Following the previous stories about Choo Ming and Alex, we are continuing our series on the career paths of local graduates in Computer Science. Here are the stories of Eugene and Wen Jie, who started off the working life very differently from each other.
Eugene graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2011 with a degree in Computer Science.
Model student Eugene achieved first-class honours in his degree, and was always on the Dean's list year after year. Upon graduation, he joined an international bank as a software engineer. For many students, this would be a dream come true, with promises of high pay and a stable career.
However, Eugene's company were turned off by the high cost of setting up their headquarters in Singapore, and ended up relocating it's back-office operations to cheaper countries, like China and India.
Eugene was lucky - he managed to keep his job. However, having seen so many of his fellow NUS graduate peers lose theirs, he lost faith in the idea that his role was secure, and began looking around.
Given his qualifications and employment history, Eugene unsurprisingly received interest from several potential employers. He opted to move to a consultancy with a global reputation, hoping that a client-facing role might offer more stability in an uncertain world.
So far? All is well over at his new company. Eugene enjoys his current role, even though it does require a lot of traveling. However, he feels that he still can handle it at the moment as he is not yet married.
Wen Jie attained a degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2012.
Unlike Eugene, his career did not start out on a high. Wen Jie was not a top student, and as such, his job search took a bit of time.
This can be a stressful and nerve-wracking phase of any young person's life. It can seem as though all your peers are taking off while you are stuck far behind. Wen Jie certainly felt like that.
"Most of my friends received at least one offer a couple of months before graduating in Computer Science," he tells us. "I was really worried back then."
But Wen Jie hung in there, and sure enough, a job came his way. He joined a local company as a software engineer, working on projects across many different industries.
Not all of the projects were interesting to him, though. In particular, maintenance projects were extremely boring to him.
Of the five Systems Development Life Cycles (SDLCs) he worked on, financial projects were the most appealing to him. "They are fast paced, and you get a clear sense that everything is a top priority," Wen Jie says.
After four years at this company, he decided to move on earlier this year, and ended up joining a local fintech startup,
Is the current market promising for local talent?
It's telling that both our graduates think that fintech is the most likely area of growth in Singapore at the moment. "The industry seems completely different to how it was three years ago," Eugene told us. "The government is investing heavily in it, and local companies are starting to pay a lot more attention."