Should I take an accounting degree in Singapore?

Accounting is something that businesses will always need. Without accounting, investors can’t analyse companies’ financial health easily and government’s can’t collect tax revenue. Singapore is one of the business hubs in Asia and multinationals will always need accounting professionals. Many CFOs hold accounting degrees although this is slowly changing.

Salary of accounting graduates

Note: All salary figures include CPF contributions from your employers. This means that your take-home salary will be less than these figures.

Let’s start with the salary of accounting graduates. According to Seedly’s 2022 fresh graduate salary guide, the median salary of a NUS Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) graduate is $3,400. For reference, the median 2022 salary of a graduate across all industries is $3,800.

According to 2021 data, the average salary of a fully-employed Singaporean is $4,600.

DescriptionMonthly Salary
Median 2022 NUS Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy)$3,400
Median 2022 graduate across all industries$3,800
2021 Fully-Employed Singaporean$4,600

While this figures may not seem impressive, being an accountant can be a stepping stone into more well-paid roles including investment banking and being a finance manager. The average salary of a finance manager in 2021 is $112,000. This tells you that accounting may not be suitable if you’re someone who’s not passionate about finance. But accounting would be a great stepping stone to larger higher ranking finance positions that have much higher salaries and room for advancement.

Some things to consider

Obviously salaries and money isn’t everything. There’s also the workload and stress from working in accounting. Let’s talk about several things that you should take into account. One would be student debt and being able to afford an accounting programme at a local university. While some students take on student loans, an alternative might be to take a short 3-month Xero bookkeeping course that would give you some exposure to accounting software and creating journal entries. Three months is a small price to pay if this means finding out if you’re suitable to a life (or four years in NUS) of accounting.

You don’t have to be good in math or be able to solve differential equations in your head to be good at accounting. But you should be comfortable with basic arithmetic at the very least and have a good head for numbers. You can’t rely on a calculator for basic problems like 11 x 200 and you have to be able to understand how the three financial statements work with one another.

Here’re a few good finance blogs to read to see if you’re interested in finance and accounting. Contact our accounting instructors if you have any questions or if you want to chat about how life as an accounting is like.

Check out this video by NUS accounting students that talk about studying accounting in NUS! This might be helpful if you’re seriously considering accountancy.

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