Are they worth it? Graduates demand sky-high salaries

by Ben Abbott05 Mar 2015
HR should expect to haggle with the next batch of ambitious graduates, after a survey revealed just how much they expect to make with no experience.
A poll conducted by STJobs has found one in five local undergraduates expect to hit $4000 or more per month when they actually start earning a living.
The aspirational figure is matched by the somewhat brutal truth that the average starting salary for a bachelor’s degree graduate is only $2,741 per month.
As reported by AsiaOne, only 12% of 200 fresh graduates and undergraduates surveyed by STJobs estimated that they would earn less than $2,500.
Seventy per cent expected to be paid somewhere up to $4,000 per month, while a confident 18% pegged their expectations above the $4000 mark.
The graduates with higher salary expectations said their estimates were based on the fact that they were graduating from a recognised university.
However, one in five of all those surveyed admitted they had no idea of the actual starting pay market rate, and had simply taken an educated guess.
Most came up with a figure by consulting friends working in similar industries or basing it on the level of pay they expected from their desired employers.
AsiaOne reports that one in five employers place an average premium of $214 per month for local university grads over their overseas counterparts.
Likewise, anecdotal evidence shows employers are willing to pay a 15% premium for local university graduates over private tertiary colleges.
JRT Recruitment director Jerry Wee told AsiaOne the tightening of EPs for employment combined with rising costs and the difficulty in hiring locals were factors that would support the salaries of strong fresh graduates.
However, there have been expectations an increased number of graduates in future may cause a glut, putting downward pressure on salaries.
JRT’s Jerry Wee warned that graduates would need to be more realistic when it came to their starting salary expectations.
The poll sample included 79% from local universities, 11% from local polytechnics and the ITE, and the rest from private institutions. They were a mix of Singaporean, PRs and foreigners and were aged between 20 and 27.


  • by Advice 5/3/2015 12:15:08 PM

    Absurd. the fact that you have a grade says very little whether you will be good at your job. Start at the bottom work hard, earn your stripes and than come back for more money. Having these kind of expectations will lead to demotivated starters who first must have a kick in the ass so they know that a starter at a conpany is just a rookie.

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