To mitigate global climate change caused partly by the use of fossil fuels, the production of fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass has been attempted. The conversion of various sugars from renewable biomass into biofuels by engineered baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is one major direction which has grown dramatically in recent years. As well as shifting away from fossil fuels, the production of commodity chemicals by engineered S. cerevisiae has also increased significantly. The traditional approaches of biochemical and metabolic engineering to develop economic bioconversion processes in laboratory and industrial settings have been accelerated by rapid advancements in the areas of yeast genomics, synthetic biology, and systems biology. Together, these innovations have resulted in rapid and efficient manipulation of S. cerevisiae to expand fermentable substrates and diversify value-added products. Here, we discuss recent and major advances in rational (relying on prior experimentally-derived knowledge) and combinatorial (relying on high-throughput screening and genomics) approaches to engineer S. cerevisiae for producing ethanol, butanol, 2,3-butanediol, fatty acid ethyl esters, isoprenoids, organic acids, rare sugars, antioxidants, and sugar alcohols from glucose, xylose, cellobiose, galactose, acetate, alginate, mannitol, arabinose, and lactose.