By Juliet Soh
64% of recent graduates expect a monthly salary of at least $3,000 for their first job, according to an annual survey conducted by JobsCentral, Singapore's most popular job portal for university students and graduates. In 2011, the same survey reported only 55% of respondents demanding more than $3,000 per month for their first job.
The higher expectation is even more apparent among the top students who were surveyed. Three out of four of them (73.9%) indicated that they're expecting a monthly salary of more than $3,000 from their employer. Top students are defined as those who have attained or are expecting to obtain a degree with First Class Honours, Second Class Honours, Summa cum Laude or Magna cum Laude.
According to the data collected from the JobsCentral Employers of Choice Survey since 2009, the proportion of students who expect a monthly salary of more than $3,000 has been increasing by approximately 10% yearly, and the proportion of top students who have this expectation are approximately 10% more than the overall cohort.
A total of 2,213 respondents took the 2012 JobsCentral Employers of Choice Survey, which was conducted online from April to May this year. All respondents are from National Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University, from the graduating classes of 2010 to 2017.
Computing/IT majors have the highest salary expectation among those who were surveyed. Close to 78% of this group of respondents expects to earn more than $3,000 per month. Arts undergraduates and fresh graduates, on the other hand, have the lowest expectation, with 46.8% expecting to earn more than $3,000 per month.
"The low unemployment rate and inflationary environment in Singapore has brought about higher wage expectations across the country. So it is not surprising that the fresh graduate market has followed this trend. At the end of the day, it's a demand-and-supply equation with employers competing for a limited pool of local entry-level graduates," says Lim Der Shing, CEO of JobsCentral Group.
Fresh graduates expect first promotion within first two years of work
Three out of four (75.5%) of those who were surveyed expressed that they expect their first promotion to occur within the first two years of their career. 22.6% believe that they may be promoted by the first year of work, while 52.9% indicated that they expect to be promoted in their second year.
However, this percentage has actually been declining steadily over the last two years, and is in fact the lowest percentage since 2007. In 2010, 81.3% expressed this expectation, and in 2011, 76.2% indicated this.
"Gen-Y graduates, place a lot of focus and importance on rapid career progression. In the past, most employers would expect three to four years of service before promoting an employee. One solution to this issue is for organisations to create clearer and more segmented career paths so that promotions can be obtained quickly. Such segmentation allows managers to give near-term goals and KPIs for their entry-level staff and such an employee has a promotion to aim for that is within his or her expected time frame," says Lim.
Most entry-level jobseekers expect to become a manager in third year of work
51% of respondents in the JobsCentral Employers of Choice Survey expressed that they expect to be in a managerial position with staff under them within the first three years of their career. Majority (33.7%) expresses that they expect to achieve this in the third year of their career. A higher proportion of top students harbour the same expectation. 52.2% of them expect to become a manager within the first three years of their career and 34.6% expect to achieve it in the third year.
Google topples Apple to be the most popular employer among fresh graduates
Displacing Apple, who was the winner for the last two years, Google tops the JobsCentral Employer of Choice rankings, with 38.1% of the respondents voting for the technology giant. This is the first time Google clinched the number one position, although it has been among the top three Employers of Choice since 2009, according to the survey. Singapore Airlines is ranked second, and Apple slid two positions and is in the third place this year.
However, the brightest minds - those who secured or are expecting to receive a first class honours degree or Summa cum Laude - voted for Apple as their Employer of Choice. Barclays and Google tie at the second place.
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