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Salaries of the 2017 Graduates from SMU, NUS and NTU

Average graduate starting salaries increased again for 2017

The Ministry of Education recently revealed this year’s results of the Graduate Employment Survey conducted jointly by the universities. The survey reveals the starting salaries that the 2017 graduates from the main Singaporean universities attracted. For simplicity, this article will only discuss the mean or average salaries of those who secured permanent full-time jobs – of course, there were those who attracted higher salaries, particularly those who achieved distinctions in their degree, as well as those who received lower.

All of the universities reported an increase in average starting salaries from the previous year (2016).

Singapore Management University (SMU):

The average salaries that SMU graduates secured were: $3569 for accountancy, $3862 for business, $4013 for economics, $3922 for information systems, $3344 for social science, and $4778 for law. As in previous years, SMU law graduates received the highest average starting salaries for their year.

National University of Singapore (NUS)

The average salaries that NUS graduates secured were: $3005 for arts; $3365 for social science; $4124 for dentistry; $4958 for law; and $2298 for music.

The two multi-disciplinary programmes attracted $3297 for environmental studies and $4010 for computer engineering. The Yale-NUS programme graduates secured an average of $3812 for arts and $4362 for science.

The medical school graduates average starting salaries were $4367 for medicine/surgery; and $3165 for nursing.

Engineering graduates attracted an average salary of $3508, and the individual engineering disciplines starting salaries were $3215 for biomedical engineering; $3550 for chemical engineering; $3361 for civil engineering; $3529 for electrical engineering; $3783 for engineering science; $3425 for environmental engineering; $3905 for industrial and systems engineering; $3269 for materials science engineering; $3537 for mechanical engineering.

The school of science average starting salaries were $3053 for science; $3186 for applied science; and $3473 for pharmacy. The school of computing starting salaries were $4510 for computer science; $4061 for information systems; and $4114 for business analytics.

The business school average starting salaries were $3770 for business administration and $3396 for accountancy. Architecture attracted $4037; $3034 for industrial design; $3105 for project and facilities management; and $3090 for real estate.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

The average starting salaries for graduates of the business school were $3530 for business; $3121 for accountancy; $3830 for the double degree of accountancy and business; and $5036 for the double degree of business and computer science.

Engineering starting salaries were $3645 for aerospace engineering; $3326 for bioengineering; $3326 for chemical and biomolecular engineering; $3373 for civil engineering; $3667 for computer engineering; $4078 for computer science; $3532 for electrical and electronic engineering; $3538 for environmental engineering; $3685 for information engineering and media; $3279 for maritime studies; $3288 for materials engineering; and $3422 for mechanical engineering.

Humanities, arts and social science graduates salaries were $2862 for fine arts; $3119 for Chinese; $3134 for communication studies; $3286 for economics; $3042 for English; $3206 for history; $3042 for linguistics and multilingual studies; $3107 for psychology; $3353 for public policy and global studies; and $3263 for sociology.

Science degree graduate average starting salaries were $3177 for biological science; $3035 for chemistry and biological chemistry; $3517 for mathematical science; $3504 for mathematics and economics; $3367 for physics / applied physics; and $2722 for the double degree in biomedical science and Chinese medicine.

Sport science and management average starting salary was $3372; while the Bachelor of Arts in education was $3489 and the Bachelor of Science in education was $3610.

The average monthly salaries for fresh graduates in Singapore

The Graduate Employment Survey results help fresh graduates negotiate a realistic salary

Each year, the Ministry of Education publishes the Graduate Employment Survey for each of Singapore’s universities: National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). The university of the Singapore Institute of Management (UniSIM), which has been renamed Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), will be included in future years.

The survey gathers data from the previous year’s graduates for each faculty (with extensive data on each faculties courses) on the overall employment rate, full-time employment rate, basic monthly salary (mean and median), gross monthly salary (mean and median), and the 25th and 75th percentile for the gross monthly salary.

The survey results for each year are available on the Ministry of Education’s website (for NUS click here) (Google “Graduate Employment Survey” for other universities) – all are also available on the governments data and statistics website (click here).

The Ministry of Manpower also publishes this information in graphical format – click here.

Importance of this information during the job search

This information is important for fresh graduates to have to hand during their job search process, especially at interview. One of the strongest complaints that hiring managers have is the unrealistic salary expectations of fresh graduates and this marks them as uninformed – i.e. they did not do their research before the interview. Most hiring managers will not hire a candidate they deem as uninformed. Unrealistic expectations is also one of the reasons that a minority of graduates are not yet employed more than six months after graduation.

Armed with the most recent information on salaries for graduates from their university and course, fresh graduates can make realistic salary demands that will neither rule them out of the competition for being too high, nor be unfair to themselves by requesting too low a salary. Knowing the mean and medium salary bands, and the 75th percentile, for the previous year’s graduates allows them to negotiate a fair salary for themselves.

So what does the survey results show?

The main good news in the survey results is the fact that nearly 90% of the 2016 fresh graduates have secured a job within six months (the figure is highest for SMU graduates at 93.8%), proving that the vast majority of graduates express more realistic expectations to employers in terms of the salary and other conditions they are looking for.

The results also show that there has been a decrease of nearly 3% in the number of those securing permanent full-time jobs at 80.2% (down from 83.1% in 2015), but this is largely offset by the increase in numbers of those going freelance or into the ‘gig economy’, a recent trend demonstrated throughout the labour market in general.

The survey also revealed that the mean gross monthly salary for 2016 graduates who secured permanent full-time jobs rose to SGD $3515 from $3468 for the previous year’s graduates – a rise of 1.36%. As in previous years, SMU graduates in permanent full-time jobs secured a higher mean gross monthly salary of $3722.

But still do your research

Fresh graduates should not just rely on the summary data on graduate pay published by the newspapers and other sources – this provides a too general data to be useful in the job search. Instead they should go to the Ministry of Education’s website (Google “Graduate Employment Survey” for the relevant year) and look at the individual results for their university by faculty and specific degree. It is here that they will find the mean and median basic and gross monthly salaries, and the 75th percentile, from the previous year that they can use to realistically negotiate a fair salary for themselves.

Hiring Expectations For Singapore Dimmest Since 2009

singapore job market hiring 3q 2017

ManpowerGroup surveyed 632 employers in Singapore regarding their hiring plans for 3Q 2017.

8% of them expect to increase headcount, 4% plan on reducing headcount and 60% expect no change.

The Net Employment Outlook (NEO) for Singapore is at 4%, which is the lowest since 2009. NEO is percentage of employers expecting to increase their recruiting minus the percent noting a drop in hiring.

Hiring intentions for 3Q 2017 were lower by 4% over the last quarter and 6% over the previous year. Staffing levels are expected to increase in all sectors, however, the pace of hiring will be slower, although it may come with better benefits, higher salaries and other benefits like nice obx rentals for people on vacations.

“Employers are remaining cautious despite the positive economic forecasts recently provided by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and this abundance of caution is evidently prompting many of the employers we survey to scale back their hiring plans. However, employers seem willing to keep current payrolls intact until ongoing trade issues and other geopolitical risks are mitigated,” said Ms Linda Teo, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Singapore.

job market singapore 3q2017

General Motors To Layoff 70% Of Employees In Singapore

general motors singapore layoffs

General Motors will be laying-off employees at the company’s international headquarters in Singapore.

As per Reuters, approximately 90 employees, who are all familiar with teardrop racking systems will be laid-off by the end June 2017 and another 40 towards the end of this year. That amounts to around 70% of GM’s current workforce in Singapore. For those employees who need money fast, they can easily get loans for bad credit here.

“As the industry continues to change, we are transforming our business, establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company,” said General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

The company will also be working to improve operations and streamline activities in the region.For motor or kart racing accessories just visit streeter basic stationary kart stand. This is all part of a global effort to save USD 100 million a year. When you want to help, you could sell your car to a dealership to make some profit.

As per a representative from the organisation – “GM is working with employees, their union representatives and local authorities to provide transition support.”


Modest Hiring Expected In Singapore During 2Q 2017

Modest Hiring Singapore

A moderate pace of hiring is expected in Singapore during 2Q 2017.

ManpowerGroup surveyed 700 managers to find that 13 percent noted a rise in their staffing levels during the second quarter, with 5 percent expecting a decline and the remaining 81 percent anticipating no change.

Singapore’s “net employment outlook,” or percentage of employers expecting to increase their recruiting minus the percent noting a drop in employment, is at +8 percent for 2Q 2017.

This is after adjusting for seasonal factors and indicates that second-quarter hiring intentions will keep fairly stable quarter-over-quarter. However, when contrasted with hiring from a year ago, the net employment outlook shows a 2-percent dip.

According to ManpowerGroup’s Linda Teo:

Hiring sentiment is moderate, as the market remains clouded in uncertainty with the election of Mr. Trump as U.S. president and the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership…In general, companies will definitely still need to hire but many of them lack the budget for permanent headcounts and are thus using agency contracting as a workaround.”

The research shows a mixed report from industry to industry. The following sectors indicate weaker hiring compared to the previous quarter:

  • Manufacturing
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Real estate

On the other hand, these sectors have indicated an intention to increase their staff:

  • Public administration
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

The public administration and education sectors boast the most aggressive net employment outlook of +17 percent. Real estate, finance and insurance follow with a +16 percent outlook.

The only sector anticipating a negative net outlook is wholesale trade and retail (-1 percent). After the busy seasons of Christmas and Chinese New Year, demand is down for employees in this sector.

Over the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, quarter-over-quarter growth shows a falling net employment outlook in three markets, neutral growth in four and improvement in the last market.

Taiwan’s jobs forecast is the most upbeat for the second quarter in a row, both within the region and globally. China’s prospects remain the weakest, with four straight quarters of decline.

Majority of People in Asia Prefer to Work For Multinational Firms

asians like mnc jobs

A recent research report found that a majority of people in Asia prefer to work for multinational corporations (MNCs).

Although there is quite a bit of attention on creative and groundbreaking startups, as well as small to medium enterprises (SMEs), a report by Randstad Workmonitor found that:

  • 84 percent of Malaysian employees prefer working for a larger MNC. 60 percent wanted to work in startups and 70 percent in small to medium enterprises.
  • This trend occurs in other Asian countries as well.
  • Among Singaporean workers, 73 percent of respondents want to work for multinational corporations with 57 percent preferring startups and 63 percent preferring SMEs.
  • Hong Kong workers showed equal numbers preferring multinational corporations and small to medium enterprises at 71 percent, while 53 percent would prefer working for a startup.

The global marketplace has a different result, though. Globally, this research report found that more employees would prefer working for small to medium enterprises at 64 percent, followed by multinational corporations at 55 percent and startups at 50 percent.

Further breaking down these results, age also plays a part in these preferences.

  • Millennials in all three Asian markets had a strong preference of working for multinational corporations.
  • In fact, in Malaysia, 87 percent of millennials prefer working for multinational corporations.
  • Hong Kong millennials come in at 78 percent and Singaporean millennials are at 80 percent when it comes to a preference for working for MNCs.
  • Older workers in both Singapore and Malaysia had similar results to the millennials, but those in Hong Kong preferred small to medium enterprises more.

Researchers believe that two factors are the largest draw to the multinational corporations: job security and work-life balance. This is because MNCs often have more emphasis on these aspects.

In each of these Asian markets, multinational corporations are dominating when it comes to bringing in the best talent. The reason behind this is that they are able to take their brand name and the reputation that goes along with it, in addition to larger resources and attractive company culture as a draw for job seekers.

However, there are some changes occurring in these areas when it comes to the labor market. Over time, local SMEs are getting better at meeting employee needs and becoming attractive workplaces.

Some Insights Into Salaries and Jobs In Asia During 2017

jobs and salaries in asia 2017

The 2017 Hays Asia Salary Guide has been released, and the biggest news to come out of it is Singapore’s skill shortage epidemic. The shortage threatens to impact Singaporean employers in the year to come.

The Realty Management Associates and recruiting trends gathered from over 3,000 employers throughout Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China and Singapore. Information and salary ranges come from 6 million employees and over 1,200 different roles.

An astounding 96 percent of businesses in Singapore are concerned about the skill shortage epidemic affecting their operations as they have difficulties finding skilled individuals to fill their open positions. Companies recognize the importance of attracting and retaining top talent to get a competitive edge, and these skill shortages make it even more important.

Because of this well-documented issue, experts are encouraging many employers to invest in their existing staff with training and development opportunities. Employers should also review and adjust their recruitment practices to gain the upper hand in acquiring talent.


While most employers in Singapore plan to increase salaries between 3 and 6 percent, 34 percent of employees surveyed in Singapore expect more than a 6 percent raise.

This disconnect in salary expectations requires employers to carefully balance offering a competitive salary to attract skilled workers and to manage the salary for existing workers.

If new hires receive a higher salary, or quicker and bigger increases, it could cause tension between new talent and existing staff.


In all of the countries surveyed, 85 percent of employers offered benefits to employees in addition to salary and bonuses.

Healthcare was the top benefit, followed by life insurance, car insurance with a cheap motor trade insurance, pension, housing allowance and a gym membership. A protein promo’s study revealed that the benefit of a gym membership is highly attractive among almost 80 percent of employees.


In Singapore, 66 percent of employers are planning on awarding bonuses to all of their employees, and 25 percent plan to offer bonuses only to some employees.

In all of the Asian countries surveyed, bonuses were typically based on either company-wide or individual job performance.

However, 10 percent of staff bonuses were guaranteed regardless of performance, and 34 percent were based on team performance.


In the past 12 months, 36 percent of Singaporean employers added to their permanent headcount, 23 percent decreased permanent staff and 41 percent remained unchanged.

In 2017, 32 percent of Singaporean employers surveyed plan to increase permanent staff, 15 percent plan to reduce headcount and 53 percent intend to stay the same.

In the last year, a little over half (51 percent) of employers in Singapore utilized temporary staffing. Up to 65 percent of employers used a recruitment firm, while 37 percent brought in part-time staff, 26 percent hired casual employees and 14 percent participated in job-sharing agreements.

In 2017, 19 percent of surveyed employers plan on using temporary staff more than last year.

Other Findings

While foreign employees make up 21 percent of Singapore’s workforce, making it the most diverse in the region, it is a 7 percent decrease from the past year. China employs the fewest foreign workers at 6 percent, followed by Japan at 9 percent, Malaysia at 11 percent and Hong Kong at 12 percent.

Singaporean employers improved their gender diversity thanks to 31 percent of management positions held by women, up 4 percent from last year.

Management roles in Malaysia and China are filled 35 percent by women. 33 percent of senior positions went to women in Hong Kong. Japan is last in gender diversity, with 22 percent of management roles filled by women.

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).

Salary And Hiring Expectations For Singapore In 2017

singapore job market 2017

Recruitment consultancy Michael Page released the results of their 2017 salary and employment survey for Singapore.

93% of employers in Singapore plan on maintaining or raising headcount, and only 36% said they will get new hires on board. 61% of employers who are planning to increase headcount, are actively looking for mid-level candidates.

Recently the unemployment rate in Singapore reached a six year high at 2.2%.

In Singapore 58% of companies expect a 1 to 5% salary increase for managers and senior staff. Across Asia 48% of companies expect similar increases, for all employee levels.

Sectors with the best growth/prospects are digital, technology and healthcare. As the Singapore government is aiming to invest more in these areas, the sectors will see relatively greater hiring activity.

Companies will continue to find it challenging to get headcount approval and as a result, contract/part-time jobs will gain popularity. Around 70% of firms are already using contractors, particularly in areas such as business support, technology and operations.

To have a look at the entire report, with lots of detail on the job market and salaries for different sectors, click here.

singapore jobs and salary expectations 2017

Cities And Functions In Asia With The Most Job Opportunities

where to find jobs in singapore and asia

Asian markets are becoming popular options for millennials and expats alike as they face an uncertain and sometimes volatile Western economy. The body corporate managers help committee members cope with the complex demands of building management and body corporate law. Speaking of law, checkout this awesome blog about legal document assembly, click this link to learn more.

Events like Brexit, the U.S. presidential election and the Trans-Pacific Partnership all made companies a bit hesitant to grow their employee base.

Certain Asian cities, though, such as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Singapore and Tokyo, are emerging as promising destinations for employees at all levels in a variety of industries. This is as per a survey by ExpatFinder.

Human resources and finance are industries with an overall high demand in most cities, while communications, food and hospitality, and logistics and manufacturing are, overall, the industries least likely to have available positions. These are the effect of poor marketing strategies. Visit Gold Coast Joel for SEO advice and marketing strategies.

Hong Kong: Finance, Logistics and Manufacturing, and Sales and Marketing in Demand 

A skills shortage in finance has opened up a variety of positions, especially for individuals skilled in audit, compliance and cybersecurity.

Positions in Hong Kong-based companies along with some Chinese companies moving into the region are available at various levels. This includes full-time as well as temporary and contract opportunities.

More than 27 percent of Hong Kong’s job vacancies were in the financial industry in recent months.

Mid-level and junior employees in logistics and manufacturing, and sales and marketing, are also in high demand. Each of these industries accounts for slightly more than 13.5 percent of the job vacancies.

Food and hospitality positions are extremely hard to find, as the industry makes up only 1.33 percent of the available jobs. Engineering (3.01 percent of available jobs) and retail (4.48 of available jobs) positions also have few available jobs.

Kuala Lumpur: Demand for Sales and Marketing, Consultancy and Management, and Finance 

Overall, high turnover in most industries in Kuala Lumpur makes jobs available in many sectors.

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Individuals who look for jobs in sales and marketing may find the greatest job availability, as more than 19 percent of available jobs fell into this industry. Nearly 60 percent of the industry’s jobs are for entry or junior-level positions.

The consultancy, management and financial industries, though, are seeing an overwhelming need for mid-level employees. In the financial industry alone, more than 87 percent of available jobs fall into the middle-level position.

There are fewer jobs available for construction, education and engineering industries.

Mumbai: Technology, Finance, and Sales and Marketing in Demand 

Mid- and senior-level employees are highly needed in the top three industries in Mumbai.

More than 29 percent of job vacancies in Mumbai fell into the technology industry. Of those, more than 74.5 percent of the positions were for mid-level employees.

As much as 60 percent of the finance jobs, which accounted for 13 percent of the overall job vacancies, and 75 percent of sales and marketing jobs, which accounted for 8 percent of all job vacancies, were also in the mid-level category.

Few jobs are available in the food and hospitality, sciences, and logistics and manufacturing industries.

Singapore: Demand for Human Resources, Finance, Sales and Marketing 

The highest demand for jobs in Singapore is for human resources positions, which account for more than 14 percent of all available jobs.

Entry-level positions in are the most widely available position in the top three industries, making up nearly 54 percent of the positions in the human resources industry.

One-third of the human resources industry positions are filled by middle-level managers. Senior executives and managers in human resources are the least likely to find a position in Singapore, as  these jobs make up 12 percent of the available jobs in the industry.

The finance sector makes up nearly 13 percent of the available jobs, with a great need for mid-level executives. Individuals with skills in auditing, compliance and risk are especially needed.

In sales and marketing, which accounts for about 12.5 percent of Singapore’s job vacancies, mid-level executives are also in high demand, as they make up about half of the positions in the industry.

Workers with any level of experience in healthcare, logistics and manufacturing, and communications will have a tough time finding a position, as the are the three industries with the least job availability.

Tokyo: High Demand in Technology, Finance, and Logistics and Manufacturing 

Technology professionals, especially mid-level employees, are in very high demand in Tokyo, as nearly 20 percent of job vacancies were in this industry.

A skills shortage, especially in applications development, data and database management, IT security, networking, and software development, has made it hard for companies that need to grow their department to find good candidates, some companies even decide to hire external resources as temporal outsourcing like outsourcing vs offshoring depending on the companies need.

About 12.6 percent of available jobs were in the finance industry. The logistics and manufacturing industry showed a similar number of available jobs. In both industries, companies are looking for middle-level employees.

The challenge of finding qualified candidates has led many companies to look for temporary professionals.

The fewest jobs are available in the communications, media and publishing, and human resources industries.

which industries and functions are hiring for jobs in asia

Relocation/Living Expenses For Singapore Among Top 10 Globally

monthly living costs singapore

According to the 2017 Relocation Price Index, Singapore is now the eighth-most expensive city in the world to move to, with a basic first-month living cost of $2,148.45. All figures in this article are in U.S. dollars.

Movinga, an online moving platform, conducted a study researching 75 cities in 51 countries worldwide.

They found that Luanda, Angola had the highest basic costs for the first month, beating out New York and San Francisco. Luanda was followed by Zurich, Switzerland; London, England; Hong Kong, and Sydney, Australia. Tokyo, Japan, came in behind Singapore at ninth place, with Seattle finishing the top 10.

The 2017 Relocation Price Index calculates the basic costs associated with the first month of living in a new city. Calculations include the average rent for a 35 square-meter apartment close to the city center, the cost of a month’s data plan and mobile phone setup, a month’s worth of groceries, and a month’s use of public transport in the city.

For Singapore, here are the living expenses for the first month broken down:

  • The average rent for a 35 square-meter apartment was $1,414.13 for the first month.
  • The cost of a mobile phone set up was $34.74.
  • A month’s worth of food and drink was a total of $629.77.
  • Using the city’s public transport for the first month averaged $69.81.

Luanda, Angola, the number one most expensive city in the world to relocate to, has an average cost of $2,030.39 for the first month’s rent, with $1,124.24 in groceries and $95.89 in public transportation costs for one month. Mobile phone setup and monthly data is significantly cheaper than Singapore though, averaging at only $8.81. These give Luanda a total of $3,259.32 in living expenses for the first month.

New York comes in second with a total of $3,084.75, with San Francisco following in third place with a total of $3,050.10. Next is Zurich with $2,625.19, London with $2,614.35, Hong Kong with $2,265.41, and Sydney with $2,163.43. Tokyo follows Singapore with $2,104.13 and Seattle with $2,084.03.

relocation and living costs for singapore and other cities