I learnt to be resourceful and independent, and how to fit seamlessly into a new environment when I spent a semester at Canada's University of Toronto as an exchange student," he says. "In addition, I was also an intern at a startup company in Shanghai during my industrial attachment. Perhaps these global experiences and exposure won my employer over."

"The NTU overseas experience is special and stand out from others. It offers a multi-country and multi-cultural exposure for a period of up to a year. Students can opt to spend six months in one country and another six in a different country," says Assoc Provost, Prof Er Meng Hwa.

NTU graduates shine in job market

  • NTU graduates were hired faster than their predecessors and paid more on average than fresh graduates of other local universities. Their mean gross monthly salary was S$2,700, excluding bonuses.
  • 100% of NTU's Biological Sciences and Accountancy graduates are employed.
  • 99% of Business graduates and Communication Studies graduates were offered jobs.
  • Nine in 10 received job offers before or within a month of graduation.
  • Close to 100% of NTU's 4200 students received job offers within four months of graduation.

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