Higher starting pay for university graduates, more in freelance work: Survey, The Straits Times, 26 Feb 2018

The major local dailies reported the results of a joint graduate employment survey that polled 11,628 fresh graduates of full-time courses from National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU).

The survey found that fresh university graduates earned a higher median monthly salary of $3,400 in 2017 compared to $3,300 in 2016. The starting pay of graduates is at its highest since 2012 and nearly nine in 10 graduates, or 88.9 percent, found jobs within six months of graduation. This is a slight dip from 89.5 percent in 2016. Lastly, 2.4 percent (compared to 1.7 percent in 2016) of graduates opted to go into freelance work while about 8 percent are in part-time or temporary jobs.

According to HR experts, the employment dip was not a cause for concern as fresh graduates have other priorities besides full-time work. They also commented that graduates could have opted for freelance work or being an entrepreneur due to high remuneration and better work-life balance. The survey also showed that SMU graduates fared the best of the three universities, with 93.9 percent of them finding employment within the first six months of graduation. At NUS and NTU, the figure was about 90 percent. The Straits Times and TODAY noted that NUS’ pioneer cohorts in business analytics and Yale-NUS College did well with high employment rates of more than 90 per cent. Yale-NUS’ first batch of graduates had an employment rate of 93.3 percent with an overall median pay of $3,500.

The stories were carried in The Straits Times (1) (2), TODAY (1) (2), Channel NewsAsia, Lianhe Zaobao, Business Times, The New Paper