Mixed prospects for Singapore university graduates

Singapore Ministry of Education's latest Graduate Employment Survey of three local universities is out.

Graduates from three Singapore universities, namely National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU), have registered a mixed year in terms of starting salaries and employment rates.

This is based on the Ministry of Education’s latest round of Graduate Employment Survey conducted in November 2017, which reached out to 14,287 full-time graduates from the three institutions.

SMU, however, appeared to be on the high end of last year's trend. Almost 94% of graduates gained employment within six months after completing their final examinations. Some 65.4% were offered jobs before graduation, an 11.3 percentage point increase as compared to the 2016 cohort.

The mean gross monthly salary of SMU graduates in full-time permanent jobs is S$3,910 in 2017. This is an all-time high and a 5.1% increase over the previous year’s salary of S$3,722. The median gross monthly salary of graduates in full-time permanent employment is S$3,500 in 2017, same as in 2016.

Similar to the previous year, the top three industries of employment for SMU graduates were financial and insurance, information and communication, and legal, accounting and auditing”, with financial and insurance maintaining its position as the highest paid industry with an average gross monthly salary of S$4,649.

For NUS graduates, a handful of programmes saw a slight increase in average gross starting monthly salaries in 2017 as compared to 2016.

Law and medicine students, the most well-paid among all faculties, however, saw initial median monthly income each dipping slightly from 2016. Full-time employment rates of law graduates also trended downwards by 3.6 percentage points.

It was similar over at NTU, with employment rates dipping of hovering around the same marks as 2016. Accountancy majors, for example, saw employment rates fall to 94.5% last year, down from 95.1% in 2016.

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