Slight pay rise seen for fresh university graduates this year
STARTING salaries for fresh graduates are expected to be slightly higher this year, according to a Hay Group study.
The management consulting firm's latest Fresh Graduate Pay Survey has indicated that the average monthly starting salary for a bachelor's degree graduate (without honours) will be $2,741, up from last year's $2,683.
Graduates with second-lower honours will start at $2,853, up from $2,795 last year; while their classmates with second-upper honours will start at $2,939, up from $2,892 last year.
The survey also found that one in five employers placed an average premium of $214 per month for local university graduates over those with degrees from overseas.
Diploma holders also stand to get slightly more in pay; the average starting salary will be $1,878 a month, about 2 per cent more than last year's $1,840 per month.
Andrew How, managing director of the Hay Group, said that although the Ministry of Trade and Industry had adjusted the gross domestic product growth rate to between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent for this year, the findings show promise, with increases of 2-3 per cent in starting pay for fresh graduates.
The Hay report also revealed that for graduates with bachelor's degrees (without honours), jobs in engineering commanded the highest average starting salary at $2,888 per month; jobs in legal came next at $2,856 per month, and those in information technology, third at $2,816 a month.
Among diploma holders, engineering graduates also commanded the highest average starting salary of $1,976 a month; marketing graduates came in second at $1,938 per month, and administration, support and service graduates were in third place at $1,925 a month.
It was also found that employers are likely to pay up to 46 per cent more in starting salaries for non-honours bachelor's degree holders than diploma holders.
Similarly, employers will place a premium of 4.1 per cent for a second-lower honours degree holder over a non-honours degree holder; the premium a second-upper honours degree holder commands over a non-honours degree holder is 7.22 per cent.
Mr How said: "Accelerated career development - not just money - is the primary motivation for fresh graduates to work for a company. New entrants now have a wide spectrum of opportunities to choose from - from start-ups to entrepreneurial ventures to freelancing and contract work.
With this widening range of choices, individuals are expecting acceptance and freedom to be themselves, with emphasis shifting to more cerebral needs such as belonging, autonomy and self-expression in the workplace."
Hay Group's 2014 research is based on the salary expectations of 95 organisations that had responded to the firm's annual survey conducted, since 2009.
THE BUSINESS TIMES