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Monday July 22nd 2019

Salaries of our fresh graduates 2010 –

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The latest graduate employment survey reports are out.

The 2009 batch of graduates from NUS, NTU and SMU were asked about their starting pay and whether they were employed on a permanent basis.

The highest starting salaries come from the 4-year Information Systems Management programme at Singapore Management University. Those who graduated from this course with at least a Cum Laude (β€œwith honour”) got a median starting pay of $4,000. One quarter of them earn $4,600 and above. However, only 72.2% of them are employed on a full-time permanent basis.

The worst performing course is the NTU Art, Design & Media. A mere 61.7% of the graduates are permanently employed. Half of them earned $2,300 and less.

Here are the rankings:

Top Median Gross Monthly Salaries (in brackets are the 75th-percentile salaries)

  1. SMU Information Systems Management (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – $4,000 ($4,600)
  2. SMU Economics (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – $3,200 ($4,000)
  3. SMU Economics (4-yr programme) – $3,000 ($3,763)
  4. NUS Business Administration (Honours) – $3,000 ($3,600)
  5. SMU Business Management (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – $3,000 ($3,500)
  6. NUS Chemical Engineering – $3,000 ($3,500)
  7. NUS Industrial & Systems Engineering – $3,000 ($3,450)
  8. NUS Dental Surgery – $3,000 ($3,400)
  9. NTU Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering – $3,000 ($3,300)
  10. NTU Aerospace Engineering – $3,000 ($3,250)
  11. NTU Arts (with Education) – $3,000 ($3,200)
  12. NUS Information Systems – $2,975 ($3,250)
  13. NTU Physics & Applied Physics – $2,950 ($3,000)
  14. NUS Computer Engineering – $2,900 ($3,440)
  15. NTU Chemistry & Biological Chemistry – $2,900 ($3,300)
  16. NUS Computer Science – $2,900 ($3,290)
  17. NTU Computer Science – $2,900 ($3,250)
  18. NTU Science (with Education) – $2,900 ($3,200)
  19. NTU Computer Engineering – $2,900 ($3,200)
  20. NUS Mechanical Engineering – $2,900 ($3,200)
  21. NUS Science (Honours) – $2,900 ($3,200)

The Dumping Grounds by Starting Pay (Gross Monthly)

  1. NTU Art, Design & Media – $2,300 ($2,800)
  2. NTU Accountancy (3-yr direct Honours programme) – $2,400 ($2,500)
  3. NUS Business Administration (Accountancy) – $2,400 ($2,500)
  4. NUS Applied Science – $2,500 ($2,500)
  5. NUS Science – $2,500 ($2,600)
  6. NUS Arts – $2,500 ($2,600)
  7. NUS Business Administration (3-yr programme) – $2,500 ($2,700)
  8. SMU Social Sciences (4-yr programme) – $2,500 ($2,850)
  9. NTU Maritime Studies – $2,500 ($2,900)
  10. SMU Accountancy (4-yr programme) – $2,500 ($2,950)
  11. NUS Nursing – $2,550 ($2,700)
  12. NTU Environmental Engineering – $2,600 ($2,900)
  13. NTU Communication Studies – $2,600 ($2,900)
  14. NUS Real Estate – $2,600 ($3,000)
  15. NUS Applied Science (Honours) – $2,600 ($3,000)
  16. SMU Accountancy (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – $2,600 ($4,000)

Top Permanent Employment Rate (in brackets are the average salaries)

  1. NUS Nursing – 100.0% ($2,568)
  2. NTU Science (with Education) – 100.0% ($3,030)
  3. NTU Arts (with Education) – 100.0% ($3,109)
  4. NUS Dental Surgery – 100.0% ($3,176)
  5. NTU Chinese – 98.0% ($2,756)
  6. NUS Business Administration (Accountancy) – 97.1% ($2,448)
  7. SMU Accountancy (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – 96.8% ($3,586)
  8. NUS Computer Engineering – 95.7% ($2,890)
  9. SMU Accountancy (4-yr programme) – 95.3% ($3,073)
  10. NUS Applied Science (Honours) – 94.7% ($2,674)
  11. NTU Computer Science – 94.3% ($2,930)
  12. NUS Material Science and Engineering – 93.8% ($2,880)
  13. NUS Civil Engineering – 92.9% ($2,801)
  14. SMU Economics (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – 92.6% ($3,606)
  15. NUS Industrial & Systems Engineering – 92.5% ($3,099)
  16. NUS Business Administration (Honours) – 92.1% ($3,389)
  17. NUS Information Systems – 91.1% ($2,918)
  18. NTU Civil Engineering – 90.8% ($2,769)
  19. NTU Accountancy (3-yr direct Honours programme) – 90.0% ($2,529)

The Dumping Grounds by Employability

  1. NTU Art, Design & Media – 61.7% ($2,431)
  2. NUS Environmental Engineering – 63.2% ($2,667)
  3. NUS Communication and Media – 70.8% ($2,536)
  4. SMU Social Sciences (4-yr programme) – 72.0% ($2,613)
  5. SMU Information Systems Management (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – 72.2% ($3,754)
  6. SMU Social Sciences (4-yr programme) Cum Laude and above – 73.3% ($2,673)
  7. NTU Materials Engineering – 75.3% ($2,745)
  8. NUS Arts – 75.9% ($2,511)
  9. NTU Environmental Engineering – 76.3% ($2,777)
  10. NUS Science – 76.5% ($2,525)
  11. NUS Computing – 76.9% ($2,841)
  12. NUS Applied Science – 76.9% ($2,393)
  13. NTU Physics & Applied Physics – 77.8% ($2,900)
  14. NTU Communication Studies – 78.2% ($2,562)
  15. NTU Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering – 78.6% ($2,990)
  16. NTU Mechanical Engineering – 79.1% ($2,794)

See last year’s rankings.

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31 Responses to “Salaries of our fresh graduates 2010 –”

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  3. Josh N says:

    Dear Compiler of this report.

    Some schools are not ‘dumping grounds’, instead they produce students for ‘freelancer industries’. Essentially industries where workers benefit more from having multiple free-lance projects to gain experience. This is due to the dynamics of the industry, typically ‘creative’ industries like film, design, writers… etc.

    It makes no sense to judge ‘employability’ from the universities’ reports for such industries. The top 3 on your ‘dumping grounds’ list fall into that category.

    Also, is entrepreneurship considered ‘employability’?

    I believe that going forward in a dynamic ‘global’ Singapore, we have to recognize different industry and employment dynamics and different career paths.

    - JN

  4. christine says:

    i concur with JN’s comments about this term “dumping ground” as completely ignoring the nature of the relevant industries that they courses direct its students toward.

    moreover, “dumping ground” is a narrow-minded way of looking at and judging employability and salary. it assumes that all the students who went into such programmes/courses went there because they did badly for their A levels/poly courses and were “dump-ed”, against their will, there. some, i’m sure many, actively CHOSE to go there because of their interests etc.

  5. Batman says:

    the initial salary is a lousy indication of a ‘dumping ground’. Sure, you can have a low starting salary, but the increments should be taken into consideration as well. Take me for example, I’m batman. I don’t get paid for stopping crime, but still, everyone wants to be me.

  6. God says:

    I created every individual for a reason. The reason for your existence is not to come up with these assumptions and classifications of my beloved children. For that, you shall go to hell, unless you visit City Harvest Church and repent, for I will cleanse your soul and sins

  7. Halk Vurl says:

    Thank you for the information provided.

  8. Fass student says:

    I beg to differ. NUS Arts is no longer a dumping ground as compared to the past years. Last time, getting an average of Bs and Cs can get you into NUS FASS. Now you need at least 2 As to get you into the course.

    • Kev. J. says:

      Hi FASS student, I am not sure which intake of the NUS FASS you were in. I got into it years back in 1997(was accepted in 1995 but place was kept for 2 years owing to National Service), and my results were not technically considered bad though not stellar (I had my fair share of As and Cs). Back then, there was still quite a lot of debate going on about the role of the arts in Singapore society, with some people claiming stereotypical things such as that Shakespeare, literature and anything to do with the creative arts were not useful or needed for our society with its premium on the sciences and technology. Such ideas or biases are hard to change, and it is perhaps not our duty to try convincing people whose ideas are set. Of course, some Arts and social sciences major students in the university contribute to the mystique around the Arts being useless with their claim that it is “all about bluffing your way through”, which is misinformed and silly.

      I think though that doing well in the A levels (in whatever subject) mean nothing about doing well in university, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Also, having been educated right up to the PhD myself, I find that there is qualifiably a huge jump from the BA to the MA and then from the MA to the PhD. The gaps in between in terms of the thinking and critical knowledge required of you scales up by leagues as you move up from one degree to the next, and it is beyond a case of year by year promotion. People who go into graduate school thinking that they will do well because they did well in their undergraduate and A levels will be extremely self-deluded to try thinking so. There is qualifiably a difference in terms of translating knowledge learnt in the university to the workplace. A friend of mine who was an Engineering major was jobless for a year or so (I mean in the foreign context where I did graduate studies), went into re-training and education in financial planning and later went into something along that line. The challenge these days is perhaps making yourself look attractive as a candidate for employment whatever your major in university and your planned career path.

  9. MJ says:

    For Arts majors who are interested in New Media, there is actually a good opportunity here.

    Do not miss the opportunity.

  10. Smitten says:

    “Dumping ground” you say? I was from the “dumping ground” and now I have a fabulous life earning money while spending all day doing nothing – talking about art and the latest trends. I go to work at 10 and finish at 6, sometimes with a long lunch too…. It barely feels like work… Please don’t stop giving “dumping grounds” bad press. Let’s encourage more kids to become clones with little imagination so less people compete for my fabulous job and life!

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  13. Van Vranes says:

    My friend will definitely be interested in this. I’ll be sure to share it with him. Thanks

  14. Tan says:

    Its interesting how the people from ‘dumping grounds’ react so strongly against that term, although its often referred to informally among friends. Singapore is a elitist society, and this post reflects that accurately, so i dont see anything wrong with that term.

    And being from the top earning faculty for this survey, i should explain that banks in general pay more for IT grads, coz we work longer hours and more irregular hours, sometimes requiring shift work. And as for the full-time employability figures, that can be explained by the wide divide between good/average students and students who didnt join the course by choice and didnt develop much passion for IT. But i must say that in general, SMU is an amazing grooming ground and I definitely wouldnt be where i am now without SMU SIS.

    Just my 2 cents. =)

  15. rajkumar says:

    Y OR N

  16. billionaire says:

    I won’t say anything about the ranking presented here. However, I cannot help but say that SMU is a shit school. They are not even in the top 100 in the world ranking. Therefore, people please cut the crap with all the SMU pride thing.

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  21. JJ says:

    Dumping ground is too crude a word to what if you graduate and get the top pay?you are still being paid by someone….u do not pay ur own salary.saying that means that you might get out of job some day…what the society needs to understand is that we do need creativity and entrepreneur spirits. I am not surprise to see more of the peoples from the so call “dumping ground” by the author here become successful biz man or women eventually.So take away that bias spects of your and naming people or courses as dumping ground.

  22. JO says:

    After 15 years in ‘Art, Design and Media’ industry with a relevant degree, I am not surprise. That is what our industry is all about…rejection and setback. If you wanna stay in this industry, be prepared.

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  24. rohit says:


  25. Don says:

    I started my career in 2001 with a bacherlor of computer science degree from an overseas university.
    It was 2,600 per month…

    A decade later, the starting pay is stagnant in the face of high inflation over the years…


  26. Immigration inflation says:

    Before I get into anything, I am not claiming to be perfect well none of us are. Well I may no know everything but I am just throwing out some speculation of observations I made over the years & as a true blue singaporean & what I see in singapore today, salaries of singapore graduates will not increase but decrease for many years to come if immigrants continue to flood singapore’s employment job market undercutting local singaporeans.

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  29. Rockon says:

    They don’t tell u that bulge bracket employees get 10k and above starting pay right? haha… SMU has alot of these people from what i heard. Why no report?

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