Blog General Singapore Education News 1 in 5 students in Singapore expect starting salaries of S$4,000 or more

1 in 5 students in Singapore expect starting salaries of S$4,000 or more

A recent survey indicates that a majority of Singaporean students today are expecting high salary once they start working.

In the survey released on November 21, 2019, the scholarship portal BrightSparks said that many Singaporean students hope for a salary as high as S$4,000 despite the weak outlook by experts in the global economy.

They asked around 3,215 students from universities, junior colleges and polytechnics around the country. According to the survey, half of the respondents say they are expecting their initial salary to be around S$3,000 to S$4,000.

Around 20% said they expect around S$2,000 to S$3,000 and another 20% expect more than S$4,000. Only a small percentage expect that they will get jobs with pay under S$2,000.

24% of JC Students Expect to Earn $4000 & Above

Once they analyzed the responses, BrightSparks remarked that junior college respondents are the ones with high salary expectations. At least 24% of the respondents expect they can earn a salary above S$4,000.

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By comparison, polytechnic and university respondents who share the same expectations fell to 14% and 13% respectively.

A majority of polytechnic (24.5%) and university respondents (42.5%) picked the “S$3,000 and S$5,000” salary bracket.

Different Priorities When Job Hunting

The respondents also shared what priorities they have when they select a job. Their three most important priorities are career opportunities, job security and nature of work.

Most of them say that the most attractive industry in Singapore to work on is healthcare, which can be attributed to Singapore’s ageing population.

Government jobs are also very good according to respondents, with others saying finance, tech and education jobs are also very good.

NTU, NUS & MOH Scholarships Sought After

BrightSpark also asked the respondents about their opinion on university scholarships.

Most respondents said that two to four years is a good bond duration for scholarships for local universities. Meanwhile, four to six years is a good bond duration if it is for overseas universities. 

A spokesperson from the scholarship portal said that many students are now starting to welcome long scholarship bonds because of the weak global economy. Many also want to get stable jobs as well, which cause them to get into schools that offer courses that will help them.

The survey also indicated that the top scholarship providers where students apply for the most are the Nanyang Technological University, the National University of Singapore and the Ministry of Health.

How to increase your profile as a student

If you haven’t graduated yet and felt like your chances of getting a high paying job are grim, don’t be disheartened. There are several ways on how you can improve your profile and give you a fighting chance once you enter the workforce.

First off is to do your best to improve your grades as best as you can.

If you are hoping for a certain career, look at the subjects related to that career and study hard. Sometimes, recruiters will look at your grades if you are applying for a certain job that requires a certain set of skills.

You can also check up opportunities like part-time jobs, co-curricular activities and attending workshops which you can add to your resume when you apply for a job.

How to be realistic in your job search

Whether you agree with the survey results or not, your chances in getting a job that can help you get a high salary varies. Sometimes, your course may not be enough to secure the high paying job you want.

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Recruiters will also look into aspects like your co-curricular activities, recommendations from your teachers or colleagues and even your personality to decide if you are the one they need.

Some will be able to snag their dream jobs at their first try, while others will take ages before the job they want is within their reach.

If you don’t want to get your hopes up and want to be realistic with your job search, here are the things you need to do:

1. Prepare your resume properly 

Your resume is vital when trying to land for a job and it must present you in a good way. When writing your resume, do your best to emphasize your achievements and how you helped those you worked for. You should also create unique cover letters for every job you apply for to fit perfectly.

2. Don’t expect a high pay

Even if you have the skills and education that will support you with your job, it is not a guarantee that you will immediately get a high salary early on.

Don’t ever mention your salary expectations when you apply because it will turn off recruiters from your application.

Remember, your employers will look into your experience and contribution to see if they can give you higher pay. Of course, if you are offered a starting range, you can decline it if you find something that is better.

3. Don’t apply for every job vacancy

There are a lot of job vacancies opened everyday for similar jobs. However, don’t apply for every one of them because you may not have the skills needed for these jobs.

The disappointment caused by the rejections may affect your confidence and ultimately disable you from looking for the perfect job. With that said, only pick the ones that you think you can do.

4. Be Patient

Job searching is very easy if you prepare accordingly. However, the perfect job will not come to your lap that easily. You need to be patient, especially your job applications are not accepted.

Remember, if you do not lose faith, you will definitely reap the result once the perfect opportunity comes into play.


Finally, you can increase your profile as a student by being flexible. Don’t just focus on one set of skills because nowadays, being able to do more than what your job description says is a big plus.

Ask for advice if you need it from your teachers, family and friends and see what things you can do. When you look at all the opportunities available, you will be able to decide on the right job opportunity that will help you earn for your future.

For more Singapore education news, these are the ones you may want to check out:

Education System in Singapore: Comprehensive Overview, Latest Changes
Is the Singapore Education System Too Stressful and Flawed?


Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.