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Fresh Grad working as software engineer earning 10k/month

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Old 26-07-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default Fresh Grad working as software engineer earning 10k/month

Fresh out of NTU... and drawing 5-figure salaries
Survey shows top earner getting $20,000; 2 in 3 graduates have found jobs
By Joanna Seow & Lin Zhaowei

ACCOUNTING graduate Clarence Lew will stride across the stage in his cap and gown to receive his honours degree scroll on Saturday, but he is already in a select club of fresh graduates earning close to a five-figure salary.

Offered a job as a sales analyst by a top-tier investment bank last December, the 23-year-old started work about five weeks ago, after his final examination at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Mr Lew declined to give his exact salary, and said it is close to $10,000.

He said he had applied to at least 10 different banks and financial institutions last year, and picked his current employer because it was the first to make him an offer.

He is among a handful of high earners emerging from NTU's class of 2011, whose convocation ceremonies began yesterday and will go on until Saturday. The 9,066 students make up the largest graduating class in NTU's history.

Human resource specialists say that with the economy doing well now, companies must be quick on the draw to snag the brightest and most talented.

Some companies must be pulling in the cream of the crop by dangling attractive salary packages. A preliminary survey done by NTU on this graduating class found a number drawing salaries like Mr Lew's.

The highest earner is a business graduate who is now drawing $20,000 a month in the financial industry.

One graduate in computer engineering will be paid a starting salary of $10,000 as a software engineer.

Both declined to be named.

Some graduates have taken the route of becoming their own bosses.

Mr Lester Lin, 25, for example, started his own science tuition-and-enrichment business, Science Hub, three years ago, and now earns more than $12,000 a month as a co-owner of Science Hub and a major shareholder and director of Math & Science

Olympiad, another tuition-and-enrichment business.

NTU said it does not have data on the average starting salary of this year's graduates, nor figures on previous years' highest earners.

But, at stratospheric salaries or not, two-thirds of this crop of NTU graduates have already landed jobs, its survey found.

The National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University were unable to provide current figures for graduate starting pay; the results of this year's Graduate Employment Surveys are not ready yet.

Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of corporate services at recruitment firm The GMP Group, said fewer than 10 people here secure five-figure salaries fresh out of university every year.

He added that the labour market is now tight, especially in the finance, retail and engineering sectors.

Mr Lew believes soft skills and his personality won him the lucrative job.

'During the interview, they probably felt I was the right fit for the company and the team,' he said.

'We do a lot of relationship management, so soft skills and personality come into play, not just academic knowledge.'

His 12-hour workdays are not an issue. He said: 'I think it's reasonable for this industry. The work-life balance is fine.'

At yesterday's convocation ceremony, 369 doctorate, master's and bachelor's students from four schools and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, an autonomous institute, received their scrolls.

President S R Nathan, the chancellor of NTU, and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat were present to witness the inauguration of Professor Bertil Andersson as the university's third president.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his wife also attended the ceremony to watch their daughter Jill, 23, graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication.

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Old 27-07-2011, 11:04 AM
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possibilities

- working overseas
- includes rent
- pre-tax

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Old 27-07-2011, 11:37 AM
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High probability:
- his father's company.
- his father's capital invested in his own company.
- his father's friend's company.

Otherwise, why will anyone pay 10k for an inexperienced software engineer? Writing software doesn't just require code-writing - it involves writing maintainable code, working in a team, working with other teams (testing, sales, marketing), creating the software design collaboratively, presenting and sometimes working with customers.

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Old 27-07-2011, 02:25 PM
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Honestly, who does a background check on such claims?
For all you now, any student daring enough can just claim they have a 20K/mth salary. The students call the shots when it comes to naming their starting pay.
Take this with a pinch of salt!
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Old 27-07-2011, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
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Honestly, who does a background check on such claims?
For all you now, any student daring enough can just claim they have a 20K/mth salary. The students call the shots when it comes to naming their starting pay.
Take this with a pinch of salt!
And the Straits Times reports the salaries! When found out to be false, will the blame be pushed to NTU for doing a lousy survey where respondents can just make false claims?
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Old 27-07-2011, 10:38 PM
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One guy from my batch NTU computer engineering got a 10k SGD job at Micro$oft after he emerged champion of the Google coding competition a few years back. It was all over the news at that time. I am certain, and know of, some companies that are willing to pay 5 figure salaries for real talent even if you are a fresh grad.

Of course, there are some uni like SMU who are advertising that some of their fresh grads earn 5 figure, but I know that at least 2 of them got that job because their immediate family member is holding a high position in the company that hired them.
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Old 28-07-2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
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One guy from my batch NTU computer engineering got a 10k SGD job at Micro$oft after he emerged champion of the Google coding competition a few years back. It was all over the news at that time. I am certain, and know of, some companies that are willing to pay 5 figure salaries for real talent even if you are a fresh grad.

Of course, there are some uni like SMU who are advertising that some of their fresh grads earn 5 figure, but I know that at least 2 of them got that job because their immediate family member is holding a high position in the company that hired them.
Is that NTU guy still at Microsoft?
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Old 28-07-2011, 10:23 AM
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As far as I know, there're a few NTU grads who pass and accept Microsoft USA every year.
Same goes to Google. These 2 companies' starting pay is about 8k USD (100K per annum) a month, which translates to slightly more than 10K. (3 years ago, it was '12k' due to exchange rates). As mentioned by a senior above, these people who get such high starting pay (or in fact, standard starting pay for top silicon valley companies) have extraordinary resume.

Do note that taxes in the US vary from state to state. For MS/Google Singapore, it's more of support/maintenance and marketing roles. The starting pay for these 2 locally here aren't bad too. Best part: given vested stocks! One Google share now costs about 600USD PER SHARE.
Imagine being given something like 10-20 as a sign-on bonus, though vested for 3-4 years.
Ain't so bad huh?

Cheers.
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