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Fresh graduates from NTU, NUS, SMU and SUSS earn $3,733/month on average

Graduates in 2018 achieved slightly higher overall and full-time permanent employment rates compared to those who graduated in 2017, as well as higher median starting pay for graduates in full-time permanent employment in Singapore.

The mean gross monthly salary among fresh graduates in full-time permanent employment was S$3,733 in 2018, higher than S$3,613 in 2017. The median gross monthly salary was $3,500, higher than the $3,400 in 2017.

This is per the results of the 2018 Joint Graduate Employment Survey (JAUGES) conducted by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU), and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

Of the 10,100 in the labour force, 90.2% found employment within six months of completing their final examinations, higher than the 88.9% in 2017. 81.2% of those in the labour force secured full-time permanent employment, higher than the 78.4% in 2017.

The percentage of those doing freelance work, fell to 1.8% from 2.4% in 2017. Also falling was the percentage in part-time/temporary employment, which was 7.2% in 2018, lower than the 8.2% in 2017.

In addition, the proportion who were unemployed and still looking for a job or in involuntary part-time/temporary employment decreased by 2.1 percentage points.


A total of 11,200 fresh graduates from full-time programmes at the four universities participated in the 2018 survey on their employment status as at 1 November 2018, around six months after the completion of their final examinations.

Due to their different academic calendars, the other two autonomous universities, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), conduct their surveys in February and March respectively (results pending).

Below, we have in-depth results from the four autonomous universities that have provided data on this survey (NTU, NUS, SMU and SUSS). 

Employment and salary data: Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

  • 90% of 2018 NTU graduates found a job within six months after completing their final examinations, higher than 87% in 2017. The proportion of graduates in the labour force who obtained full-time permanent employment also increased from 76% in 2017 to 82% in 2018.
  • Business & Computing (double degree) NTU graduates continued to earn the highest median gross monthly salary at S$4,575, followed by Accountancy & Business (double degree) and Computer Science graduates at S$4,000.
  • Accountancy & Business (double degree) also had the highest pay jump of 14.5% in their mean gross salary, with their median gross salary increasing from S$3,600 in 2017 to S$4,000 in 2018.
  • The overall mean gross monthly salary for NTU’s Class of 2018 improved 4.2% to S$3,634, compared to S$3,487 in 2017, while the median gross monthly salary increased to S$3,500 in 2018, up from S$3,306 in 2017.
  • At NTU’s Nanyang Business School, more than one in three Business & Computing graduates were hired by their internship companies. Nine in 10 of the Business School’s graduates in the labour force found full-time permanent jobs six months after completing their final examinations.

Professor Tan Ooi Kiang, NTU’s Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education) commented on the class of 2018, "Today, students complete about 26 hours of learning on career skills and values for the duration of their study as part of their compulsory career preparation programme."

Employment and salary data: National University of Singapore (NUS)

  • Nine in 10 NUS fresh graduates secured employment within six months after final exams; almost full employment for follow-up NUS graduates.
  • The overall employment rate for fresh graduates from NUS was 90%, which is higher than 89.4% last year. Another 2.6% have either accepted a job offer pending commencement of duty or are actively starting a business venture.
  • Fresh graduates from Dentistry achieved full employment. More than nine in 10 fresh graduates from Business, Computing, Engineering, Nursing and Yale-NUS College (Yale-NUS) were employed within six months of completing their final exams.
  • The mean gross monthly salary of fresh NUS graduates in full-time permanent employment was S$3,779 in 2018, which is 3.3% higher than the A$3,659 in 2017.
  • The median gross monthly salary of fresh graduates from NUS in full-time permanent employment remained competitive at S$3,500 in 2018.

Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost, commented: "The NUS enrolment is valid for 20 years from the point of admission. We are fully committed to supporting our graduates in their learning journey even after they enter the workforce, through the NUS Lifelong Learners Programme."

Employment and salary data: Singapore Management University (SMU)

  • SMU graduates registered an overall employment rate of 91.8% across all six of the university’s degree programmes. 66.6% were offered jobs before graduation, a slight increase as compared to the 2017 cohort.
  • Of those who received job offers, 50% were offered full-time employment through internships, which are compulsory for SMU undergraduates. 26.2% accepted the offers from their internship employers.
  • The mean gross monthly salary of SMU graduates in full-time permanent jobs is S$3,977 in 2018, a modest increase over the previous year’s salary of S$3,910. The median gross monthly salary of graduates in full-time permanent employment is S$3,600 in 2018, up from S$3,500 in 2017.
  • Similar to the previous year, the top three industries of employment for SMU graduates were Financial and Insurance, Information & Communication, and Legal, Accounting and Auditing. Financial and Insurance sector maintained its position as the highest paid industry with an average gross monthly salary of S$4,767.
  • Information Systems graduates earned the highest salary with a mean monthly salary of S$4,160, a 3.6% increase over the 2017 cohort (S$4,014). The median gross monthly salary is S$4,000, same as that in 2017.
  • Business Management graduates' mean gross monthly salary of S$4,133 increased by 3.5% from the previous year’s S$3,995. The median gross monthly salary also increased to S$3,700, up from S$3,500 in 2017.

SMU President, Professor Lily Kong cited research findings: "95% of 2018 graduates felt that SMU’s curriculum made a positive impact on them while 98% said they had experienced growth during their time with us.

"98% of students indicated that SMU has prepared them well in the areas of oral communications and presentation skills, while 96% said they learnt how to learn independently, as well as develop in the areas of interpersonal effectiveness which makes them better at teamwork and networking."

Employment and salary data: Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

  • SUSS’ pioneer batch of graduates from full-time programmes obtained high overall and full-time permanent employment rates of 95.5% and 90.9% respectively in 2018.
  • 98.7% of SUSS' full-time Accountancy graduates got a job within six months of completing their final examinations, with more than a third offered jobs through work attachments, a graduation requirement for SUSS undergraduates.
  • The mean and median gross monthly salaries of SUSS graduates in full-time permanent jobs were S$3,002 and S$3,000 respectively in 2018. They came from three courses – Bachelor of Accountancy, Bachelor of Science in Finance, and Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Finance students earned the highest mean and median salaries of S$3,393 and S$3,400 respectively.

SUSS President, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat said: "Through our 3H education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness of the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning – we hope our students will realise their fullest potential and be valuable assets to the nation."

Photo / Fresh graduates from NTU’s Class of 2018

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