How Much are Singaporean Fresh Grads Getting in Terms of Starting Salary This Year?

By Joanne Poh

The class of 2015 is about to go out and make their mark in the world, and according to a recent report, they have high hopes. 1 in 5 local grads expects to be earning at least $4,000, and employers are crying foul, seeing as the average starting pay for graduates in 2014 was actually $2,741. The median starting pay was $3,200.

Here are the results of the 2014 Graduate Employment Survey for local graduates of bachelor degree programmes sorted by industry or major and course. Where a range is provided, the results vary according to major.

NUS and SMU grads earn more than NTU grads in the same course

Based on the results, it appears that in terms of salary, NUS and SMU lead the pack, with NUS having a slight edge in industries like law and social sciences. SMU performs more strongly in economics.

On the other hand, NUS and SMU grads consistently earn a higher starting salary than NTU grads. It should be noted that in engineering there was a great deal of variation depending on one’s major, and NTU’s highest earning engineering grads were in the aerospace field. NUS does not conduct an aerospace engineering course.

Graduates with professional and business degrees earn the most

Unsurprisingly, the top earners were professionals from protected industries—law, medicine and dentistry. Architecture and business grads also did well. In general, these degrees have particularly stringent entry requirements, reinforcing the stereotype that you’ve got to study hard to earn big bucks here.

Graduating with honours does matter

Students who graduated with honours degree had a distinct advantage salary-wise over their classmates from the same course who did not graduate with honours. For instance, NUS arts graduates with honours degrees earned an average of $394 more per month than their counterparts who graduated without honours.

This article was first published over at MoneySmart blog on 28 August 2015. It is reproduced with permission.

About The Author (Joanne Poh)

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.


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