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You may have already read that the median salary for a fresh graduate in Singapore has crossed S$4,300. However, these statistics are quite broad and don’t really provide much information for each and every student.

Median, after all, is just the middle value — you may just as well fall considerably below or above it, depending on your circumstances..

Of course, nobody likes the topic of falling behind, so let’s instead take a look at what you could reasonably make if you’re a good student pursuing a good degree.

You don’t have to be exceptional, just somewhere towards the upper half of the stack. Where does that put you in 2024?

Lawyers & engineers, but not only

The median salary for the entire economy was S$5,197 in 2023, but there are graduates, fresh out of school, who make $6,000 or even more than S$7,000 in their first job.

There are 20 degrees — more than twice as many as just two years earlier — across 5 schools where average salaries at the 75th percentile of surveyed graduates (i.e. top 25% and above) reached or crossed S$6,000 per month.

SchoolDegreeAverage gross monthly salary (top 25% graduates and above)
SMUComputer Science (cum laude and above)$7,752
NUSBachelor of Computing (Computer Science)$7,700
NUSBachelor of Business Administration$7,500
NUSBachelor of Laws$7,100
NTUDouble Degree in Business and Computer Engineering/Computing$7,000
SMUInformation Systems (cum laude and above)$6,666
SITBachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation$6,656
NUSBachelor of Science (Business Analytics)$6,600
SUTDBachelor of Engineering (Computer Science and Design)$6,600
SMUComputer Science$6,500
NTUDouble Degree in Engineering and Economics$6,500
NUSBachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering)$6,355
SMUInformation Systems$6,250
NTUData Science and Artificial Intelligence$6,250
NUSBachelor of Computing (Information Security)$6,210
NTUComputer Engineering$6,200
NUSBachelor of Computing (Information Systems)$6,000
SMUEconomics (cum laude and above)$6,000
NTUComputer Science$6,000
Sources: Graduate Employment Survey 2023, Ministry of Education / salary.sg

Generally speaking, it pays to be an engineer, particularly an IT one.

Unsurprisingly, computer science degrees dominate the list, taking the top spot with 1 in 4 SMU’s graduates in CS (with honours), making at least S$7,750 in their first job. Within the subject, specialising in information systems or AI also pays well, while marrying it with a second degree in business can boost your salary to over S$7,000.

Next among the richest youngsters are lawyers, also scoring S$7,000 or more if they rank toward the top of their class.

But there’s hope for other degree holders as well, as economics and business administration have also made it onto the list — even on their own, without the science/engineering components — which is good news for many, as business degrees remain the most popular among Singaporean students (believe it or not but STEM fields saw a decrease in interest in recent years).

Aside from lawyers, as long as you’re good with numbers — be it in computing, engineering or business — you can significantly boost your starting salary if you’re willing to put in a bit of extra effort.

Crossing the 75th percentile is not the Mt. Everest of education. You don’t have to be exceptionally gifted, just rise above the average to start with at least a few thousand dollars more in your pocket each year in your first job.

Featured Image: Pang Yuhao / Unsplash

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)