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Economics graduate hoping to begin career in Singapore

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pr33
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Economics graduate hoping to begin career in Singapore

Postby pr33 » Sun, 29 Nov 2009 1:37 am

Hi all

I am a British citizen currently based in the UK studying for a master’s. I have no professional experience to speak of but am hoping to begin my career in Singapore after I graduate in the summer.

I have been somewhat discouraged after browsing through this forum. Several posts have said employers are very reluctant to employ foreigners, and that with no experience or skills that Singaporeans lack you are wasting your time. Is this really true? If so why does an organisations such as Contact Singapore devote a section of its website to foreign students? Given that Singapore spends so much on overseas scholarships, I had assumed they would be happy to get me, with similar academic qualifications (LSE, Cambridge), for free. I do not expect (or want) an ‘expat’ lifestyle, just enough to subsist on while doing something I find interesting.

Should I be focusing on multinationals with graduate programmes or do I stand a chance with smaller companies? Is it best to focus on getting some kind of internship and hope it leads on to something more permanent? Or is my best option to work in London for a company with a Singapore office and aim for a transfer? (I’m hoping not). I plan to remain in Singapore for a significant amount of time (yes my girlfriend is bonded in case you were wondering). Is the in-principle approval for permanent residency something I should be looking into?

Any advice regarding my particular sector would also be much appreciated. My master’s is in economics and ideally I want to find work as an economist. Is the public sector a realistic option for me in Singapore? I’ve emailed MTI twice with no response, so its not looking too hopeful. My search for economic consultancies with Singapore offices has been surprisingly fruitless, does anyone know of any?

Any advice or opinions would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 29 Nov 2009 9:40 am

What you read on government public relation sites does not always translate to what MOM and ICA actually do on the ground. What we give here is primarily anecdotal evidence. You are free to gamble if you so desire.

:wink:

madura
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Re: Economics graduate hoping to begin career in Singapore

Postby madura » Sun, 27 Dec 2009 1:15 am

pr33 wrote:If so why does an organisations such as Contact Singapore devote a section of its website to foreign students?


To attract graduates from fields where there are labour shortages - like health care, digital media etc. Unfortunately, economics isn't one of them.

Is the public sector a realistic option for me in Singapore? I’ve emailed MTI twice with no response, so its not looking too hopeful.


No, the public sector does NOT hire non-singaporean fresh grads with no experience, especially so if your degree is in economics. As you have said - "Singapore spends so much on overseas scholarships". They have no problems filling these positions with Singaporeans on these overseas scholarships and also graduates from the local universities. Hence, they are unlikely to consider a foreigner for such positions.

Since there is a girlfriend in the picture, your best option would be to get married :) :)

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Re: Economics graduate hoping to begin career in Singapore

Postby ceej1979 » Sun, 24 Jan 2010 2:27 pm

pr33 wrote:Hi all

I am a British citizen currently based in the UK studying for a master’s. I have no professional experience to speak of but am hoping to begin my career in Singapore after I graduate in the summer.

I have been somewhat discouraged after browsing through this forum. Several posts have said employers are very reluctant to employ foreigners, and that with no experience or skills that Singaporeans lack you are wasting your time. Is this really true? If so why does an organisations such as Contact Singapore devote a section of its website to foreign students? Given that Singapore spends so much on overseas scholarships, I had assumed they would be happy to get me, with similar academic qualifications (LSE, Cambridge), for free. I do not expect (or want) an ‘expat’ lifestyle, just enough to subsist on while doing something I find interesting.

Should I be focusing on multinationals with graduate programmes or do I stand a chance with smaller companies? Is it best to focus on getting some kind of internship and hope it leads on to something more permanent? Or is my best option to work in London for a company with a Singapore office and aim for a transfer? (I’m hoping not). I plan to remain in Singapore for a significant amount of time (yes my girlfriend is bonded in case you were wondering). Is the in-principle approval for permanent residency something I should be looking into?

Any advice regarding my particular sector would also be much appreciated. My master’s is in economics and ideally I want to find work as an economist. Is the public sector a realistic option for me in Singapore? I’ve emailed MTI twice with no response, so its not looking too hopeful. My search for economic consultancies with Singapore offices has been surprisingly fruitless, does anyone know of any?

Any advice or opinions would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


It's all based on fields of study. They want top grads. But only in certain fields. Fields that are generally more directly work orientated.

Physics, Chemistry, engineering, and things like that.

With economics, of course it's a top degree, and of course you could do a lot of things with it, but unless you plan to be an economist, then they can probably fill those same roles with various degree graduates.

As in, could a maths graduate do the same job as a economics graduate, if it was say some sort of analyst role? Of course.

I'd suggest it would be pretty hard to get a permit in Singapore, with no experience whatsoever.

They tend to want to want people who can already do the job. And who can improve the company. Not graduates, who they will have to train up for 2 years.

You may see yourself as having vast potential. But there will be 500 other people applying for the job with the same degree, and potential, and also 5 years on the job experience.

I'd suggest picking an attractive field - as in something they need - and getting 2-3 years experience.

The HR guy I worked with when I applied told me their 2 criteria:

1: Degree
2: At least 3 years in the field you are applying for.

They want the real deal I'm afraid. Not potential

peachygrl
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did you find a job in singapore?

Postby peachygrl » Wed, 16 Jun 2010 12:52 pm

PR33,

Did you go to Singapore after all? And did you find a job? I am a European economics graduate as well and already made the leap to SG in search of a job...


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