First cohort of Yale-NUS graduates highly sought after in the marketplace

27 February 2018

Inaugural graduates from Yale-NUS College achieved employment rate of 93.3% and median starting salary of S$3,500

Fresh graduates from Yale-NUS College’s inaugural class recorded an employment rate[1] of 93.3% and a median starting salary of S$3,500. This is based on the latest Joint Graduate Employment Survey 2017, which was conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the other Autonomous Universities[2] (AUs) in Singapore.

According to the survey, the median starting salary of Yale-NUS graduates with Bachelor of Science with Honours degrees is S$4,083, while that for graduates with Bachelor of Arts with Honours degrees is S$3,500.

106 out of a total of 119 fresh graduates participated in the joint survey. This is the first time Yale-NUS is participating in the survey.

Yale-NUS graduates went into diverse industries in the public and private sectors. The top six industries are: business and management consultancy; financial and insurance; information and communication; education[3]; public administration and defence; and arts, entertainment and recreation.

Professor Tan Tai Yong, President of Yale-NUS College said, “We are very happy with the outcome of the survey, which shows that our graduates are highly sought after in the workplace. Our Class of 2017 students have demonstrated that they are pioneers in more ways than one: from entering the first liberal arts college in Singapore and helping to shape the school culture for the future cohorts, to blazing the trail for future Yale-NUS graduates in the workplace. During their four years with us, we have endeavoured to nurture future global leaders by equipping them with global perspectives and critical thinking, while imbuing in them an ethic of service. We are pleased that our graduates have put what they learnt in college to good use as they contribute actively to the different industries they have entered.”

Yale-NUS College offers a distinctive curriculum and a four-year residential programme that encourages active learning, adaptability and critical thought. The curriculum emphasises broad-based multidisciplinary learning across the natural and social sciences, and humanities. A key part of the Yale-NUS education is ensuring that students have a wide range of experiences and a global portfolio of opportunities. Such opportunities enhance their academic learning, broaden their perspectives, and hone the skills and character they need to succeed as students today and leaders tomorrow. One of Yale-NUS College’s distinct qualities is the close-knit residential community where all students live and study on campus throughout their four-year education at the College.

One graduate who has put his leadership skills and global perspective to good use at work is Linus Seah, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree, majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Mr Seah joined global pharmaceutical and healthcare company GSK Asia after graduating and is now a management trainee in the GSK Future Leaders Programme where he will be rotated to different functions within the company over two years. He is now with the procurement section and one of his main projects involves generating a regional strategy to revamp the merchandising services for GSK’s Asia Pacific operations.

Mr Seah shared, “A benefit of the liberal arts education I received is the training of ‘intellectual plasticity’, or more plainly put, the ability to pick up things and apply them quickly. In procurement where I’m given little time to understand an entire category or commodity, the training that I’ve received in college has definitely helped.”

Another graduate who appreciated the numerous learning opportunities his liberal arts education gave him is Michael James Anthony, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree, majoring in Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences. Mr Anthony joined Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) after graduating and is now a Country Officer at the ministry’s Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific (ANZP) Directorate. He shared that his college education has helped him greatly in his work as he has had numerous opportunities to practise and sharpen his analytical, writing and presentation skills. In addition, the knowledge he gained from classes in political philosophy and history has come in useful when he needs to analyse geopolitical developments, by way of providing the relevant contexts and backgrounds. “In addition to mastering content, my time at Yale-NUS had given me numerous opportunities to practise and sharpen my analytical, writing and presentation skills, including through seminar discussions, class presentations, problem sets and essays,” he added.

Besides graduates who have entered the workplace, other Yale-NUS graduates have also gone on to different pathways such as fellowships and graduate schools. Nicholas Carverhill, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree with a major in Urban Studies, has been selected as a 2018 Rhodes Scholar. The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award given to exceptional students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford, with the aim of nurturing public-spirited leaders of the future. Mr Carverhill intends to pursue a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Oxford, which he feels will give him the methodological and theoretical dexterity to work in collaboration with different communities. “After my fieldwork experiences from courses taken at Yale-NUS, I feel called to work with vulnerable communities on issues related to urban politics,” shared Mr Carverhill.


[1] The overall employment rate refers to the number of graduates working in full-time permanent, part-time, temporary or freelance employment, as a proportion of graduates in the labour force (i.e. those who were working or not working but actively looking and available for work) as at 1 November 2017.

[2] The Joint Graduate Employment Survey is conducted by the five Autonomous Universities (NTU, NUS, SIT, SMU, and SUTD) every year to collect information on the employment status of graduates six months after the completion of their final examinations. Due to their different academic calendars, NUS, NTU, and SMU conduct their surveys in November each year, while SUTD and SIT conduct their surveys in February and March respectively. SUSS will take part in the Joint Graduate Employment Survey from the next cycle. The latest results are for NUS, NTU, and SMU only.

[3] Education sector includes research work conducted within Institutions of Higher Learning


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