When you step out of university you’re probably young, driven, and full of passion. Ready to do a job that changes lives. Ready to be someone who matters, damn it. And in Singapore’s one-of-a-kind work culture, that enthusiasm ought to last all of 20 minutes. Then you’re wondering if you’ll get away after stashing your boss’s corpse in the supply closet. If not, maybe you should just quit for one of these better paying gigs:
Why No CEO’s, CFO’s, or Other Bigwigs?
The first reason is common sense. You don’t need me to tell you most CEOs or directors can buy small countries. As such, I’ve left out senior management positions.
The second reason is practicality. Obviously, there’s no point in me saying stuff like “Go try being a an award winning architect of skyscrapers.“ This list contains jobs that the average Diploma or Degree holder can aspire to right now.
Most of the jobs here don’t require more than three to five years experience (if at all), and don’t require tightly defined qualifications. And these are jobs that people do get right out of university, depending on where they apply.
#10 – Financial / Investment Advisor
Pay Range: $5,000 – $13,000
Common Requirements: Diploma or Degree (Usually, but not always, finance related). Must not have been declared bankrupt.
Financial and investment advisors often work for insurance companies and banks. Financial advisors can also be independent.
This job requires a head for numbers, excellent people skills, and the ability to explain complex financial products. Financial advisors help to link clients to the financial products which best suit them (e.g. insurance policies and investment schemes).
#9 – Property Agent
Pay Range: Highly variable. $7,000 to $10,000 is typical, but some new agents earn as little as under $2,500
Common Requirements: ‘O’ Levels to Diploma. Property agents must pass various accreditation tests, conducted by the CEA.
Property agents help to sell (or sometimes rent out) property. Most will specialize in one type of property (e.g. offices, resale flats, shops).
This job requires a lot of initiative and personal drive. Property agents must have good people skills, a willingness to drive up and down this island, and the ability to cope with rejection. Also, note that the market is skewed: A few property agents get the lion’s share of the business, while new ones fight their way up the ladder.
#8 – Marketing or Public Relations Manager
Pay Range: $7,000 to $10,000
Common Requirements: Higher Diploma or Degree. Qualifications in Mass Communications are just as common as actual Marketing or PR qualifications.
Marketing managers decide how to position, advertise, and sell various products. This is not an actual sales job (that’s for the salesmen on the ground). Some marketing managers will double as advertisers, and also design ads or brochures.
PR managers help to organize events, and present a good image of the company to the media. They are also tasked with damage control, in the event that a product proves to be defective, or a company’s image is somehow tarnished.
#7 – Brand Manager
Pay Range: $5,000 to $10,000
Common Requirements: Diploma or Degree
Brand managers are almost similar to marketing managers (see above). However, they focus on brand rather than a specific product.
#6 – IT Account / Sales Manager
Pay Range: $6,000 – $9,000
Common Requirements: Not very specified. Experience in sales is most prized. However, many will also have IT qualifications.
The IT sales manager sells software to different clients. Sometimes, this can involve communicating with clients to build custom software. The job requires you to be a salesman, yet also familiar with some technical aspects.
#5 – Recruitment Specialist / Headhunter
Pay Range: $5,000 – $7,000
Common Requirements: Higher Diploma or Degree (Usually in Human Resources or Management)
Recruitment specialists help companies to fill positions. They must be prepared for obscure requests (e.g. ice sculptors, clay animators, someone who understands Windows ME). They often have to do this within tight time constraints, and must be constantly networking to build contacts.
#4 – Software Analyst / Engineer
Pay Range: $4,000 – $7,000
Common Requirements: As long as you’re familiar with the software in question, and can code the damn thing, few hirers care about your exact paper credentials. But IT Diplomas and Degrees are common.
Software analysts or engineers code software. They need to be tech savvy, and willing to work hours that would kill a camel. They also need a good deal of patience, as not every client’s clear on what they need.
#3 – Office Manager
Pay Range: $4,000 – $6,000
Common Requirements: Diploma or Degree
Office managers handle things like the office lease, the facilities, and the upkeep of the office. This job requires an eye for detail, meticulousness, and the ability to work with many different departments.
#2 – Executive Secretary / PA
Pay Range: $3,700 – $5,000
Common Requirements: ‘O’ levels to Diploma. Companies increasingly require PAs to have strong IT skills.
PAs provide secretarial support to managers. Apart from having a range of office skills (e.g. the ability to type transcripts), they must have good administrative skills. Apart from managing schedules, they may have to organize office events, book flights, etc.
#1- QA Manager / Engineer
Pay Range: $3,500 – $5,000
Common Requirements: Diploma to Degree. Familiarity with QA standards like ISO.
The QA manager keeps an eye on procedures, and ensures compliance with various quality standards (FDA, ISO, CD, and other exotic, work-inflicting acronyms). Some QA managers “hop” between companies, carrying their expertise to whoever needs it. These may call themselves quality consultants instead.
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