Singapore is climbing the ranks when it comes to its position as Asia’s technology capital. For starters, 80 of the top 100 tech firms in the world have a presence in the city state. Furthermore, according to the Global Innovation Index, Singapore ranked No. 1 in Asia and 7th in the world for innovation. Considering the amount of activities, it is vital to know Singapore’s most in-demand tech jobs come 2020, and the specific skill sets that will help tech professionals stand out from the crowd.
Singapore’s tech landscape
Before going into the specifics, we first need to look at the Singaporean market as a whole. The momentum that Singapore’s economy enjoyed in the years before has reduced quite significantly, especially in 2019. The International Monetary Fund, for one, pegged the number at just 0.5%, down from the initial 2.3% estimates that they had back in April 2019. And since Singapore is such a financial hub in Asia, the US-China trade war inevitably impacted the city state’s prospects as well, with organisations becoming more conservative with their hiring, at least in the short term.
With that said, hiring activities remain in the green in Singapore. From the technology standpoint, companies are predicted to invest more heavily in networks, systems and cybersecurity. Data analytics and engineering, too, will become a key business function going forward, especially within sales and marketing. Finally, technology is going to play a more critical role when it comes to improving efficiency and customer experience. As for the areas with the most active hiring activities, professionals should pay particular attention on fintech, start-ups, as well as healthcare.
Going back to the specific roles and functions in demand, here are the ones to watch out for:
1. Cybersecurity professionals
As popular as digital transformation is, the flipside of this phenomenon is that cybercrimes are also becoming more sophisticated — and the numbers show. According to a recent report, the cybercrime industry brought in US$1.5 trillion in revenue in 2018, with more than a quarter of malware attacks targeting banks and financial services, or 25.7% to be exact. It is no wonder that, on a global level, openings for cybersecurity jobs are expected to increase from one million positions in 2014 to 3.5 million by 2021.
Singapore, too, is experiencing a similar rise in demand for cybersecurity professionals. As businesses continue to invest more in networks and systems, mid-to-senior level cybersecurity and IT risk and governance roles will be highly sought after by various industries come 2020. The demand is reflected in our latest Salary Benchmark report as well, with the Head of IT Audit expected to bring in up to SG$200,000 on average in 2020.
2. Software Developer/Software Engineer
No job is recession proof. However, roles like Software Developer and Software Engineer are likely as close as it gets. The ability to design, build, develop and code is nearly universal and will likely remain the case in the year ahead.
According to the Economic Development Board of Singapore (EDB)some 50,000 ICT jobs are expected to be created in Singapore in the next few years, which is on top of the pool of 180,000 ICT professionals currently hired there. Elsewhere, Singapore has also become a major powerhouse for start-ups, with over 220 venture capital deals per year worth close to US$4.2 billion. Singapore is also home to more than 150 global venture capital funds, incubators and accelerators, and all of them are in need of software talent.
Take financial technology, for example. Fintech is a booming business in Singapore. According to an Accenture research, Singapore is Asia’s third-biggest fintech market by funds, with investments nearly quadrupling to US$453 million in the first half of 2019, up from US$118 million in the same period a year before. As Singapore’s position as a financial hub continue to grow, the demand for tech jobs, too, will balloon accordingly.
3. Data Analysts/Data Scientists
Organisations today have more information about their clients than ever before. In fact, it is estimated that about five quintillion bytes of data are produced every day. The ability to turn all that data into actionable insights is key for businesses today — and there is big money in big data, too. By Cisco’s estimates, revenue generated from big data will likely hit US$274.3 billion by 2022.
With data playing an increasingly important role for businesses, big data and analytics sector will see similar tractions as well. Data Engineers, Data Analysts and Data Scientists will be highly sought after, partly because there continues to be a shortfall in supply on the data front.