facebookThe Ultimate Guide: Starting Salary For Fresh University Graduates 2021 Edition
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The Ultimate Guide: Starting Salary For Fresh University Graduates 2021 Edition

profileCherie Tan

Fresh university graduates have been reported to earn a higher starting pay as compared to their seniors, ranging from S$4,000 to S$5,000 a month in business and computing areas.

The median salary of a Singaporean is $4,534, what about the salary that you should be getting and what your peers are getting?

The key takeaway from this article is for you:

  • You are choosing your university course
  • To manage your expectations before an interview
  • You wish to know the similar situations of the peers before you
  • TO KNOW YOUR WORTH


TL;DR – Which University Graduates Hold The Highest Salary On Average For Each Faculty

Do note that we are using the basic salary for the calculation.

Basic salary refers to only full-time permanently employed graduates. It comprises of the pay before deduction of employee’s CPF contributions and personal income tax.

Income such as Employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, stock options, overtime payments, commissions, fixed allowances, other regular cash payments, lump-sum payments, and payments-in-kind are all excluded.

An important thing to take note of is that this guide is not a super exact be-all and end-all of what kind of salary a fresh graduate should get. But, it should still prove very helpful in negotiating your salary and help in your decision making when it comes to your studies and a career.


Figures are taken from graduates who have completed the latest graduate employment survey produced by the Ministry of Education.

Don’t worry if it has been a while since you have graduated, we have also compiled a salary guide for you to refer to as well!

Which university did you graduate from? Click to teleport.

Basic Salary Of Graduates From National University of Singapore (NUS) Based on NUS Graduation Employment Survey 2020 (Published in 2021)

Degree From NUSMedian SalaryEmployedIn Full-Time
Permanent
Employment
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
Bachelor of Arts$3,10090.4%39.8%
Bachelor of Arts (Hons)$3,50093.1%54.2%
Bachelor of Social Sciences$3,50093.5%65.3%
Faculty of Dentistry
Bachelor of Dental Surgery$4,200100%100%
Faculty of Engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical Engineering)$3,50095.8%53.1%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Chemical Engineering)
$4,00097.0%78.2%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Civil Engineering)
$3,50095.5% 86.5%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Electrical Engineering)
$4,00091.0%75.4%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Engineering Science)
$4,00091.3%73.9%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Environmental Engineering)
$3,500100.0%63.2%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Industrial and Systems Engineering)
$4,01097.2%93.0%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Materials Science and Engineering)
$3,70090.3%66.1%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Mechanical Engineering)
$3,70094.2%69.6%
Faculty of Law
Bachelor of Laws$4,64091.8%86.8%
Faculty of Science
Bachelor of Science$3,00086.0%42.1%
Bachelor of Science (Hons)$3,50093.1%57.4%
Bachelor of Science
(Computational Biology)
$4,52580.0%40.0%
Bachelor of Science
(Pharmacy)
$3,60099.3%93.7%
Bachelor of Science
(Data Science & Analytics)
$4,125 100.0% 78.3%
NUS Business School
Bachelor of Business Administration$4,00096.3%66.7%
Bachelor of Business Administration (Hons)$4,00094.9% 80.7%
Bachelor of Business Administration
(Accountancy)
$3,500 90.9%63.6%
Bachelor of Business Administration
(Accountancy) (Hons)
$3,400 96.8%92.1%
School of Computing
Bachelor of Computing (Computer Science)$5,10097.1%92.6%
Bachelor of Computing (Information
Security)
$4,65090.9%90.9%
Bachelor of Computing (Information
Systems)
$4,49598.6%93.1%
Bachelor of Science (Business Analytics)$5,000 98.0%84.3%
School of Design & Environment
Bachelor of Arts (Architecture)$4,000 94.0%91.0%
Bachelor of Arts (Industrial Design)$3,500 90.3% 22.6%
Bachelor of Science (Project and
Facilities Management)
$3,200 92.2% 66.7%
Bachelor of Science (Real Estate)$3,60095.1%68.6%
Yong Loo Lin School (Medicine)
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of
Surgery
$4,700100.0%100.0%
Bachelor of Science (Nursing)$3,25097.4%92.2%
Bachelor of Science (Nursing) (Hons)$3,40098.5%97.0%
YST Conservatory of Music
Bachelor of Music$3,125 69.2%15.4%
Yale-NUS College
Bachelor of Arts with Honours$3,80090.5% 65.7%
Bachelor of Science with Honours$5,35092.6% 77.8%
Multi-Disciplinary Programmes
Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering)$5,00093.7%81.1%
Bachelor of Environmental Studies$3,25092.9%47.6%

Source: NUS 2020 Graduate Employment Survey by the Ministry of Education

6,894 fresh graduates and 853 follow-up graduates from NUS were surveyed in November 2020 and the overall response rates obtained were 78.5% and 74.1% respectively.

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Basic Salary Of Graduates From Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Based on NTU Graduate Employment Survey 2020 (Published in 2021)

Degree From NTUMedian SalaryEmployedIn Full-Time
Permanent
Employment
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Accountancy$3,00096.0%88.7%
Accountancy and Business$4,327 97.6%91.3%
Business$3,750 95.2%66.8%
Double Degree in Business and Computer
Engineering/Computing
$5,200 97.4% 97.4%
College of Engineering
Aerospace Engineering$4,11091.2% 75.8%
Bioengineering$3,428 89.1% 43.6%
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering$3,732 95.0%83.0%
Civil Engineering$3,458 95.7% 87.0%
Computer Engineering$4,06997.2% 94.4%
Computer Science$4,50892.2%86.1%
Double Degree in Engineering &
Economics
$4,459100.0% 94.1%
Electrical & Electronic Engineering$3,92594.5%75.1%
Environmental Engineering$3,36490.2%58.5%
Information Engineering & Media$4,08596.0%70.0%
Maritime Studies$3,60890.8%78.5%
Materials Engineering$3,613 91.5% 69.0%
Mechanical Engineering$3,86191.7%67.5%
College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Art, Design & Media$2,800 90.4% 35.7%
Chinese$3,35083.8%63.5%
Communication Studies$3,30094.9% 66.7%
Economics$3,70091.8%63.5%
English$3,45090.9%43.2%
History$3,57587.2% 44.7%
Inter-Disciplinary Double Major$3,30095.8%50.0%
Linguistics & Multilingual Studies$3,30096.6%63.8%
Philosophy$3,30096.3%70.4%
Psychology$3,20083.8%53.5%
Public Policy and Global Affairs$3,710 92.5%67.5%
Sociology$3,50095.4% 66.2%
College of Science
Biological Sciences$3,30088.9%56.7%
Biomedical Sciences & Chinese
Medicine
$3,00094.7%84.2%
Chemistry & Biological Chemistry$3,20091.9%45.6%
Environmental Earth Systems Science*$3,55095.5% 63.6%
Mathematical Sciences$3,60092.4%68.9%
Mathematics & Economics$3,83287.1% 55.7%
Physics & Applied Physics$3,60092.6%48.5%
National Institute Of Education (NIE)
Arts (With Education)$3,798100.0%98.4%
Science (With Education)$3,799100.0%$3,800
Sport Science and Management
Sport Science and Management$3,24091.5%52.5%
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine$4,700100.0%100.0%

Source: NTU 2020 Graduate Employment Survey by the Ministry of Education

5,755 fresh graduates and 99 follow-up graduates from NTU were surveyed in November 2020 and the overall response rates obtained were 79.1% and 83.8% respectively.

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Basic Salary Of Graduates From Singapore Management University (SMU) Based on SMU Graduate Employment Survey 2020 (Published in 2021)

Degree From SMUMedian SalaryEmployedIn Full-Time
Permanent
Employment
School of Accountancy (4-year programme)
Accountancy$3,05094.7%86.0%
Cum Laude and above$3,60096.3% 86.1%
School of Business (4-year programme)
Business Management$3,800 95.8% 68.4%
Cum Laude and above$4,00097.5% 78.7%
School of Economics (4-year programme)
Economics$3,75091.5%70.5%
Cum Laude and above$4,00094.7%82.9%
School of Information Systems (4-year programme)
Information Systems$4,50093.1% 83.9%
Cum Laude and above$5,00093.3%93.3%
School of Social Sciences (4-year programme)
Social Sciences$3,36089.9%52.8%
Cum Laude and above$3,51090.6%65.6%
School of Law (4-year programme)
Law$4,50095.5%91.1%
Cum Laude and above$5,00097.0%95.5%

Source: SMU 2020 Graduate Employment Survey by the Ministry of Education

1,883 fresh graduates and 145 follow-up graduates from SMU were surveyed in November 2020 and the overall response rates obtained were 78.4% and 77.2% respectively.

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Basic Salary Of Graduates From Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) Based on SIT Graduate Employment Survey 2019 (Published in 2020)

DegreeMedian SalaryEmployedFull-Time Permanent Employment Rate
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Arts in Game Design *$3,12083.3%79.2%
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation$3,15081.3%50.0%
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Game Design *$3,80091.3%87.0%
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation$4,400100.0%94.9%
Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)
Bachelor of Accountancy with Honours$3,10093.7%89.2%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Information & Communications Technology (Information Security)$4,00097.5%95.0%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Information & Communications Technology (Software Engineering)$4,034100.0%97.4%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Pharmaceutical Engineering$3,16292.2%90.6%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Building Services)$3,36092.5%92.5%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering (Land)$3,80093.8%90.6%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Telematics (Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineering)$3,750100.0%97.0%
Bachelor of Hospitality Business with Honours$2,80089.1%74.6%
SIT-DigiPen Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Engineering in Systems Engineering (ElectroMechanical Systems) *$3,92195.2%90.5%
SIT-Massey University
Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours$2,97593.0%88.4%
SIT-Newcastle University
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Chemical Engineering$3,20082.2%73.3%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Electrical Power Engineering *$3,40091.3%82.6%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Marine Engineering *$3,300100.0%100.0%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering *$3,10080.0%66.7%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Naval Architecture **N.A.N.A.N.A.
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Offshore Engineering **N.A.N.A.N.A.
SIT-Trinity College Dublin / Trinity College Dublin
Bachelor in Science (Diagnostic Radiography) **N.A.N.A.N.A.
Bachelor in Science (Occupational Therapy)$3,400100.0%100.0%
Bachelor in Science (Physiotherapy)$3,40098.3%98.3%
Bachelor in Science (Radiation Therapy) **N.A.N.A.N.A.
SIT-University of Glasgow
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nursing$3,500100.0%95.8%
Technische Universität München
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering$3,10081.8%77.3%
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
& Information Technology **
N.A.N.A.N.A.
The Culinary Institute of America
Bachelor of Business Administration in Food Business Management *$2,35081.0%61.9%
The Glasgow School of Art
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Communication Design$2,80078.7%55.3%
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Interior Design$2,70087.1%80.6%
University of Glasgow
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Aeronautical Engineering$3,50077.1%64.6%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Aerospace Systems$3,55082.4%67.6%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Design Engineering$3,50097.0%93.9%
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics$3,60093.2%83.1%
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computing Science$4,00092.3%89.2%
University of Liverpool
Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Criminology and Security$3,52680.2%70.4%

Source: SIT 2019 Graduate Employment Survey by the Ministry of Education

1,809 full-time graduates from SIT were surveyed in Mar 2020 and the overall response rate obtained was 83.3%.

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Basic Salary Of Graduates From Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) Based on SUTD Graduate Employment Survey 2020 (Published in 2021)

Degree From SITMedian SalaryEmployedIn Full-Time
Permanent
Employment
Bachelor of Engineering
(Engineering Product Development)
$3,900 84.2%80.2%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Information Systems Technology and Design)
$4,400 88.8%85.7%
Bachelor of Engineering
(Engineering Systems and Design)
$3,80089.9% 87.3%
Bachelor of Science
(Architecture and Sustainable Design)
$3,897100.0%91.8%

Source: SUTD 2019 Graduate Employment Survey by the Ministry of Education

431 full-time and 62 follow-up graduates from SUTD were surveyed in Feb 2020 and the overall response rates obtained were 85.8% and 80.6% respectively.

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Basic Salary Of Graduates From Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Based on SUSS Graduate Employment Survey 2019 (Published in 2020)

Degree from SUSSMedian SalaryEmployedIn Full-Time
Permanent
Employment
School of Business
Bachelor of Accountancy$3,00094.6%81.7%
Bachelor of Science in Finance$3,163100.0%50.0%
Bachelor of Science in Marketing$2,900 92.1% 51.3%
Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain
Management
$3,12588.0%36.0%
S R Nathan School of Human Development
Bachelor of Early Childhood Education$3,000100.0%88.2%
Bachelor of Human Resource
Management
$2,75090.6%22.6%
Bachelor of Social Work$3,50097.3%89.2%

Source: SUSS 2020 Graduate Employment Survey by the Ministry of Education

370 fresh graduates from SUSS were surveyed in November 2020 and the overall response rate obtained was 88.6%.

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Our community shared their personal experiences

They shared about their starting salary during their time and many spoke up about their personal experiences.

So it is time to see if the starting salary of a degree graduate that we all have been receiving over the years has gradually increased.

This is the MEDIAN salary of our community members across industries over the years:

YearMedian Salary (S$)
19962,500
19972,300
20031,800
20043,100
20052,400
20061,800
20072,400
20082,400
20092,250
20103,275
20122,750
20132,300
20142,800
20153,300
20162,900
20173,500
20183,400
20193,600

If you would like to read more of their stories and experiences, you can find them here.

If you read through the conversation, you might realise that not every industry had increased the graduates’ salary even from 14 years back!

This is an important finding to realise that wages ARE STICKY and we should manage our expectations when it comes to negotiating your pay with HR.

COVID-19 Pandemic and The Job Market

We are currently facing a different type of crisis and with COVID-19 Pandemic, and the labour market numbers look depressing as of Q2 2020.

Hence, is important that we manage our expectation when it comes to our salary.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to accepting a lower starting salary or wait for the perfect job.

But we recommend taking up a different approach this year.

Last year and the start of 2021 is all about surviving.

It is important to accumulate relevant experience and put yourself in the perfect position when the job market recovers.

Why Do We Use Median Salary?

In case you would like to know why we are using the median salary,

  • Mean: An average of the salaries
  • Median: The 50th Percentile, meaning the “central” graduate amongst everyone.

Median is a more accurate reference as data of the salaries received are not symmetrically distributed.

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