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Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
26-07-2011, 06:45 AM.
Post: #1
Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
I have issues with this article which distorts perceptions on NTU Grads starting salaries. As one can read, the salaries of a few "outliers" will skew the average salary of a fresh grad; therefore using the median salary is best for any kind of comparison, and to adjust for the effects of this distortion. (The reality is that only 66.67% of grads have found jobs; the writers are clearly trying their best to sensationalize this story with the $20,000 monthly salary for top-earner!).

Jul 26, 2011
Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries

Survey shows top earner getting $20,000; 2 in 3 graduates have found jobs
By Joanna Seow & Lin Zhaowei

ACCOUNTING graduate Clarence Lew will stride across the stage in his cap and gown to receive his honours degree scroll on Saturday, but he is already in a select club of fresh graduates earning close to a five-figure salary.

Offered a job as a sales analyst by a top-tier investment bank last December, the 23-year-old started work about five weeks ago, after his final examination at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Mr Lew declined to give his exact salary, and said it is close to $10,000.

He said he had applied to at least 10 different banks and financial institutions last year, and picked his current employer because it was the first to make him an offer.

He is among a handful of high earners emerging from NTU's class of 2011, whose convocation ceremonies began yesterday and will go on until Saturday. The 9,066 students make up the largest graduating class in NTU's history.

Human resource specialists say that with the economy doing well now, companies must be quick on the draw to snag the brightest and most talented.

Some companies must be pulling in the cream of the crop by dangling attractive salary packages. A preliminary survey done by NTU on this graduating class found a number drawing salaries like Mr Lew's.

The highest earner is a business graduate who is now drawing $20,000 a month in the financial industry.

One graduate in computer engineering will be paid a starting salary of $10,000 as a software engineer.

Both declined to be named.

Some graduates have taken the route of becoming their own bosses.

Mr Lester Lin, 25, for example, started his own science tuition-and-enrichment business, Science Hub, three years ago, and now earns more than $12,000 a month as a co-owner of Science Hub and a major shareholder and director of Math & Science

Olympiad, another tuition-and-enrichment business.

NTU said it does not have data on the average starting salary of this year's graduates, nor figures on previous years' highest earners.

But, at stratospheric salaries or not, two-thirds of this crop of NTU graduates have already landed jobs, its survey found.

The National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University were unable to provide current figures for graduate starting pay; the results of this year's Graduate Employment Surveys are not ready yet.

Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at recruitment firm The GMP Group, said fewer than 10 people here secure five-figure salaries fresh out of university every year.

He added that the labour market is now tight, especially in the finance, retail and engineering sectors.

Mr Lew believes soft skills and his personality won him the lucrative job.

'During the interview, they probably felt I was the right fit for the company and the team,' he said.

'We do a lot of relationship management, so soft skills and personality come into play, not just academic knowledge.'

His 12-hour workdays are not an issue. He said: 'I think it's reasonable for this industry. The work-life balance is fine.'

At yesterday's convocation ceremony, 369 doctorate, master's and bachelor's students from four schools and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, an autonomous institute, received their scrolls.

President S R Nathan, the chancellor of NTU, and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat were present to witness the inauguration of Professor Bertil Andersson as the university's third president.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his wife also attended the ceremony to watch their daughter Jill, 23, graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication.

joseow@sph.com.sg

zhaowei@sph.com.sg

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26-07-2011, 07:55 AM.
Post: #2
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
No idea how good one must be to fetch such a price. From what I know some ivy league fresh graduates with fantastic grades aren't even getting close to 5 digits...

Think nus, ntu were pressured to best smu in terms of salaries (who studies for interests in Singapore?) After being trounced last year Wink

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26-07-2011, 08:06 AM.
Post: #3
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
(26-07-2011, 07:55 AM)piggo Wrote: No idea how good one must be to fetch such a price. From what I know some ivy league fresh graduates with fantastic grades aren't even getting close to 5 digits...

Think nus, ntu were pressured to best smu in terms of salaries (who studies for interests in Singapore?) After being trounced last year Wink

I feel it's sensationalized and irresponsible reporting. How about those students who didn't even manage to get jobs?

Just for comparison, in my cohort (I graduated from NTU in 2000), about 90% got jobs before graduation.
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26-07-2011, 08:38 AM.
Post: #4
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
Interesting, nowadays, a graduate success is measured by the starting pay.
Nobody really cares what kind of thesis, conference paper, published paper, research studies, technology breakthrough, academic excellence etc had the graduate produced.

Might as well award class of degree by starting pay.
> $8000 - First Class
$6000 to $8000 - 2nd Class Upper
$4000 to $6000 - 2nd Class Lower
$2000 to $4000 - 3rd Class
<$2000 - normal degree.

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26-07-2011, 08:43 AM.
Post: #5
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
"Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his wife also attended the ceremony to watch their daughter Jill, 23, graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication."

The most promising student...

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26-07-2011, 09:25 AM.
Post: #6
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
Employers don't pay such high salary for nothing. I wonder what is the expected performance for someone paid $20,000 a month. This report achieves what it aims to achieve - get attention and start tongue wagging. Other than that, what insight does it provide?

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26-07-2011, 10:32 AM.
Post: #7
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
Previously I know of someone came from wealthy background and grew up in a very privileged environment. And when he graduated there wasn't a job with a salary that will match his "high living standards" Big Grin

So the family to save face "opened an account" at a financial institution and he went to work for that institution Big Grin

So there you have it. Freshies usually do not earn 20k a month at financial institution if they do then there's more to it than meets the eye. Big Grin

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26-07-2011, 12:05 PM.
Post: #8
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
If my uncle is the boss of far east org and my father is the defence minister... What kind of friends would i have? What type of networking i be having? I be sucessful in ANY career i want!
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26-07-2011, 02:48 PM.
Post: #9
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
(26-07-2011, 09:25 AM)egghead Wrote: Employers don't pay such high salary for nothing. I wonder what is the expected performance for someone paid $20,000 a month. This report achieves what it aims to achieve - get attention and start tongue wagging. Other than that, what insight does it provide?

I call it pure, unadulterated propaganda. But that's just me being anal. Tongue
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26-07-2011, 03:41 PM.
Post: #10
RE: Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
I chanced upon http://www.salary.sg/ as I was curious whether Singaporeans are rich or they look rich on surface. These are what I found from the website based on all age groups and both genders.
Gross Percentile
Monthly of
Income Cohort
$3000 top 41.4%
$4000 top 28.6%
$5000 top 20.8%
$8000 top 9.3%
$10000 top 6.2%

Provided the website is wrong, it doesn't seem to me that Singaporeans are rich based on the website. I believe a lot of them spend beyond their means. They are not financial savy or plan for their retirement. There is no protection if you are out of jobs in Singapore.

GOVERNMENT not goint to help YOU!

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