Graduate Jobs in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a place that can be full of opportunities for a graduate to advance in their career. It is known to be a regional hub for banking and finance with a demand of graduates with expertise in this area as well as for accounting and legal skills. With the increase of qualified graduates it may be harder to secure work in those areas, however, Hong Kong also offer jobs in various fields of expertise.
Working in Hong Kong gives graduates the opportunity to work in major industries and companies, the service industry accounting for more that 90% of GDP with the financial and professional services being the most important. A few major companies you could work in are1:
- Bank of China (BOC) Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- China Mobile
- China Netcom Group
- China Unicorn
- Jardine Matheson
- Sun Hung Kai Properties
- CLP Holdings etc.
Cantonese is the most frequently used language for areas of business and without the benefits of being fluent in the language it will limit the job opportunities available to graduates, especially if candidates are determined to work in Mainland China. However, Hong Kong widely accepts and is accessible to English speakers as well.
Getting the Job
There are many different ways to apply for a job, and as the Internet becomes a fast medium of communication, digital application forms have become increasingly common when applying for jobs in Hong Kong. There is also the alternative of sending an application through email with your CV attached. It is important to remember to use formal language when submitting applications online.
Interviews are the moment to make a good impression to your employer. Throughout the interview, make sure to appear interested and mention any references or connections with the company. Some employers might conduct group interviews or set entrance tests to be able to see if candidates are suitable for the job. Through these, the employers would test your general abilities, aptitudes and interests related to the job. Psychometric tests are often used during job interviews, and examples can be found online, which could be useful to prepare for other interviews.
A few ways to prepare for an interview are to2:
- Find information about the company you’re applying at
- Think in advance about questions that might be asked and prepare for possible responses
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and prepare answers that show your improvements to your weaknesses
- Be aware of situations where you have dealt with problems and provide examples to show the employer how you handle situations
- Prepare questions to ask to show that you are interested in the business
Hong Kong has an abundance of careers in different areas of expertise for graduates to choose from. Expectations of Hong Kong’s economy are optimistic and this leads to be an expansion of career opportunities in the field of financial services, especially accounting and investment trusts. The average starting salary for graduates depending on the chosen sector is at least $10,000+ (Hong Kong Dollars per month). Other career opportunities in Hong Kong can also be found in these areas2:
- Accounting and finance There are many opportunities in Hong Kong in this field due to their strong relationship with China and having to have both new and experienced accountants to be present with their partnership securing ties and offering opportunities for accountants in the region. Many firms operate graduate training schemes with recruitment periods and graduates would find themselves taking a round of tests before being offered a job in this area.
- Advanced manufacturing Hong Kong has recently experienced a shortage of skilled workers in the high-tech manufacturing industry, which becomes a potential source of employment and opportunity for graduates who are looking to start a career.
- Architecture, planning and construction Known for its infrastructures and modern designed buildings that tower the as the city skyline, Hong Kong has a steady architecture industry. Hong Kong’s architecture is based on space saving and large-scale city planning, which allows there to be a variety of opportunities for those who want to work in this field. The industry attracts some of the best architects around the world and focuses on contemporary design. To be part of the architecture field, it is important to be registered with the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA).
- Biotechnology Hong Kong has shown growth in the industry of biotechnology with its research, technology and development methods. As a steadily growing industry with signs of increasing in the future, there are around 300 biotechnology companies in Hong Kong that mostly consists of healthcare/pharmaceutical.
- Engineering The industry of engineer also offers career opportunities for graduates and to work in the industry, it would require to have a level of past experience and a university degree in engineering as well as being a member of the Hong Kong institute of Engineers (HKIE). Those that are members of the HKIE organisation are regarded as a professional in the area.
- Health and medical care Healthcare in Hong Kong are looking for new skilled workers to work in the growing industry, offering prospects to those that are qualified and looking for challenges, allowing the opportunity to expand and develop their future career in healthcare.
- ICT and e-commerce For recent graduates and experienced ICT professionals, the ICT industry in Hong Kong has many work vacancy and offers career potential due to the industry expanding at a rapid pace. To get the job in the industry however requires for candidates to meet their standards that are quiet high.
The number of people that seek work in Hong Kong is ever increasing, ranging from professionals, expatriates and graduates. There are many industries that offer job opportunities in Hong Kong, however the job market is competitive among graduates due to the increased levels of training that graduates go through. Other major sectors also include chemicals, consumer products, food processing, machine building, mining, technology, textiles and transport.
Graduate/Management Trainee Programmes
When working with a company, graduates are given the opportunity to partake in their programmes. All sorts of companies have management trainee programmes available for graduates that aim to nurture and prepare individuals for the business with a varied period of length depending on the company. These programmes allow candidates to be familiar with the workings of the business and gain experience. After completion of the programs, the company may offer candidates positions and support.
1 Target Jobs, Working in Hong Kong, 2015
2 ed.ac.uk, Starting your career in Hong Kong Country Guide for International Students, 2015