Work and Education in Singapore

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Singapore is a country that values business and industry, and the culture of success means that education is viewed as being very important. Jobs for international academics can be found in various fields. Engineering is a key field for academia and industry alike on the small island of Singapore. On top of everything, English is the main language used in the educational system.

Education in Singapore

The four autonomous universities in Singapore are The National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and Nanyang Technological University. In addition to these, there are several private universities, polytechnics and other Higher Education Institutions. Please see the Ministry of Education (Singapore) for more details.

Collaboration with foreign universities is a major concern for HEIs in Singapore. The National Univesity of Singapore, for example, has had collaborative schemes with such major institutions as Duke University and Yale. Many other foreign universities have campuses in Singapore. There are many opportunities for international partnerships.

Industry in Singapore

Industry in Singapore has grown exponentially in the 21st century. The manufacturing industry has improved in areas such as chemicals, engineering and electronics. There is also a large percentage of foreign workers working in highly-skilled jobs, and Singapore relies on this foreign contingent to fill positions that have a very specific skills set. R&D is also a strong focus for both the government and private companies. Many international companies have set up branches in Singapore which opens up further opportunities for skilled foreign workers.

IT is another key area in Singaporean industry. The government-backed Infocomm Development Authority is a major employer of IT specialists and an industry leader in IT development. With such a well trained work force, and an ever increasing economy, there is a need for highly-qualified instructors and employees in Singapore. The next section explores how you can find a job in Singapore.

Finding a job

Search for a job online is the main way of finding a job in Singapore. International vacancies are often advertised here on There are also Singapore-specific job websites such as the government-backed Contact Singapore. The site has an excellent job portal for vacancies in Singapore. It is also a comprehensive resource for information on scholarships, visa issues and employment trends in Singapore.

Although Contact Singapore features plenty of education and research jobs, you might also want to check out individual university recruitment pages. The National University of Singapore lists jobs by department. Other HEIs in Singapore use Jobs Central, a recruitment website that advertises jobs throughout Singapore.

Visa problems, etc.

Singapore has a strong international focus, and obtaining work permits is usually a straightforward process, providing you meet a few basic criteria. The 'Employment Pass' is for skilled workers. The requirements include a degree from a reputable university and a salary of S$3,000 or more per month. Other permit schemes are in operation, including short-term permits, permits for mid-skilled workers.

A sponsor, normally your employer, is needed to obtain an Employment Pass. You can see if you are eligible by taking the online self-assessment test

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