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Median gross monthly salary among Singapore fresh graduates increased by 2.69% in 2023: Survey

The median gross monthly salary among fresh graduates in full-time permanent employment was S$4,313 in 2023.

Group of graduates during commencement, illustrating a story on salary among fresh graduates.
The median gross monthly salary among Singapore fresh graduates increased in 2023. (PHOTO: Getty) (Rattankun Thongbun via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The overall median gross monthly salary among fresh graduates in full-time permanent employment was S$4,313 in 2023, an increase of 2.69 per cent from S$4,200 in 2022.

The increase comes despite a moderation in employment rates amid slower economic growth, according to results from the 2023 Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

The annual survey was conducted among 12,300 recent graduates from full-time programmes at NUS, NTU, SMU and SUSS and accounted for a response rate of 74 per cent. Participants were surveyed on their employment status as of 1 November 2023, which is approximately six months after the completion of their final examinations.

Median gross monthly salary increased for six out of eight course clusters

Findings of the survey also revealed that graduates in full-time permanent employment in all course clusters recorded higher median gross monthly salaries in 2023, except for the Engineering and Information & Digital Technologies clusters.

In the Engineering cluster, the median gross monthly salary for those in full-time permanent employment decreased to S$4,500 in 2023 from S$4,600 in the previous year, while the median gross monthly salary for the Information & Digital Technologies cluster fell to S$5,500 in 2023 compared to S$5,625 in 2022.

Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2023 - Median Monthly Gross Salary by cluster
Employment indicators of fresh graduates by course clusters. (SOURCE: Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2023) (Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2023)

Porportion of employed graduates in full-time permanent employment declined

Among the survey's 10,900 respondents who are in the labour force, which refers to graduates who are either employed or unemployed but actively looking and available for a job, 89.6 per cent were employed within six months of completing their final examinations, a drop from 93.8 per cent recorded in 2022.

When broken down further, the survey results revealed that 84.1 per cent of those employed within six months of completing their final examinations were in full-time permanent employment, a decrease compared to 87.5 per cent in 2022.

The proportion of those who found employment as a freelancer in 2023 was 1.5 per cent, a slight dip compared to 1.8 per cent in 2022. For comparative purposes, in the three years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic between 2017 and 2019, an average of 89.9 per cent of the respondents in the labour force were employed, with 80.4 per cent in full-time permanent employment and 2.1 per cent freelancing, according to the survey.

When broken down by course cluster, survey results showed that the Health Sciences, Information & Digital Technologies, and Business clusters recorded the highest full-time permanent employment rates.

Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2023 - Employment Outcomes
Employment Indicators of Fresh Graduates from Full-Time Programmes. (SOURCE: Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2023) (Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey 2023)

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