As compared to the previous year, law, medical and business courses remained as the top 5 earners while we have economics and computing degrees as new entrants. With Singapore moving towards being an IT hub, there is a huge demand for IT savvy people. It is not hard to figure out why computing has moved up the salary rankings. It will be interesting to see if computing can overtake law and medicine, the traditional stronghold in the next few years.
As you can see in the infographic below, the degrees with better financial payoff also has a higher entry requirement. It is a game of supply and demand. With more people going to high-paying courses, it increases the competition and hence making it harder to get it. The data also tells us that it is worthwhile to work hard even after you have gotten into the degree program because your graduating class does affect your potential salary. For example, where you see SMU in the top 5 earners are the cum laude graduates (people with better results) and not those in the lower class. It pays to get good grades in university.
With all that said, we have to emphasize that it is not worthwhile trying to get into the program just for the sake of salary. It makes time in university harder. We reckon that those who make it to the first class honors classification are those who enjoy their courses.
So, irregardless of your field, make sure you like what you study.
The surveys were conducted by the respective schools on grads approximately 6 months after completing their final examinations.
- 6,188 graduates from NUS were surveyed in Nov 2015
- 5,774 graduates from NTU were surveyed in Nov 2015
- 1,638 graduates from SMU were surveyed in Nov 2015