Wages prove that paper qualification matters in Singapore

The average starting salary of a university graduate is now almost twice that of an ITE graduate, and this gap persists over their lifetimes.
By: | December 6, 2022

Employees in Singapore who have a university degree or post-graduate degree earn a median salary of at least S$4,200 (US$3,116) a month, more than double those with secondary and lower education, or those who graduated from institutions like the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), who earn average wages of S$2,000 (US$1,484) a month.

The wage level for university graduates is also 62% higher than the median salary of S$2,600 (US$1,929) for those with diploma or A-level qualifications, highlighted an ongoing study by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The three categories of commonly held jobs for degree holders are engineers, financial consultants and insurance agents, and administrative and general executives, revealed the study of 1,905 respondents aged between 21 and 28.

In contrast, the three categories of most commonly held jobs for those with secondary and lower education are delivery riders; administrative assistants and clerks; and salespeople, retail assistants and cashiers.

READ: Employment in Singapore rose for second consecutive year

Findings also showed that low-wage employees were hit harder by the pandemic. Some 35% suffered from job disruptions like retrenchment, while 19% experienced income loss.

For employees with higher wages, 21% suffered job disruption, while only 4% experienced income loss.