Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them?

In a post-COVID-19 economy, find out which industries still have the strongest graduate job outlook, as well as the skills you need for a successful application.
 Sarah Si Yan Ying
Sarah Si

Many employers may have slowed down on hiring this year in the wake of COVID-19 cutbacks, but that doesn’t mean things are all gloom and doom just yet! Even during recessionary periods like this, there are still graduate opportunities out there, provided you know where to look.

Here are a few industries which are still on the lookout for graduate hires at the moment. Read on to find out what skills employers in these areas of work keep an eye out for as well.


Gradsingapore_Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them_Fintech


As more and more businesses go cashless during this period and online transactions surge, financial technology (fintech) is not only doing well, it’s booming!

This industry growth is further bolstered by Singapore’s drive to keep its spot as a leader in fintech innovation with cutting-edge infrastructure and progressive regulations, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) rolling out digital banking licenses to non-banking employers as well.

Businesses in this area will be looking out for candidates who are not only solution-driven, but also strong in problem-solving, strategic and logical thinking. You’ll need to have a mind for innovation and product management as well, so make sure you read up on the latest developments in the fintech industry worldwide before you apply!

If you’re curious about what to expect from a graduate career in fintech, you can find out more here.


Gradsingapore_Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them_Digital communications and e-commerce

Digital communications and e-commerce

The pandemic has arguably accelerated the pace at which the digital transformation is sweeping across industries this year. Demand for roles in digital marketing, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and e-commerce are now on the rise. For instance, e-commerce platforms like Shopee and Lazada are still hiring graduates in areas such as product and business development, as well as data analytics.

Many businesses are now relying almost entirely on digital marketing and engagement to drive revenue growth this year. Where they once outsourced such functions to external contractors or agencies, many companies are now hiring internal teams to bring those functions back in-house. And as members of a digital-native generation, this is your time to shine!

At present, graduates who want to enter these fields are expected to at least have a working understanding of digital back ends and operations. Being able to code or do web design is definitely a plus depending on the role as well. But most important is the ability to spot trends in data and think critically about what those mean.

For digital marketing, on top of the aforementioned skills, strong knowledge of how to conduct digital marketing campaigns end-to-end is also a must, as are effective communication and interpersonal skills.


Gradsingapore_Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them_Logistics and supply chain management

Logistics and supply chain management

Online shopping has seen a meteoric rise and is now a major contributor in sustaining regional cross-border trade and consumption. The issue of moving all those goods quickly, safely, and efficiently has come to the forefront, which means the logistics industry is another area that now needs fresh hands on deck!

There are a range of positions available to graduates, from transport planning and management to designing or further optimising systems that move cargo over land, air, or sea. These roles are usually open to graduates from all areas of study, although some employers may prefer a related degree.

To enter this industry, you will need strong interpersonal, negotiation, and numerical skills, as well as the ability to think strategically and problem-solve. Good teamwork skills are essential too, as are solid project management and analytical skills.


Gradsingapore_Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them_Transportation and public utilities

Image credited to TODAYonline

Transportation and public utilities

Backed by the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line and 21.5km-long North South Corridor slated to run from Admiralty Road West to the East Coast Parkway, transportation engineering is another area with a strong hiring outlook in 2020.

Public utilities are also more crucial than ever now that everyone is working from home! Carbon taxes have resulted in utilities firms needing to innovate rapidly to keep meeting sustainable energy quotas even in the face of industry regulations. And with the Lion City now having an open market for utilities, the urgency to innovate is stronger than ever!

These projects need graduates with backgrounds in project management, architecture, and civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. There are roles available outside the Little Red Dot in this sector too, as Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan recently indicated that many more opportunities were open in countries such as Vietnam, China, India, and Thailand – which are all pushing through with their own railway projects.


Gradsingapore_Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them_Insurance


Although hiring in this sector has seen a slight dip, it remains one of the better fields graduates can look to in order to gain experience, hone their skills, and build professional credibility.

There are a variety of areas graduates can explore, from corporate underwriting, personal insurance, and even reinsurance (insurance for insurance companies)! Risk management is also another immensely important area of work during volatile times like these. However, you may be required to obtain qualifications by external professional bodies if you wish to advance your career there further.

In terms of skill sets, customer service and interpersonal skills are essential, as are numeracy and problem-solving skills. An eye for detail is a must as well. Some roles in this industry require graduates with numerate degrees, but there’s no need to fret if you don’t have one – you’re still welcome to try for other roles.


Gradsingapore_Which Industries Are Hiring Right Now, and What Skills Do You Need to Enter Them_The public sector

Image credited to the Financial Times

The public sector

Last but not least, the Singapore public sector has stepped to the forefront in helping graduates find work in a post-COVID-19 economy. The civil service has even created 15,000 new hiring roles during this time!

These jobs cover a diverse range of areas, spanning from technology, social services, and healthcare in the public service, to positions in higher education institutes and early childhood education. Jobseekers are advised to conduct research beforehand into your preferred areas before applying.

However, some positions may require specialised qualifications, so if you hold a general or unrelated degree, you may have to attend a conversion programme.

On the other hand, prior work experience is not particularly important, as most public sector employers will provide on-the-job training. However, graduates who are looking to enter this sector should be highly empathetic, have strong interpersonal and communication skills, and be team players.