SUTD grads continue to outdo other university peers in starting pay

It pays to study at a small university - especially if the niche it occupies is the flavour of the day.

The third batch of graduates from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) kept up the trend of earning higher starting salaries than their peers from other local autonomous universities.

They also earned more than graduates from the previous year, SUTD said yesterday.

According to a survey of 228 out of its third cohort of 267 graduates, the median gross monthly salary among its graduates in full-time permanent positions was $3,700 last year, compared with $3,650 in 2016.

This is higher than the median starting salary of their peers from National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU) reported last month, which was $3,400.

Graduates from these three universities numbered about 14,000 last year and came from a wider range of disciplines.

The results showed that more than nine in 10 fresh SUTD graduates were employed within six months of completing their final examinations. And 86.2 per cent of the graduates secured full-time permanent employment last year, an increase from 84 per cent in 2016.

The full-time employment rate was particularly high for engineering graduates, hitting 89.6 per cent last year.

For NUS, NTU and SMU, the proportion of their graduates who secured full-time permanent employment fell from 79.9 per cent in 2016 to 78.4 per cent last year.

SUTD said top hiring sectors included information and communications and finance and insurance.

Its information systems technology graduates achieved 100 per cent full-time employment, and their median salary rose to more than $4,000.

Mr David Leong, managing director of recruitment firm PeopleWorldwide Consulting, is not surprised SUTD graduates continue to outdo their peers.

He said: "Graduates with degrees in areas such as computing, artificial intelligence and analytics are in hot demand... at a time when we are forging ahead as a Smart Nation."