1 in 5 students in Singapore expect starting salaries of S$4,000 or more, survey finds

The top five industries for respondents were healthcare, the government sector, finance, tech, and education.
The Straits Times

Despite a weak global economic outlook, most of Singapore’s students are still hoping to earn monthly salaries of between S$3,000 and S$4,000 on entering the workforce, with some expecting even more than that, a new survey by scholarship portal BrightSparks has found.

The survey, which polled 3,215 students from universities (956 respondents), polytechnics (316 respondents) and junior colleges (1,943 respondents) found that about half of all respondents expected their pay to fall between S$3,000 and S$4,000.

About 20 per cent expected to earn between S$2,000 and S$3,000, while another 20 per cent hoped for S$4,000 and above. Just 1 per cent expected to earn under S$2,000.

When broken down by education level, junior college respondents had the highest salary expectations, with 24 per cent expecting salaries above S$4,000. This figure fell to 14 per cent for polytechnic respondents and 13 per cent for university respondents.

When asked to select an expected salary bracket, the largest share of junior college respondents (26.5 per cent) picked “above S$4,000”, while the largest share of polytechnic and university respondents (24.5 per cent and 42.5 per cent respectively) picked the “S$3,000 to S$3,500” option.

The survey also found that students’ top three priorities when selecting a job were career opportunities, job security, and interesting work.

According to respondents, the most attractive industry here was healthcare, which BrightSparks attributed to increasing demand from Singapore’s ageing population.

This was followed by jobs in the Government sector, which were perceived as extremely stable, BrightSparks said.

Rounding out the top five sectors were finance, tech, and education.

When asked about university scholarships, the majority of respondents said that two to four years was an acceptable bond duration for scholarships to local universities, and four to six years for overseas universities.

A BrightSparks spokesman said that students were becoming more open to longer scholarship bonds due to the economic slowdown, and were increasingly seeking stable jobs.

According to the survey, the three most popular scholarships providers were the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, and the Ministry of Health.

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