Working in Singapore vs Malaysia for fresh graduates?

Hi everyone! Some of you may be aware I have travelled to several places post-graduation (?), and Singapore is/was one of them. I treated it as a gift and as well as a chance to explore more about myself and not only places and food. Experiences so far have been good, and also some not-so-good ones but I would take that as a learning lesson lol. (p/s: always switch off your background apps & data before you activate new local data plan!!! – -) 

I am currently in Singapore when writing this post. I was actually here like..a week ago before returning to Malaysia. In which I thought that would be last trip. Guess not, I made another impromptu booking last Friday back to the sunny island. Why???? Because I really wanted to try all Keisuke outlets! I actually wanted to write a post on this, but I’m just too lazy right now haha.

On the other hand, I am tempted to write today on the topic of ‘Working in Malaysia vs Singapore for fresh graduate’. I was engaged in a conversation with a few of my local Singaporean friends during my stay here. They gave me a few cents on the outlook of us Malaysians working here in Singapore. So I thought I might wanna share a few Q&A I’ve asked here too. Note that these are personal opinions. If you were to search the above topic on Google, you would probably have quite a fruitful number of results too, which would give you a couple of reasons to go or stay.

Let’s begin! -^^-

  1. Is Singapore a place for fresh graduate to look for their first job?

Technically speaking, there isn’t any place that is not suitable for any fresh graduate. But if you were to look from the point of survivability and sustainability, Singapore may not have topped the list for fresh foreign graduates. Why? The average living cost in Singapore currently is not cheap. Average living cost per month would probably fare around $2000-$3000, which would take around 80-90% out of your earnings.

People often think it’s much worth it to earn SGD than MYR because you’re earning 3 times as much. In reality, it is not as easy as you think. While you think you can earn more in Singapore, the average spending you would need to make in Singapore is just relatively the same as Malaysia. At the end of the day, yes, perhaps you might have saved a little more compared to MYR, but how much worth would it be? And it is not easy to earn MYR.

You want to earn SGD? Cool. Expect to work 3x or more harder to make sure you are worth the SGD. I’m not kidding but most employers expect foreign employees to perform up or more to their expected standards. If not, please help yourself to the exit.

2.  Is it easy for a fresh graduate to land a job in Singapore?

Yes and no. Yes if you’re competitive in knowledge, skills and experience in your field. No if you’re none of the aforementioned. However, your attitude and aptitude also play a very big role in you successfully landing in any jobs, anywhere too. So if you’re lacking in these, time to brush up on it. 🙂

Particularly in Singapore, the Government has enforced laws in regulating the number of foreign employees allowed in their respective companies. There is also an amount that employers have to pay out of their pockets depending on the types of workpass you’re holding during the employment period. In simpler words, when these employers are looking for fresh foreign graduates, they are truly looking for the ones that can show that they are really worth the money that they would have to fork out. It’s a profit & loss era anyway. They can easily employ a local candidate with the same or better potential to replace a foreign candidate, without having to fork out a lump sum of money. So during the interview, prove it that you have what it takes to worth that value.

3.  How different is the job prospect like to work in Singapore compared to Malaysia?

I wouldn’t dare say job prospects are similar across all fields, hence this would clearly depends on which field you applied in and the opportunities available at the workplace. Hence, no matter you plan to work in Singapore or Malaysia, it greatly depends on the above and also whether you take the initiative to grow. Even if you did work in Singapore and want to work in Malaysia next, chances of you being employed in Malaysia also depends on your achievements, matter not where you have worked.

4.  Is it worth to work in Singapore? 

I guess the answers above would have given you a rough idea on this question. Whether would it be worth your dedication and time, back to square one: it all depends on you. Experience-wise, you will definitely get experience wherever you work as long as you put your effort in it. But working abroad would expose you to a greater horizon. At the same time, you need to work extra hard too. However, at the end of the day, the monetary reward may be the same as you will be working back in your home country.

Extra heads up:

  • As a fresh foreign graduate, be prepared to expect your starting salary to be much lower than a local graduate.
  • Working-social environment wise, grapevines told me it’s much friendlier back in Malaysia. But this may not be true for all places.
  • Getting a job offer by any companies in Singapore does not mean you have secured the job. It is still subjected to whether MOM approves your work pass application.

So this was a few sharing on personal opinions I have gotten from my local and foreign friends in Singapore. All in all, I think the moral of the story tells us that input = output. No matter where you choose to work, especially as a fresh graduate, we really do need to put in efforts before we start to negotiate about $$. Still, if you want to save/earn big bucks, Singapore may still not be an ideal place for a starter. Just my two cents. 🙂

To all who will/are working in Singapore, all the best! ^^
To all who will/are working in Malaysia, good luck! ^^

If you have any questions in mind, feel free to drop your questions below or message me personally. I will try my best to answer your questions. Hehe~!

(if you’re shy, you can ask me anonymously at

Side note:

I guess I’ll take this chance here to actually answer the question ‘Why of all places, you always go Singapore ah? Not sien meh?’.

Almost every term break for the past years, I lived up to the name of a Sagittarius to travel around our little circle. While I did travel to other countries, Singapore would almost always be on my to-go list next after. But why?

I have been here in Singapore countless times since I was a kid. I was not born, brought up nor educated here. But here in Singapore was where my deepest memories of certain things were instilled. Here I made last memories with a very important person in my life. The memories that will never ever be replicated anymore. My heart still wrench writing this line but at the same time, I knew very well those memories were happy ones.  I kept them dearly in heart, and it is also this reason I revisit Singapore every time. I want to revisit the memories.

On a lighter note, I personally find there are more food varieties here that is easily accessible. Yes, my home country also has loads of food options but not all of them are near. Maybe this is just my problem, hahaha. Transportation-wise, Singapore is much more convenient and safer. I mostly travel by feet and public transportation, so I absolutely do not have to worry about having a heavy meal. Easy 20k steps per day.

I also have quite a number of Singaporean friends so it’s actually not boring to pay them a visit once in a while. Legit point here.

So this roughly sums up the reasons why you always find me in sunny island. Basically for me, Singapore is not a sien place. It is a meaningful place that I will never stop visiting. 🙂


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