It’s no surprise that the tech sector has managed to gain a stronger foothold in a world plagued by stringent lockdowns globally, social distancing requirements and restricted travel.
Everything has been forced to go online in 2020, from work meetings and networking events to buying groceries, educating our children and even visiting the doctor. While most businesses adjust to the new norms in the working world or struggle to survive, the tech sector has experienced a boom.
Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) featured the tech sector in its 14th Jobs Situation Report – reporting that it is “by far, the sector with the highest placements under the SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package”. Given the tailwinds for the sector, companies are also more likely to be in the hiring than retrenching.
Here are 5 things we should know about Singapore’s tech sector.
#1 71% of 190,200 Employed In Singapore’s Tech Sector Are Locals
Since 2015, local employment in Singapore’s tech sector has expanded by 17,000 roles or an average of 3,400 roles a year.
According to MOM’s 14th Jobs Situation Report, a total of 190,200 people are employed in Singapore’s infocomm technology sector. Locals are hired in 71% of these roles. This does not include tech roles in other sectors.
With a healthy number of locals, complemented by skillful foreigners, Singapore’s tech sector is poised for better growth.
#2 7,000 Jobseekers Placed Into roles In Tech Sector Since April
Between April to early November, 7,000 jobseekers have been placed into jobs, company-hosted traineeships and attachments and training places in the tech sector.
While it’s no surprise that there is demand to fill job roles in the tech sector, even as other sectors struggle, the tech sector has filled the most number of roles under the SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package.
As you can also see from the chart above, a vast majority were for PMET roles.
#3 A Further 12,000 More Job Openings Still Open In the Tech Sector, Offering Good Salary
The tech sector also has a further 12,000 job openings on top of already placing the highest number of people into new roles. These are also for good jobs paying good salaries.
As you can see the salary range for the job openings range from $3,750 to $7,500. The 5th percentile pay is typically also above Singapore’s median salary (of about $3,900) in 2019.
#4 30% Of Job Openings In Tech Sector Are For “Tech-Lite” Roles
Sure, some of the better paid roles are in management and business consultant as well as software, web and multimedia development.
But tech companies don’t just require employees trained in tech, they need people in sales, marketing, business development to complement their tech-savvy talent. About 30% of the job openings are in these “tech-lite” roles.
In addition to the “tech-lite” role, tech companies would require people in other functions that serve all other companies as well, including finance, HR, administrative roles and others.
#5 Skills That Can Be Acquired For Jobs In The Tech Sector
To get those looking for jobs equipped to enter tech roles, there were also examples of skills that jobseekers can acquire to enhance their career prospects. We’re assuming the transferrable skills are meant more for role that are “tech-lite”, with the more technical skills those in demand in the tech-centric roles.
Many of the skills listed under transferrable skills would also be similar skills that those working in other industries would have to be adept in. The column on the right is also important for those who are looking to fill “tech-lite” roles. Jobseekers who can equip themselves with those skills or have started some training in a skill would have an edge during interviews.
Tapping On The Government’s 3-pronged Approach To Connect Businesses To Employees
The government isn’t leaving it up to market forces to marry jobseekers to employers in the tech sector (or any other sectors). Their 3-pronged approach includes:
#i Place-And-Train Programmes
TechSkills Accelerator or TeSA, co-led by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SkillsFutre Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG), is an initiative to help Singaporeans gain employment and enhance employability in the tech sector through place-and-train programmes.
Since 2016, TeSA has placed 6,600 locals into tech sector jobs through its placement programmes. Such programmes include 1) Company-Led Training (CLT), 2) TeSA Mid-Career Advance (TMCA), 3) Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), and 4) Tech Immersion and Placement Programme (TIPP).
TeSA has already worked with IBM to train 300 Singaporeans over the next four years. More opportunities have been announced with Google and SEA as well. These are reportedly for roles in Digital Consultant, Cloud Architect, Data Scientist, UX Designer, Software Development, Cybersecurity and AI.
#ii SGUnited Jobs & Skills Package
Under the SGUnited Jobs & Skills package, jobseekers can embark on SGUnited Traineeships (for those who graduated in 2019 and 2020) and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways for other jobseekers.
#iii Nurturing Talent Pipeline In Institutes of Higher Learning
For Singapore’s tech sector to remain competitive and reduce any over-reliance on foreigners to grow the sector, we need to train our own talent.
Hearteningly, intake for courses related to tech sectors have grown 17% over the past 3 years, and future cohorts coming out of tertiary education should have increasingly relevant advanced skills to contribute to the tech sector.
Existing curriculum is also being reviewed by TeSA to promote in-demand tech skills in software development, AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, IoT and cloud computing.
Need Financing Support During This Period?
From now till 31 March 2021, SMEs can enjoy extra financing support of up to $5 million through the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme.
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