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Gen Ys demand $5k starting salaries

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Despite the tight labour situation, fresh Gen Y graduates are not settling for a meagre wage.

Two studies conducted by recruitment agencies Adecco and JobsCentral have revealed the changing salary expectations of Gen Y students.

The survey, conducted by Adecco of 422 Ngee Ann Polytechnic students this year, revealed 42.8% expect to land a job with two months of graduating.

While half of them expected a starting pay of S$2,000 and S$2,500, 17% of them valued themselves at S$2,500 to S$3,500.

Ten students also expected a salary above S$5,500.

Another survey by JobsCentral found 30.4% of degree holders from 2012 in computing and 40% from engineering expected $3,000 and $3,499 monthly.

“Most graduates are expecting no less than $3,000 these days compared to a decade ago. Then, most were willing to settle for $2,000 as their starting pay,” Kee Ee Kheng, senior product manager at jobs portal STJobs, said.

The Adecco study also found 80 of the 338 students expected to work for three different employers in their career, while 11 of them expected more than 10.

Recruiters also have a change in expectations for their employees.

“Most employers are looking for talent with proven work-related competencies, ability to work with customers and the individual potential to take on bigger roles… and adapt to changes in the business landscape,” Christine Sim, human resources consulting director at PrimeStaff Management Services, said.

Shirin Aziz, Singapore and Malaysia’s marketing director of Adecco, told The New Paper students should not be too demanding, as they risk giving employers a negative impression.

“If they want the ‘world’, perhaps then they would have to make sure they can meet high KPIs set for them, too.”



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