54% of students in S'pore expect starting salaries of S$3,000-S$4,000

Reality check.

Belmont Lay | November 27, 2019, 01:20 PM

A majority of Singapore’s students are hoping to earn between S$3,000 and S$4,000 monthly salaries upon entering the workforce, a new survey by scholarship portal BrightSparks has found.

Some are expecting even more than that.

The survey polled 3,215 students in total, from universities (956 respondents), polytechnics (316 respondents) and junior colleges (1,943 respondents).

More than half, about 54 percent of all respondents, expected their pay to fall between S$3,000 and S$4,000.

Some 21.9 percent hoped for S$4,000 and above.

About 22.6 percent expected to earn between S$2,000 and S$3,000

Just 1.5 percent expected to earn under S$2,000.

Junior college respondents have higher salary expectations

Junior college respondents had the highest salary expectations: 24 percent expected salaries above S$4,000.

Just 14 percent for polytechnic respondents and 13 percent for university respondents expected this amount.

The expected salary bracket of a lot of junior college students was much higher.

Some 26.5 percent of junior college respondents, the largest share, picked “above S$4,000”.

The largest share of polytechnic respondents, 24.5 percent, and largest share university respondents, 42.5 percent, picked the “S$3,000 to S$3,500” option.


Students’ top three priorities when selecting a job were career opportunities, job security, and interesting work, the survey found.

The most attractive industry here was healthcare, the survey found.

BrightSparks attributed this to increasing demand from Singapore’s ageing population.

Jobs in the government sector are perceived as extremely stable.

Finance, tech, and education were in the top five attractive sectors.

On scholarship bonds

The survey also found that the length of a scholarship bond is no longer a top consideration for graduates and undergraduates in Singapore, when deciding to apply for scholarships.

The survey also found that the majority of respondents said that two to four years was an acceptable bond duration for local universities scholarships, and four to six years for overseas universities.

Top photo via


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