He added that at job fairs he attends, most representatives of large companies explicitly tell him that they don’t hire communications graduates.
On the other hand, many of his peers with more technical degrees had easily landed their ideal jobs, he said.
“Among my friends who are also graduates, engineers and computer scientists (graduates) have their jobs and they are quite lucrative,” he said.
‘HAYING WHILE THE SUN SHINES’
Speaking to TODAY, HR experts said the greater demand for graduates with more technical degrees such as those in IT and engineering, compared to those with more general degrees, is not a post-pandemic phenomenon.
“This problem has always existed for general degree holders,” said Ms. Carmen Wee, founder and managing director of HR consultancy firm Carmen Wee & Associates.
But that doesn’t have to be a limiting factor, she said. In many booming industries, there will likely be positions that require generalist degrees.
“Some industries have lower barriers to entry – HR jobs, for example, are just about hiring and some companies are also willing to train staff,” she said.
Agreeing, Mr. Adrian Choo, founder of career consultancy Career Agility International, said that many employers are not just looking for an advanced degree, but also their soft skills and abilities.
Amid heightened competition for talent, companies need to offer more than higher salaries, HR experts say, noting that many younger employees are increasingly concerned about non-monetary issues such as balance work-life.
While a higher salary may attract more hires, it may not get them to stay with the company long-term, Ms. Wee said.
“You can’t just throw (money) at young people and talent; they might just come but they might not stay,” she said. “Rigidity is related to culture and leadership, as well as indirect factors regarding how employees will grow in their careers.”
Additionally, using salaries to attract or retain talent is a losing battle because “another company can always offer a higher salary,” she added.
For job seekers, economists have warned that even with the sun currently shining on the job market, the good times won’t last long.
The push towards digitalization over the past two years will help fill some labor gaps, said DBS senior economist Mr Seah. “In manufacturing, continued efforts to automate processes mean fewer workers will be needed in the future,” he said.
And with the reopening of borders, companies will also consider hiring foreign talent both physically and remotely, he added. “The pivot to remote work during the pandemic means that some vacancies may even be filled by workers based overseas and doing the work remotely.”
Choo also warned that another recession could be looming, which would quickly snuff out any job-hunting benefits fresh graduates are currently enjoying.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last month that a global recession could occur within the next two years, due to rising inflationary pressures and global political unrest.
“My advice is to make hay while the sun is shining,” Mr Choo said.