We Interviewed ‘Highly Paid’ Alumni From Top Universities About Career And Quality Of Life

6 min. read By eCompareMo on

Entrepreneur Philippines recently released a report on the top schools and universities that produce the highest-paid employees. The figures were based on average self-reported monthly salaries of Jobstreet users by position and educational institution.

According to the study, alumni of the following schools are in the top five highest paid of each job level:

Fresh grads
  1. UP
  2. Mapua
  3. UST
  4. Ateneo
  5. Adamson
1-4 experienced employee
  1. Mapua
  2. UP
  3. UST
  4. DLSU
  5. Ateneo
Non-executive
  1. UP
  2. Mapua
  3. Ateneo
  4. UST
  5. Adamson
Supervisor/5 years and up experienced employee
  1. Mapua
  2. UP
  3. UST
  4. DLSU
  5. Ateneo
Assistant Manager/Manager
  1. Mapua
  2. UP
  3. Ateneo
  4. DLSU
  5. UST
CEO/SVP/AVP/VP/Director
  1. DLSU
  2. Ateneo De Manila University
  3. UP
  4. UST
  5. Mapua

eCompareMo talked to some alumni of these schools who now occupy high-paying positions in their respective fields. Here they share their insights and impart a few lessons on climbing the corporate ladder.

Josh Ng, Digital Marketing Specialist

BS Broadcast Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Previous job: Digital Marketing and eCommerce Supervisor

What’s the most difficult part of your job?

Digital marketing is a relatively young industry. There are a lot of hurdles in the technology and customer behavior aspects. So I’m just always on the lookout for what’s new, see what others are doing, rely on data, try our hands on everything. Test, test, test!

Do you think that graduating from PUP has provided an advantage in achieving your goals?

I would say that I’m confident with the skills I acquired in the university. They adequately prepared me for a role in media–I majored in Broadcasting and did well. However, what I wasn’t sure of is how my degree will translate in the business/finance sector since I decided to take the road less traveled, so to speak. Later did I find out that it’s who I was as a person–values, principles, and beliefs–that brought me to where I am in today. You basically learn along the way.

Were you always well compensated?

I would say that the compensations I’ve received are within market standards. Although, it was always my belief that if you want to improve your financial standing, you must have several streams of income. Sure, while you accumulate experience and skills, your market value improves and companies will compensate accordingly–but it takes a while. Make your job a security blanket then create a new source of income, whatever that may be.

Are you satisfied with your achievements over the years?

I am. I’m not yet done though.

Are you confident to say that your future is secured?

I wouldn’t say confident because there are a lot of things that can happen beyond our control. I can only be hopeful–hope for the best, expect the worst; things rarely turn out exactly the way I think. And always have something or someone you can go back to that will hold you down when pride lifts you off the ground once everything goes well, or anchor you when challenges hit you wave after wave once things go south.

Are all the stress, effort, and sacrifices worth the salary you’re getting?

As long as I’m not putting anything I deem important at risk, I believe I’m getting what I’m worth. Besides, the pay-off is always at the end–so the stress, effort, and sacrifices always come first.

How is your current job contributing to your retirement plans?

It’s a building block toward my goal to eventually start my own business, be my own boss, contribute greater to society, pass on my learnings, and then ride off to the sunset.

Henry Guerrero, Senior Software Engineer

BS Computer Science, University of the Philippines Diliman

Gross monthly income: P150,000

Tell us about the most notable obstacles conquered in your professional life, and how you achieved your current professional status.

It is really hard to do the first step, finding the right path, gathering the right knowledge to be a good software engineer. I tried to gather all the curriculum of other universities–from UP, La Salle, Ateneo, even from Ivy League schools, specially Stanford. Then I found a curriculum based on my preference, which has become my foundation that helped me achieve my current professional status.

Do you think that graduating from UP has provided an advantage in achieving your goals?

Yes. But the most important thing is to find what you love to do.

Were you always well compensated? If no, tell us briefly how you managed to improve your financial standing.

Yes. I don’t remember a time I was underpaid.

Are you satisfied with your achievements over the years?

Yes, I am satisfied. However, if you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die. I remember Warren Buffett once said that.

Are all the stress, effort, and sacrifices worth the salary you’re getting?

I’m not feeling any stress, maybe because I do what I love.

How is your current job contributing to your retirement plans?

My field is quite diverse. It has given me a chance to explore other fields, like economics and finance, which provided me knowledge to prepare for my retirement plans. I am also lucky to have a high-paying job that will finance my future business and investment in stocks as well.

Nate Dela Rosa, businessman

BS Management Information Systems, Ateneo de Manila University

Previous job: Software Quality Assurance Project Manager

What challenges did you have to face to get to where you are now?

My greatest challenge was shifting from employment to entrepreneurship. From being led by my bosses/superiors, I now have to lead and motivate myself to reach my business and financial goals. I now have to be more disciplined in how I spend my time. Constantly attending business and personal development trainings, learning from my mentors, and reading business/leadership books greatly help me in attaining my personal business goals and having the right mindset in my chosen career.

Do you think that graduating from the Ateneo has provided an advantage in achieving your goals?

Yes. Initially, when I had no work experience yet, my chosen employer had to rely on my academic achievements and honestly, graduating from a top university gave me a little advantage. But of course, my actual work performance became more important than my diploma.

Were you always well compensated? If no, tell us briefly how you managed to improve your financial standing.

I can say that Information Technology is one of the higher-paying jobs in the country. In my opinion, I was well compensated.

Are you satisfied with your achievements over the years?

Yes, in general. But I know that there are always opportunities to improve myself and achieve more. I try my best to be growth-oriented, vs. goal oriented.

Are you confident to say that your future is secured?

Yes, as long I stay open to new trends, avoid settling for mediocrity, and maintain discipline with how I manage my finances.

Are all the stress, effort, and sacrifices worth the salary you’re getting?

In my past job of seven years, no. That is why I decided to explore other opportunities that can give the same monetary benefits with less stress and more time freedom.

How is your current job contributing to your retirement plans?

I am currently affiliated with a US-based company that offers passive and residual income based on my current efforts. I plan to continue working hard and smart through its compensation plan to achieve my goal of retiring by age 40.

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