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The Data & Tech industry outlook in Singapore 2023

Rina Blog   Data & Tech
Businesses are developing more digital products and building up their IT networks and infrastructure. With a growing emphasis in user-centric design, skills in Software Design and User Experience Design see demand growth of more than 80% and are required by up to 300 job roles.

A large number of tech companies have been laying off workers in the past few months, but that doesn't mean the market is flooded - demand is very still high. With a lack of qualified candidates available to fill open jobs and companies monitoring a potential recession, employers are going to be more selective about who they hire. They're also going to be paying more attention to everything from a candidate's technical skills and industry experience to a prospective employee's cultural fit. This means that if you're looking for a new job, you'll need to make sure you're prepared.

Applicable to all functions within the technology umbrella, salary increments when moving between jobs are moving away from huge packages that we saw over the previous period and are now around a 10-15% increment when moving jobs. During the pandemic, demand was so high that compensation packages were less controlled and it became a bidding war for top talent. Now, although they want the talent, SMEs cannot compare in monetary value what big technology companies may have offered in terms of equity, benefits and compensation. Be realistic with your needs and wants and employers will do the same.

Upskilling and Protecting Talent

Singapore is a global talent hub, and its rapid economic growth and impressive infrastructure are the primary reasons. Singapore is one of the most developed countries in the world and offers a stable job market for highly skilled workers. In addition, Singapore's location near two major trade routes and with easy access to shipping routes has attracted companies from both Western and Asian markets.

Cities all over the world are competing to be the best place for international businesses to look for a talent pool. The competition has grown fierce, especially among Southeast Asian nations that are aggressively courting technology start-ups. Singapore has been attracting many foreign companies because of its low corporate tax rate and good infrastructure. For example, Google, Facebook and Amazon have established their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore because of its convenient location; it's easy to communicate with other offices around the world with regards to both time zones and ease of travel. What this growth means is that there's a strain on the talent pool in Singapore. How is the government addressing this?

If you look at the history of Singapore, we have been looking at workforce reskilling since the day the nation was created,” said Gog Soon Joo, the Chief Skills Officer at SkillsFuture Singapore. 

A new $2 billion jobs and training package launched in 2020 created close to 100,000 opportunities for workers, including 40,000 jobs, 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training opportunities.

It’s estimated that the number of workers requiring digital skills could increase by 55%. This means that Singapore’s workforce needs a total of 23.8 million digital skill training from 2020 to 2025.

To further encourage Singaporeans to take timely action to reskill and upskill to seize opportunities in the future economy, SkillsFuture Credit was introduced in 2015, giving Singaporeans up to $1,500 to invest in their own career development from a selection of providers.

It is thanks to the government's serious commitment to developing digital talent that total employment in the ICT sector is the highest across all industries. 63% of Singapore's workforce are now considered digitally skilled workers and in 2021 alone, the total employment in the ICT sector grew by 14,100 (the highest across all industries), which is a huge increase compared to the 2,700 reported in 2020. If current trends continue, we could be seeing total employment growth of 18,000 in the ICT sector by the end of 2022.

This piece was first featured in our 2023 Salary Guide. Download your copy here.