Computer Science Salary Trend (39% increase in 3 years) 🚀

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As software engineer salaries increase by as much as 32% in 2021, there has been a lot of attention on computer science degrees in recent years. 

After all, the once-uncool degree is now one of the most sought after and competitive courses. Graduates of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Double Degree in Business and Computing earned $8225 at the 75th percentile last year!

That’s right, the time has come. You don’t have to choose between becoming a lawyer or a doctor - you can also be a software engineer.‍

In this guide, we will analyse and compare the salaries of fresh graduates from local universities for computer science (and related) courses, over the past years. These data are from the annual Graduate Employment Survey (GES) conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in collaboration with the different universities.

TL;DR: NUS Computer Science salaries increases the most (39% in the last 3 years)!

Pay heed now if you are a fresh university graduate. This article will help you:

  1. Select a university course (50% of the people looking for new opportunities cite higher salary as the top reason)
  2. Benchmark yourself with your peers and cohort
  3. Negotiate your salary when looking for a job

It's crucial to note that this advice isn't a definitive guide to what kind of pay a recent graduate should expect. However, it should still be highly useful in negotiating your wage and in making decisions about your courses and future.

Gross monthly salary pertains only to full-time permanently employed graduates. It comprises basic salary, overtime payments, commissions, fixed allowances and other regular cash payments, before deductions of the employee’s CPF contributions and personal income tax. Employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, stock options, lump sum payments, and payments-in-kind are excluded.

NUS Bachelor of Computing (Computer Science) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3000, $3435, $4000
  • Year 2014: $3300, $3500, $4000
  • Year 2015: $3300, $3700, $4400
  • Year 2016: $3500, $4000, $5000
  • Year 2017: $3656, $4285, $5000
  • Year 2018: $3900, $4320, $5000
  • Year 2019: $4205, $5000, $5585
  • Year 2020: $4400, $5243, $6316 
  • Year 2021: $5000, $6000, $6900

Salaries for graduates of NUS Computer Science have seen one of the highest increases in recent years, rising by 39% from 2018 to 2021! 🚀

NUS Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3000, $3005, $3800
  • Year 2014: $3100, $3500, $4039
  • Year 2015: $3200, $3550, $4100
  • Year 2016: $3365, $4000, $4500
  • Year 2017: $3550, $4000, $4592
  • Year 2018: $4000, $4458, $5000
  • Year 2019: $4000, $4228, $4685
  • Year 2020: $4000, $4500, $5400
  • Year 2021: $4500, $5000, $5400

Unlike Computer Science, the salary for Information Systems is rising relatively slower. It was stagnant between 2018 and 2020 (and dips in 2019) but increased in 2021.

NUS Bachelor of Computing (Business Analytics) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2017: $3500, $4000, $4766
  • Year 2018: $4000, $4500, $5000
  • Year 2019: $4050, $5000, $5200
  • Year 2020: $4480, $5000, $5800
  • Year 2021: $4800, $5400, $6125

While not rising as fast as the salary of Computer Science, It is worth noting that the salaries for graduates with a degree in Business Analytics are still increasing at a decent steady pace - it grew 35% in the last five years.

This rise could likely be due to the push for data science roles in recent years, and if that’s the case, it won’t be surprising to see a higher jump in salary in 2022.

NTU Double Degree in Business and Computer Science / Engineering Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3000, $3400, $4100
  • Year 2014: $3232, $3450, $4000
  • Year 2015: $3800, $4583, $4876
  • Year 2016: $3800, $4600, $5000
  • Year 2017: $4000, $5000, $5362
  • Year 2018*: $4200, $4575, $4900
  • Year 2019*: $3600, $4833, $5000
  • Year 2020: $5000, $5400, $5750
  • Year 2021: $5250, $6300, $8225

* Data is based on a sample size of fewer than 30 respondents.

Okay, this is a rollercoaster. What caused the large 43% spike in 75th percentile salary from 2020 to 2021? Did Elon Musk buy a 9.2% stake in that? And it’s a mystery what happened to the 25th percentile in 2019. 🤔

Jokes aside, the salary for NTU Double Degree in Business and Computer Science / Engineering is one of the highest when compared to all the other courses.

NTU Computer Science Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3000, $3125, $3600
  • Year 2014: $3000, $3200, $3700
  • Year 2015: $3150, $3300, $3800
  • Year 2016: $3300, $3500, $4333
  • Year 2017: $3500, $3850, $4500
  • Year 2018: $3500, $4000, $4500
  • Year 2019: $3800, $4200, $4900
  • Year 2020: $3880, $4300, $5000
  • Year 2021: $4200, $4800, $5450

While the salary hike for NTU Computer Science is outstanding at 20% from 2018 to 2021, it does pale in comparison to NUS Computer Science which has an increment of 39%.

Absolute value-wise, in 2021, the median for NTU is $4,800 while that of NUS is $6,000.

NTU Computer Engineering Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3200, $3400, $3800
  • Year 2014: Not available
  • Year 2015: $3200, $3500, $4000
  • Year 2016: Not available
  • Year 2017: $3450, $3600, $3925
  • Year 2018: $3400, $3775, $4200
  • Year 2019: $3600, $4000, $4500
  • Year 2020: $3627, $4100, $4845
  • Year 2021: $4000, $4500, $5000

The percentage increase in salary for Computer Engineering (19%) is on par with Computer Science (20%).

Numbers-wise, its salary has been higher than Computer Science up till 2015 but has fared lower consistently since then.

NTU Information Engineering and Media Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $2950, $3200, $3400
  • Year 2014: $3000, $3200, $3600
  • Year 2015: $3000, $3275, $3500
  • Year 2016: $3000, $3350, $4000
  • Year 2017: $3350, $3700, $4200
  • Year 2018: $3500, $3750, $4140
  • Year 2019: $3600, $4000, $4350
  • Year 2020: $3500, $4000, $4500
  • Year 2021: $3900, $4200, $4800

As graduates also enter non-technological roles, the noise in the data might portray a seemingly lower salary for graduates who took on technological roles.

Note: The Bachelor of Engineering in Information Engineering and Media (IEM) is a programme hosted by the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and jointly offered with the School of Art, Design and Media, School of Computer Science and Engineering, and Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.

SMU School of Information Systems Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3000, $3300, $3800
  • Year 2014: $3000, $3350, $4000
  • Year 2015: $3200, $3500, $4110
  • Year 2016: $3200, $3600, $4167
  • Year 2017: $3550, $4000, $4500
  • Year 2018: $3600, $4000, $4600
  • Year 2019: $4000, $4300, $5000
  • Year 2020: $4000, $4542, $5400
  • Year 2021: $4200, $5000, $5350

The salaries for SMU Information Systems have been rising slowly up till 2016, before picking up pace in 2017 and overtaking NTU Computer Science in 2019.

Interestingly, while the median salary increases from $4,542 to $5,000 in 2021, the salary at the 75th percentile dips slightly from $5,400 to $5,350.

SMU School of Information Systems (Cum Laude and above) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2013: $3500, $3800, $4000
  • Year 2014: $3500, $4050, $4540
  • Year 2015: $3500, $3800, $4166
  • Year 2016: $3800, $4167, $4750
  • Year 2017: $4000, $4334, $4750
  • Year 2018: $4200, $4685, $5000
  • Year 2019: $4300, $5000, $5550
  • Year 2020: $4500, $5000, $5416
  • Year 2021: $5000, $5350, $5833

Since graduates in the “Cum Laude” (a.k.a. Distinction) has higher grades, it is not surprising that the salary of these graduates is higher than those without distinction.

DigiPen BS in Computer Science and Game Design Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2014: $2800, $2975, $3075
  • Year 2015: Not available
  • Year 2016: $3100, $3400, $3500
  • Year 2017*: $2900, $3250, $3600
  • Year 2018*: $3300, $3600, $4000
  • Year 2019*: $3550, $3800, $4000
  • Year 2020: $3500, $4000, $4200
  • Year 2021: Not available (Not yet released)

* Data is based on a sample size of fewer than 30 respondents.

The salaries for DigiPen Computer Science and Game Design have been steadily increasing over the past few years. It is understandable as it is one of the limited courses that specialised in game design.

While the growth is slower than those of other courses, it would not be surprising to see this growth accelerate in the years to come with the metaverse movement.

DigiPen BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2014: $2700, $3000, $3300
  • Year 2015: $3000, $3233, $3500
  • Year 2016: $3500, $4000, $4200
  • Year 2017: $3558, $3800, $4140
  • Year 2018: $3830, $4016, $4200
  • Year 2019: $4000, $4400, $5200
  • Year 2020: $3880, $4200, $4500
  • Year 2021: Not available (Not yet released)

The salaries for DigiPen Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation have been stagnant over recent years. This is rather shocking, when compared to the high double digit growth from the other universities.

SIT BEng (Hons) in Information & Communications Technology (Information Security) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2018*: $4000, $4045, $4400
  • Year 2019: $3900, $4100, $5000
  • Year 2020: $3600, $4300, $4630
  • Year 2021: Not available (Not yet released)

* Data is based on a sample size of fewer than 30 respondents.

SIT BEng (Hons) in Information & Communications Technology (Software Engineering) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2018: $3600, $4000, $4300
  • Year 2019: $3600, $4190, $4550
  • Year 2020: $3600, $4000, $4750
  • Year 2021: Not available (Not yet released)

SUTD BEng (Information Systems Technology and Design) Salaries

The salary at the 25th, 50th (median) and 75th percentile for the following years are:

  • Year 2015: $3338, $3950, $4450
  • Year 2016: $3500, $4000, $4950
  • Year 2017: $3600, $4023, $4900
  • Year 2018: $4000, $4400, $5000
  • Year 2019: $3800, $4400, $5000
  • Year 2020: $4000, $4500, $5000
  • Year 2021: Not available (Not yet released)

Similar to DigiPen Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation, the salaries for SUTD Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) have been stagnant over recent years.

Awesome! Where else can I get more salary data?

You can check out how much your fellow software engineers are actually getting paid on NodeFlair Salaries. It is a community-contributed salary data, verified with documents, such as payslips and offer letters. Within a few months since its launch, it already has the largest pool of verified and trustworthy tech salary data in Singapore.

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Disclaimer: The data published in this document is provided on an “as is” basis without any warranties of any kind. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the Ministry of Education (MOE) does not warrant and hereby disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, correctness, completeness, reliability or fitness for any particular purpose of such data. The reader of this article assumes all responsibility and risk for the use of such data. MOE shall not be liable for any damage or loss of any kind caused as a result (directly or indirectly) of the use of such data, including but not limited to any damage or loss suffered as a result of reliance on the data published in this article.

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