According to a recent headline, Singaporean fresh graduates – Gen Zs – spent more than six months unemployed following their exit from studies. This sparked a debate among netizens about whether the new generation of Singaporeans had unrealistic job and salary expectations. Netizens have joked that fresh grads expect a “$10,000 to $50,000” starting salary range.
The perception that Singaporean fresh graduates have unrealistic salary and job expectations is not new. However, a recent survey by BrightSparks reveals that there is more to the story for these Gen Zs. Is the unrealistic salary expectations among Gen Zs in Singapore a myth? Or is there more to what they really look for in a job?
The expectations are not so far fetched
While it is true that students have increased salary expectations this year, it is not as high as many believe. For instance, 27.1% of the Top JC/IB group expects a salary of $5,001 and above, keeping with last year’s high inflation rates. However, all four respondent groups (Top JC/IB, JC/IB, Polytechnic students, and Polytechnic graduates) considered the median range of $3,000 to $4,000 as an acceptable starting point.
This is a far cry from the “$10,000 to $50,000” starting range many netizens believe they anticipate.
Moreover, Polytechnic graduates, who have been portrayed as having lower salary expectations compared to their cohorts, have upped their expectations as well. While the expected range has risen to $3,501 to $4,000 versus $2,501 to $3,000 in 2021, it still remains within the general salary expectations of fresh graduates in general.
More to money for Gen Zs?
It is essential to note that salary is not the only factor that Gen Zs in Singapore consider when looking for a job. While it is a deciding factor, it is not the sole determinant. This generation seeks a balance between work and life and values flexibility and work-life balance. They prioritise their mental and emotional well-being and want to work for companies that provide opportunities for career growth and development. Additionally, they are socially conscious and want to work for companies that align with their values and have a positive impact on society.
In conclusion, the myth that Gen Zs in Singapore have unrealistic salary expectations is not entirely true. While they have increased salary expectations, it is not as high as it is portrayed. This generation seeks a balance between work and life and values work-life balance, flexibility, career growth, and development. Companies that can meet these needs are more likely to attract and retain Gen Z talent.