People Are Now Confused as Some NUS Students Expect Up to $10K Starting Pay

Some people believe that flowing water symbolises income. So with all the downpours we’ve been having recently, does it mean that we’re all going to be blessed with more huat luck?

For the realists amongst us, perhaps getting a good education and securing a stable job are more direct ways to grow your wealth.

Recently, a YouTube video from the YouTube channel Torres Pit托哥 (@torrespit666) has been making waves across social media platforms and online websites for its topic about, you guessed it, money.

Specifically, the expected salaries of various students studying in the “BEST University in Asia” (he was filming at the National University of Singapore (NUS)) once they join the workforce.

Now before all you students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) come after me with pitchforks, Mr Torres Pit’s comment is probably a reference to the 2022 edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Rankings, where NUS was ranked first place.

Here’s the reason why the video inspired so much discourse.

Jaw Dropping Numbers From Student Interviewees

The sub-13-minute interview video interviews a total of three students about how much they expect to receive when they graduate. Their answers varied drastically.

The first interviewee was a Business Administration student with a major in Finance and double major in Economics. When asked about how much she expected to earn in the future, she shrewdly drew a clear distinction between what she “expected” and “hoped” to earn.

After further probing from Mr Torres Pit, she responded that she “thinks” she will earn is…drumroll please, a whopping $10,000!

Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)
Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)

Is this where your mum tells you to stop dreaming?

The second round of interview was with a pair of Computer Science students. They discussed how the typical starting salary for peers with the same degree as them ranges from $5,000 to $6,000 based on previous studies done.

Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)

Smart students, substantiating their points with evidence. Must have learned the PEEL formula well.

Interestingly, the interviewees mentioned that NTU students with degrees in both Computer Science and Business reportedly earn the most within their major. We did a little digging and there appears to be some truth to that.

NTU graduates with a double degree in Business and Computer Engineering/Computing earn a median monthly salary of $6,300, followed closely by NUS graduates with a Bachelor of Computing, Computer Science, who earn $6,000. For a degree in BEng, Computer Science and Design from SUTD, your monthly median salary could be $4,800 and $3,500 if you studied at SIT, for BSc, Computer Science & Game Design.

The next interviewee was a Philosophy student (the caption of the video mentioned that she was pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics). As aspiring academic, her take on the hot salary question was to quote that some of her friends had an expected salary of about $9,000.

Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)

That probably represents her expectations as well, if birds of a feather flock together.

Following that, a masters student who is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering post-graduate degree after completing his studies at Hunan University mentioned that his peers earn approximately 300,000 RMB a year. That roughly converts to S$58,600.

Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)

An interesting sum, given that he estimates that his school fees studying at NUS totalled around 400,000 RMB (~S$77,600).

Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)

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A Typical Fresh Graduate’s Pay In Singapore

Having heard from all these students about their expected salaries, we wonder how much fresh graduates in Singapore do earn.

We can only say that reality is a splash of cold water.

A recent study showed that the median salary of a university or post-graduate degree holder is $4,200 per month. This is a far cry, less than half, of the first interviewee’s optimistic response of $10,000 a month.

The upside is that you didn’t waste your time pursuing a degree. This $4,200 figure is more than twice the amount that someone who has completed their secondary education certifications or qualifications from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).

Here’s hoping that sometime later, Mr Torres Pit (or any YouTuber, really) can do a follow up interview with the same interviewees and reveal their actual starting salaries.

How would you respond if you were asked the question, “What do you expect to earn?”

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Featured Image: YouTube (@torrespit666)