Singapore Graduates Expect High Starting Salaries and Fast Promotions: Survey

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64 percent of recent graduates expect a monthly salary of at least S$3,000 for their first job and 75.5 percent expect their first promotion to occur within the first two years of their careers.

These statistics were obtained by online career portal JobsCentral through its annual “Employers of Choice” survey. 2,213 students and alumni from NUS, NTU, and SMU were polled from May 4 to June 15.

The high expectations were even more apparent among the top students surveyed.

73.9 percent of these students – who graduated with first or second class honours, Summa cum Laude or Magna cum Laude – indicated that they want at least S$3,000 as their starting pay.

Since 2009, the proportion of students who expect a monthly salary of more than $3,000 has been increasing by approximately 10% yearly.

But Edmund Chia, who is studying human resources at SMU, feels that students may need to temper their expectations.

“It seems to me that a high proportion of people having unrealistic expectations,” he said.