Hard Truth: Here’s how much a fresh grad can expect to earn


Last Updated on 2017-07-23 , 3:35 pm

So you’ve just graduated from your university and you’re finally entering the working world. Are you excited for your next phase of life? Are you looking forward to closing a chapter in your book of life and opening a new one?

When you’ve graduated, you’re expected to help pay for some stuff around the house and give allowance to your parents. You’d also expect to pay more for transport fares since you no longer enjoy student rates and some of you might even have to start paying back the loan you took for your degree studies.

You’d find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck, unable to save much when you just started working. Looking at the amount of liability you have even before you start working, how much do you want, or should I say, need to earn for your first job? Here’s some statistics for you.

(Note: These are just approximate figures and there will definitely be outliers among the two groups).

The average fresh graduate from local universities – NTU, NUS and SMU – are paid starting salaries ranging from $2,700 to $3,200 while a fresh graduate from private institutes like SIM can expect starting salaries from $2,200 to $2,600. Yup, it’s not the $3-4k most of us dreamt of when we first started school.

But does it mean that your career will forever be determined by your paper qualification? Well that might not be so true after all. According to a Straits Times report last year, graduates from private institutes might just be more work-ready, hungry and willing to shoulder additional responsibilities at their new jobs.


A spokesperson for SMRT said that this could be due to them “being the underdogs, having to fight harder to gain an edge over their peers.”

So what do we learn from the above? No, it’s not about local universities’ graduates not working hard enough, nor is about private institutes’ graduates being the underdog; it’s basically to tell us this: how well you do in your career and how much you earn is determined by these – work attitude and willingness to learn.

We have polytechnic graduates earning up to $10k, and we have university graduates still earning $3-4k per month. We have millionaires who dropped out of school early in their lives and university graduates working part-time, unable to get a job.

So what accounted for this disparity in results? Well, some might say it’s just whether you’re lucky enough to know the right person or whether you are smart enough to smooch your way up the corporate ladder, but we disagree. It all boils down to your work attitude and willingness to improve yourself.


Think about it, if you’re a good worker and always willing to learn and shoulder more responsibilities, won’t you catch the attention of someone higher up the food chain? Or if you’ve not shown your usefulness and consistently producing result, will someone want to bring you along with them when they move up the hierarchy?

So your degree is important, nevertheless, but it’s only good enough to get you a foot through the door…to the interview room. Anything that goes on from there, whether good or bad, will ultimately depends on you, your attitude and your actions.

So this is our advice to you, get into a company and work like crazy, never say no to work and always look for opportunities to upgrade yourself. We will be writing an article to expand on how to upgrade your employability and personal value in Singapore, so stay tuned!

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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