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3 minute read

Feeling Underpaid Even Though You’re a Younger and More Tech-Savvy Worker? The Real Reason Might Surprise You

Just because you’ve just left school doesn’t mean you’ve got all the skills needed for the rest of your career. Here’s how this affects your future salary.

So, you think words like “upskilling “and “reskilling” don’t really apply to you because it’s only been a few years since you left school and joined the workforce.

You look around the office, and unlike your older colleagues who still ask you for tips on how to use the latest applications and platforms, you know what’s what to be efficient at the workplace.

Maybe not.

Turns out that training contributes to an increase of around 20% in wages for all workers over time.

This fact was revealed by a study done by a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Social Service Research Centre (SSR).

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They looked at the work experiences of young, lower-income Singaporeans aged 21 to 40. The median monthly income for Singaporeans shows a sharp increase as they get older. The median gross monthly income tends to reach its peak for Singaporeans in their 40s, across all professions and education levels.

That means that if you’re under 40, you shouldn’t be ignoring upskilling and reskilling as a means to get that pay bump.

You’re competing with even younger graduates coming off the education pipeline

And if you’ve been feeling less anxious about reskilling and upskilling because your Microsoft Excel skills are better than your older Boomer colleague, think again. Fresh graduates with the latest skillsets are entering the job market, and if you haven’t kept up with the latest in your field, they could well be paid more than you, despite your greater experience!

According to the 2022 Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Survey, which was conducted by four Singaporean universities, the median gross monthly salary of recent graduates had shot up from S$3,800 in 2021 to S$4,200 in 2022.

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This was a large spike compared to previous years, where median salaries were usually around S$100 annually.

In a report by CNA, one worker shared: “It’s very sad. When the report came out, my friends and I couldn’t believe it.

“We have been working for two years only to be on the same pay or even lower than a fresh graduate,” she said.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of them because they graduated later than me and don’t have as much experience as me, but they’re earning more than I did when I first started,” another worker admitted.

Read More: What Skills and Mindset Will Help You Stay Attractive to Different Industries and Employers?

Career resilience: Something you should care about

And it’s not just about salary, but about the longevity of your skillsets and having career resilience as well!

According to a study by Amazon and Workplace Intelligence, 70% of the workforce don’t feel prepared for the future of work, and are concerned by global issues such as inflation and regional conflicts (such as the war in Ukraine) affecting their careers.

Forbes also reported that younger workers seem to be more affected than older workers, with 93% of Gen Zs, 87% of Millennials, 79% of Gen X and 71% of Boomers reporting negative impacts.

56% of these workers also believe that skill deficits will impact their ability to move forward in their careers, and 57% worry they’ll struggle to move to another industry or job as a result.

What’s the key lesson here? Yes, reskilling and upskilling are important for all workers and generations, but especially for those early in their careers, and it could make and break your work and financial future.

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