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Feature

Top draw

NTU graduates see a jump in starting salaries
by Kayce Teo

Top-down view of a young person on a couch using his laptop

Fintech, a hybrid of finance and technology, has become one of the most lucrative sectors to be in.

HEY! reported last year that graduates of NTU’s double-degree programme in Business and Computing saw the highest jump in average starting salaries to $4,583 in 2015, up from $3,450 in 2014.

In the latest graduate employment survey, the newly-minted alumni in the top 10 percent of the programme continue to lead the pack with the highest average monthly salary of $5,746. On average, graduates of this programme also earned more ($4,407 monthly) compared to those of other disciplines.

Companies recognise the ability of our students and are willing to pay top dollar for our best graduates.

This powerful pairing of Business and Computing is not expected to be knocked off its perch anytime soon – those with the new specialisation in business analytics will be sought after as more companies are keen to analyse big data, especially in banking and e-commerce.

Hot on this programme’s heels, in terms of remuneration, are Accountancy and Business, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Science, and Information Engineering & Media. The top 10 percent of fresh NTU graduates from these programmes commanded about $5,000 in gross monthly salary.

Explaining the appeal of NTU's engineering graduates, Assoc Prof Wong Chee How, Associate Dean of Engineering, says: "Singapore is the leading aviation hub in the Asia-Pacific, and the government's Smart Nation drive also means deep engineering expertise is needed in many areas. Ranked fourth in the world in engineering and technology, NTU offers a multidisciplinary and industry-relevant education that equips students with skills that are highly sought after by employers. Companies recognise the ability of our students and are willing to pay top dollar for our best graduates."

Kathy Ong, who holds a double degree in Aerospace Engineering and Economics, and works for a leading engineering multinational, says: “Engineering taught me to be a problem-solver, while economics gave me a sense of how macroeconomic variables and political events around the world have an impact on consumers and businesses. Studying these two disciplines equipped me with skills that enable me to provide a fresh perspective.”

Incidentally, the highest-paid graduates from the College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences took Economics, with the top 10 percent drawing an average gross monthly pay of $4,316.

Adding to these impressive numbers, top-earning Physics and Applied Physics graduates took home a monthly salary of $4,900, a 25 percent jump over the previous year’s graduates. A number of them have gone into the defence science sector, like Teh Bing Hong, who is working as an engineer at a national defence R&D organisation.

“The programming, analytical and logical thinking skills that I have acquired in my degree programme are fundamental to my work. I’m also able to grasp concepts easily,” he says.

Hiring the best

At the 2017 NTU Career Fair, a record number of 4,400 jobs were offered by more than 240 public and private sector employers, including companies like Accenture, Halliburton, ST Engineering, Tata Consultancy Services, General Electric, IBM Singapore and Cognizant.

“Hiring the best talent is central to Cognizant’s market leadership and industry-leading growth,” says Mr Jayajyoti Sengupta, Asia-Pacific Head of Cognizant. “Our NTU recruits have contributed a great deal towards enhancing our digital capabilities to help clients make the fundamental, technology-enabled changes across all aspects of their organisations in order to compete and win in today’s technology- and data-intensive world.”

Despite a sluggish economy, fresh graduates from NTU’s Class of 2016 earned more compared to their seniors from the Class of 2015, with average monthly salaries hitting $3,300, up from $3,250 in 2015.