Salary Levels For University Graduates In Singapore (2016)

university graduates singapore salaries 2016

Median monthly salaries for Singapore university graduates in 2016 increased to a new high of $3,360. That figure is up from $3,300 for people who graduated in 2015.

These results come from the Graduate Employment Survey, covering 10,904 new graduates from three institutes of higher learning in Singapore: Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University (SMU).

The survey determined that nine in 10 graduates, or 89.7 percent, found employment within six months of graduation. This number represents a similar percentage compared to previous graduating classes.

One downside comes from the number of full-time positions graduates secured. Around 80.2 percent of graduates found full-time work. That’s down from 83.1 percent for the graduating class of 2015.

More good news comes from the salary front. The average gross monthly salary among new graduates in 2016 with permanent, full-time jobs came in at $3,515. This figure was up from $3,468 in 2015.

Graduates from SMU came out ahead thanks to 93.8 percent of them finding employment within six months after final exams. This number was almost 90 percent for NUS and NTU.

SMU graduates also earned the most income. On average, they made a gross monthly salary of $3,722. People from from NUS and NTU brought in $3,541 and $3,424, respectively.

Here’s a breakdown of how each university fared in terms of degrees with the biggest salary increases.

  • For National University of Singapore, the top degree was information systems, where graduates earned $4,000, which is up 12.7 percent from 2015. Then computer science follows with $4,000 and an increase of 8.1 percent and finally electrical engineering with $3,500 and a rise of 6.1 percent.
  • Nanyang Technological University’s top degree was linguistics with a monthly salary of $3,365 (12.2 percent increase). Next was sociology, where people made $3,500 (12 percent increase). Then there was mathematical sciences with $3,500 (up 8 percent).
  • Singapore Management University had business management graduates earning $3,500 (up 6.1 percent). Meanwhile, economics graduates earned $3,700 (up 5.7 percent), followed by information systems management at $3,600 (up 2.9 percent).

Keyboard Shortcuts For You To Save Time And Increase Productivity

keyboard shortcuts windows pc and mac

Time management is a crucial aspect of success in both professional and personal life.

It is important to take advantage of any time-saving techniques you can find to make life more productive.

Especially if you work in an office environment, you most likely spend most or all of your day on a computer.

Using simple shortcuts on your keyboard can help you save time as opposed to always hunting, pointing and clicking. Keyboard shortcuts can also be helpful tools to locate files that were accidentally deleted or browser windows that were unintentionally closed.

Depending upon the type of monitor you use, an Acer R240HY monitor or a Dell S2417DG, the shortcuts may be different. Therefore, this article goes over the most common and helpful shortcuts for both systems.

We will also go over some helpful keyboard shortcuts that can be used in different programs like web browsers and Microsoft Office.


  • Shift + Delete: Bypass the Recycle Bin and fully delete a file/program
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: Create a new file
  • Windows Key + D: Minimize all windows
  • Alt + F4: Close current window
  • Windows Key + F1: Get help


  • Command + W: Close a window
  • Command + Shift + ?: Get help
  • Command + Shift + 3: Take a screenshot
  • Command + Shift + T: Reopen last closed window
  • Command + Tab: Toggle between programs
  • Command + Space: Search computer with Spotlight

All Microsoft Office Programs on PC

  • Ctrl + S: Save current file
  • Ctrl + O: Open a file
  • Ctrl + C: Copy
  • Ctrl + V: Paste
  • Ctrl + A: Select all

All Microsoft Office Programs on Mac

  • Command + S: Save current file
  • Command + S: Open a file
  • Command + C: Copy
  • Command + V: Paste
  • Command + A: Select all

Word on PC

  • F7: Spellcheck
  • F4: Repeat most recent action
  • Shift + F3: Capitalization
  • Ctrl + Backspace: Delete previous word
  • Ctrl + Shift + N: Apply normal paragraph style

Word on Mac

  • F7: Spellcheck
  • Shift + F4: Repeat most recent action
  • Shift + F3: Capitalization
  • Command + Delete: Delete previous word
  • Command + Shift + M: Apply normal paragraph style

Excel on PC

  • Ctrl + N: Create new workbook
  • Shift + Space: Select entire row
  • Ctrl + Space: Select entire column
  • Ctrl + 1: Format what is currently selected
  • Shift + F11: Insert new worksheet

Excel on Mac

  • Command + N: Create new workbook
  • Shift + Space: Select entire row
  • ^ + Space: Select entire column
  • Command + 1: Format what is currently selected
  • Fn + Shift + F11: Insert new worksheet

Google Chrome on PC

  • Ctrl + T: Open new tab
  • Ctrl + Shift + T: Reopen last closed tab
  • Ctrl + D: Save bookmark
  • Ctrl + R: Refresh
  • Ctrl + L: Highlight the URL bar
  • Ctrl + F: Find something

Google Chrome on Mac

  • Command + T: Open new tab
  • Command + Shift + T: Reopen last closed tab
  • Command + D: Save bookmark
  • Command + R: Refresh
  • Command + L: Highlight the URL bar
  • Command + F: Find something

Gmail on PC

  • Ctrl + Shift + C: Add to CC recipients
  • Ctrl + Shift + B: Add to BCC recipients
  • K/J: Move to previous/next email
  • D: Compose new email
  • Tab then Enter: Send email
  • Shift + J: Mark as “read”
  • Shift + U: Mark as “unread”
  • #: Delete contact permanently
  • !: Report as spam
  • Ctrl K: Add hyperlink

Gmail on Mac

  • Command + Shift + C: Add to CC recipients
  • Command + Shift + B: Add to BCC recipients
  • K/J: Move to previous/next email
  • D: Compose new email
  • Tab then Enter: Send email
  • Shift + I: Mark as “read”
  • Shift + U: Mark as “unread”
  • #: Delete contact permanently
  • !: Report as spam
  • Command K: Add hyperlink

Don’t Forget Small Talk During Your Next Job Interview

Small Talk Job Interview

Want to stand apart from your competition during your next job interview? Employ your small talk skills, or develop some. New research suggests that building rapport quickly with your interviewer is a sure way to ace your job interview.

According to a recent study by Atlanta’s Georgia Institute of Technology, a first impression is often one of the most crucial factors in turning heads during a job interview.

The study consisted of 163 mock interviews, after which interviewers were asked to rate applicant competence. All interviews comprised of a segment for small talk followed by 12 job-related questions.

A general ability to converse with a stranger worked favorably for the applicants who excelled at the small talk portion of each interview. Even though many applicants scored similarly on the technical job-related questions, interviewers were much more likely to favor applicants who did well in both areas.

According to the study lead, Dr Brian Swider, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, “An applicant’s ability to spark rapport seems to have a unique influence on whether he or she gets the job.”

Good people skills are becoming increasingly important in almost every job role. Applicants who excel at small talk indicate an overall penchant for relating well with others and carrying on conversations through the course of their work.

Finding common ground is an added benefit of small talk, as it opens the opportunity for applicants and interviewers to make a personal connection. This connection may place one applicant in a more favorable position if, say, he and his interviewer share an interest in the same sports team or collecting rare coins.

Humor, too, can set the interview off on the right foot. So before you head to your next interview, brush up those small talking skills with your partner, favorite barista or even your cat to make your first impression really stand out from other candidates.

LinkedIn’s Salary Calculator Has Potential For Useful Insights

LinkedIn's Salary Calculator

LinkedIn recently launched a salary calculator that removes one of the hallmarks of the social media platform’s operating principles — identity — to bring users a tool that lets people submit/see anonymous salary information across various fields.

The calculator, LinkedIn Salary, is included in all premium memberships. It’s free for LinkedIn users who are willing to anonymously submit their base salaries and other compensation benefits, including bonuses and equity.

At the moment, users in the U.S., U.K., and Canada can view salary information based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Skills
  • Education
  • Experience
  • Size of the company
  • Location of the company
  • Industry

Over the next year, the salary calculator will be released in other countries, with the goal of helping “professionals around the world make better career decisions and optimize their earning potential now, and in the future,” LinkedIn notes on its official blog.

In addition to providing salary information, the calculator will also suggest different steps users can take that will help to optimize their earning potential. This could include learning new skills, furthering their education, or making career changes that could result in a difference in their earnings.

For example, LinkedIn shows that a registered nurse in greater New York City earns a median base salary of $80,000. That same position is paying a median base salary of $124,000 in the San Francisco Bay area. However, a registered nurse in greater New York can check out some of the local companies listed where the median base salary is greater than the region’s average. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the median base salary is $103,000.

Aside from locations, LinkedIn notes that, for instance, marketing directors tend to get a higher salary increase after earning an MBA. The site also shows that sales representatives in healthcare are earning more than other sales representatives.

LinkedIn is trying to improve their user experience by pulling the positives from salary calculators run by competitors (such as Glassdoor and Payscale) and adding in more analytical/actionable elements.

Salary Growth Rates Expected Across Asia Pacific In 2017

salary increment asia 2017

Mercer recently performed research on the nominal wage growth occurring in Asia-Pacific countries, and found that that employees should be receiving slightly higher salary increases in 2017 compared to 2016.

The region is seen as an outlier due to the uncertainty of the global economy, and the fact that it is expected to perform above the global average. Inflation is low for most of the countries, so that helps to make the real wage growth relatively better.

Expected Percentages

Two countries that have the largest percentage of salary growth are Vietnam at 9.2 percent and India at 10.8 percent.

In addition, the financial regions of Singapore and Hong Kong are both expected to see about a 4 percent increase.

Countries that are among the lowest with increases between 2-3 percent, include Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

salaries in asia 2017

Employee Pay Levels And Rewards

Korea, Australia and Japan all have starting salaries that begin at about $30,000, and as employees move up the ladder, salaries rise steadily to the point where they could be making between $250,000 and $350,000.

In many of the countries in Asia (especially China), executives that are higher up in companies will earn better paychecks than their counterparts in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, this is only keeping salaries in mind, since things are different when the long-term incentives and social security benefits available in Europe are brought into the equation.

In Asia countries need to focus more on benefits and take a tailored approach. For instance, Korea and Japan both have an aging workforce with the average age of 45, and the benefits provided revolve around retirement and long-term incentives, whereas places with a younger workforce like in the Philippines, Indonesia and India focus on learning and development along with flexible benefits.


Turnover seems to be an issue for companies in just about all of the Asia-Pacific countries as the research uncovered a double-digit turnover rate. The only two countries that aren’t facing these high rates of turnover are New Zealand and Japan.

More Leave For New Parents In Singapore

maternity and paternity leave in singapore

The Singapore Parliament recently passed some changes to the Child Development Co-Savings Act that offers more time off for parents, whether they are adopting a child or having one the old fashioned way.

This time off is not just for mothers of newborns, but also includes more paternity leave for fathers. It has the intent of providing the necessary support for new parents during the time when they should be learning the ropes of caring for their child and bonding as a family unit, rather than worrying about going back to work.

Changes to Child Development Co-Savings Act

  • All mothers will be given up to 16 weeks of leave after the birth of their child. It does not matter if they are married or single. This goes into effect on 1 January 2017.
  • Mothers that adopt children will get an increase in the amount of paid leave starting next July. Previously, they had received four weeks of leave, but they will now receive up to 12 weeks of adoption leave.
  • All fathers of newborns are going to be granted a paternity leave that doubles the previous amount of time off, from one week to two weeks, starting in the new year.
  • Mothers will also have the option of gifting a portion of their maternity leave to their husbands starting in July 2017, as well. They can give up to four weeks of their total 16 that they receive under the act, to increase their husband’s paternity leave time off.

Benefits of Changes to Leave

One of the biggest benefits of this change is for fathers. These changes will allow new fathers to have up to eight weeks off during the first year of being a new parent. They can have the two weeks of paternity leave that this change enables them to have, as well as the four weeks that they can share with their wife. This combines with the paid childcare leave that gives them six days off and unpaid infant care leave that lasts for a week.


Useful Ways To Follow Up On A Job Application

how to follow up on a job application

You’ve sent in your job application or resume, and have been anxiously checking your email or voicemail every day since, hoping to hear back from the potential employer.

The work that goes into filling out and submitting a job application can be tedious, time-consuming and stressful. Following up, the key to staying at the top of the hiring manager’s mind, is one more item on the list of things to do.

However, following up on your application doesn’t have to be a drain on your time. You don’t have to send a boring email asking the company to share the status of the position or letting them know that the purpose of your email is to follow up on your application.

If you consider this aspect of your application as a way to market yourself, along with your skills and experience, try approaching the situation from a new perspective.

Adding Value Through Job Application Follow-Up

Make your follow-up useful and different, by including information that will actually be of value. Here are some ideas to achieve this:

Send them information that you may have forgotten to share.

Many people have experiences talking to someone and then, hours later, remembering something that would have fit well in the conversation or been helpful to the other person. This also happens often in job interviews.

For example, the interviewer asks you about a few of your achievements and you forget to talk about 2 important ones.

Wait a few days before sharing the information, and if you haven’t heard anything, send over details of the 2 achievements.

Send an employer new information.

If you’ve earned any recognition or awards, published an article, or completed a significant project since you met with or spoke to your contact, consider sending the information to them.

Let them know the new experience you’ve gained, new skills you’ve learned or the honors you’ve received.

Send them an article.

Think about the communication you’ve had with your contact at the company, and if you see/find an article with information that you think would benefit the company’s growth or make an impact in their operations, send it to that individual.

The article will show your interest in their company and your understanding of their business.

Companies receive a ton of application follow-ups. Remember to not bombard them with follow-ups, and use the opportunity to add to your interview or conversation.

Top Skills Employers Are Looking For in 2017

job skills in demand 2017

As people get ready for the New Year, one of the most common resolutions isn’t just to lose weight, learn a new language or start a new fitness routine.

Many people want to leave behind their old job, the one that causes stress, pays too little or makes someone feel underappreciated, for a better career and more stable financial opportunity.

LinkedIn recently issued a press release noting that the number of job applications spiked in October, showing that people are looking in anticipation.

However, with many individuals looking for jobs and many companies wrapped up with year activities, hiring trends aren’t as consistent and might not be a high as they typically are after January.

That makes now an excellent time to get an early jump on your New Year’s Resolution to learn a new skill, by honing some of the top skills to get hired when 2017 rolls around. These skills, as identified by LinkedIn, are the ones employers most need in candidates at the moment.


  • Cloud and distributed computing, for the second year in the row, has topped the list of most desired skills, with the demand increasing around the world. With so many technological advances and the expansion of many data centers moving their hosting to cloud-based platforms, companies are looking to hire experts in the field. Also important in 2017 will be skills in understanding and managing storage systems.
  • Finding, analyzing, and presenting data and statistics are crucial skills as companies look to grow and stay relevant and competitive in their markets. Due to this, statistical analysis and data mining skills are being sought after. Globally, data presentation was eighth on the list which shows that companies want to make information usable.
  • Technology development showed up on the list in a variety of countries, indicating that companies are still looking for employees with expertise in this area. Mobile development showed up seventh on the list of most important skills, and it will continue to be important as the number of mobile phone users is expected to reach 7 billion in 2019.
  • User interface design is the fifth on the list, while web architecture and development framework is third.
  • Middleware and Integration Software experience also made the global list.

Some of these skills, like the demand for employees with user interface skills, have increased through the years as companies make sure that their users are able to properly interact with them.

If you have some of these skills, start working on deepening your knowledge and experience. If you’ve been waiting to learn something new, picking one of these off the list could help you land your next job.

More Gender Diversity On Boards In Singapore And Asia

board diversity women asia

Credit Suisse recently reported that the number of women holding board seats in Singapore went up to 9.9%.

The bank studied the 3,400 companies that Credit Suisse covers, and found that, overall, European companies showed strong increases in boardroom gender diversity, as a result of high quotas and targets. Women hold nearly 25 percent of the continent’s board seats.

Meanwhile, the diversity progress in Asian companies had a great deal to do with the fact that they were starting from a very low threshold.

In Singapore, the numbers were the highest ever in 2015, with a 1.5 percentage point increase from 2014. Women made up 8.4 percent of the boards of Singapore’s largest companies in 2014.

Singapore’s percentage was higher than the Asian average of 8.9 percent. This number is slightly skewed, though, because Korea and Japan both have the least amount of board diversity in the world, and their percentages are included in that average.

While the increase is promising for Singapore’s diversity, it’s still outshadowed by some of its neighbors. In Malaysia, women held 13.9 percent of board seats and in Thailand, women held 12.7 percent.

These numbers are positive. However, it’s important to note a few factors:

  • The Asian average remains at less than 10 percent of female representation on boards.
  • Many companies have fallen into the habit of giving board seats and appointments to women who are already sitting members of other boards. So the same women tend to have seats on many boards.

The report also showed that boards where at least one member was a woman saw higher corporate performance, outperforming boards with only male members by 3.5 percentage points.

Additionally, if women made up 15 percent of more of a company’s senior leadership and management team, the company had a 15.3 percent return on equity. In companies where women made up less than 10 percent of the corporate executives, companies reported a return on equity of 13 percent.

Even further, companies with a female CEO had a 15.2 percent return on equity, while companies with a male CEO had a 12.8 percent return on equity.

Access 9,000 Professional Development Courses, Free On LinkedIn

free professional development courses linkedin

LinkedIn Learning is a paid subscription service that offers more than 9,000 online courses.

The courses are geared towards development of professional/career skills and cover topics such as:

  • Sales and Business Development.
  • Change Management.
  • Leadership.
  • Entrepreneurship.
  • Career Development.
  • Job Search Techniques.
  • General Business Management.
  • And lots more…

For 1 week, you can take any of the courses for free, without signing up for anything.

Typically, the paid subscription costs $29.9 per month and can also be accessed through LinkedIn premium accounts (Job Seekers, Sales Navigator, etc).

So head on over to the LinkedIn Learning website and see if anything catches your attention.

Happy learning!

LinkedIn Tip: Let Recruiters Know You're Open To New Opportunities

linkedin tips recruiters job opportunities

Everyone knows that the secret to feeling happy and fulfilled in your career is to find a profession that you love.

Everyone also knows that, if you are not feeling happy, fulfilled or satisfied in your current job, then there is no easy way to let the world know that you’re open to new career opportunities, without worrying that your current employer will find out. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll end up having no job at all.

What if there was an easy way to search for another job while keeping your current one after all? Imagine if you could privately signal to job recruiters everywhere that you would like to hear from them, or that you’d like them to help you find new job opportunities elsewhere. By doing this, you increase your chances of having one of those special and magical moments when a job recruiter reaches out to you with an amazing opportunity for career advancement.

Luckily for you, you don’t have to imagine. It is now possible to privately signal to recruiters that you are open to new job opportunities without having to worry over angering your current employer or losing your current job.

Open Candidates

Open Candidates is responsible for making all of this possible. It is a new feature for LinkedIn that makes it easier to connect with recruiters who can land you a job by privately signaling to them that you are open to new job opportunities.

You can specify the types of companies or positions in which you are most interested. You will also be easier to find for recruiters who use LinkedIn.

Open Candidates can be found when you click the “Preferences” tab on the home page for LinkedIn Jobs. To enable this feature, all you have to do is simply turn on sharing and fill in some brief information about the types of companies and positions in which you are interested.

The next thing you know, you are making yourself available and known to recruiters who can help you find a job, while keeping everything private for your own security and peace of mind.

LinkedIn hides the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your current company or affiliated companies so you won’t have to worry about your boss finding out that you are looking for new work.

Open Candidates is available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia for desktop and mobile use, and it will soon be available worldwide. It is also important to note that before you change your preferences and enable Open Candidates, you should update your profile and make sure all of your information is polished and current.

Research Carefully Before Attending A Private University

private universities in singapore

While private schools are immensely popular in Singapore, a recently released study from the Council for Private Education shows that students enrolled in these schools fared much poorer than their publicly educated peers.

The CPE interviewed more than 4,200 individuals of the 12,600 who graduated in 2014 from different private schools. Here are some key findings:

  • 58 percent found full-time jobs within six months of graduating.
  • The full-time employees started at a median salary of $2,700 each month.

On their own, these statistics are low. However, they are much lower results when compared to graduates of the Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, and Singapore Management University.

While neither the privately educated nor publicly educated students surveyed had prior work experience, statistics show greater employment opportunities from the public universities.

  • 83 percent of students found a full-time job within six months of finishing their coursework.
  • These graduates had a median full-time starting salary of $3,200 per month.

A Closer Look At The Differences Gives Rise To Two Questions.

  • Are all of the private schools providing the same quality of education? Which are the better ones?
  • Who are the students attending the private schools, and are they making the best decisions for their future education?

There are about 70,000 Singaporeans enrolled in private universities, as well as 30,000 students from other countries.

Digging Deeper on Private School Data

An issue that most likely influenced the results of this study was the fact that the private universities don’t have the most specific, detailed data available to help students make informed choices.

There are more than 300 private schools, some with outstanding programs, but many that lack the ability to provide the necessary educational levels.

Students who are interested in furthering their education are strongly encouraged to research their options carefully, and assess if the course will help them acquire relevant skills for future employment, the CPE wrote in a press release. Beyond immediate employment outcomes, it may be useful for students to adopt a more long-term view of their career and education pathways, to ensure that the skills and knowledge obtained will provide a strong foundation for them to build on.