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Career Development

Despite The Recession A Tech Career Transition is a Good Move in Singapore

General Assembly
December 15, 2022

The current landscape of the tech job market in Singapore is thriving. Despite the widespread layoffs at tech companies like Meta, Twitter, Amazon, and Shopee, Singapore’s tech talent market remains a job-seeker market. According to The Straits Times, vacancies have been on the rise since last year, noted the Ministry of Manpower, with the ratio of jobs to unemployed persons rising to 2.42 in March – the highest since 1998.

Undoubtedly, tech workers are still very much in demand as businesses of all facets work to build their digital infrastructure. However, with the rising demand for tech talent, Singapore has experienced a decline in qualified tech workers. 

Picking up essential future-proof tech skills will expand your horizons for exciting career changes like pivoting into tech and allow you to thrive professionally. Moreover, becoming familiar with technical skills can only improve the quality of life given that technology is at the core of the innovation ecosystem, encompassing 94% of Singapore’s government services.

This blog will give you more information on Singapore’s tech ecosystem, the type of tech jobs that are in demand and how to land your first tech job quickly.

Is a recession a good time for a career change?

Considering the current state of the world economy, taking the leap toward a career transition might be scarier than before. However, despite ongoing concerns about the recession, the global job market is holding up pretty well. For example, according to Statista, Singapore’s job market is recovering as the country recoups post-Covid-19, with employment rates rising year-over-year. 

As a career changer, you should consider some other top-of-mind things. According to Randstad research, on average, it takes about two to six months to land a new job in Singapore. Thus, you need to be mindful of your finances when undertaking a career change. Are you going to look for a new job while still working for your current employer, or are you happy to quit and focus primarily on your job hunt? The answer to these questions really depends on your financial situation. 

The current state of Singapore’s tech ecosystem

If you’re interested in transitioning to a tech career, it’s essential to look at the current state of Singapore’s tech ecosystem to gain a solid understanding of the industry and insights into job security.

Here are the top five fireside stats on the current state of Singapore’s tech economy: 

  1. Singapore is home to 80 of the world’s top 100 tech companies and over 3,800 tech-enabled startups, yet one of the nation’s biggest challenges that persists is a talent shortage.
  2. Software, web and multimedia developers ranked second among jobs with the most vacancies available, at more than 1,600.
  3. The top 10 companies that are hiring Software Engineers in Singapore are:
  • Shopee
  • Continental
  • Paypal
  • Visa
  • Autodesk
  • Accenture’s
  • DBS Bank
  • NCS
  • Google 
  • Grab
  1. The IT sector in Singapore will need 60,000 professionals over the next three years, signalling that tech job security and growth are only on the rise. 
  2. Tech salaries are expected to go up. Salaries in areas such as technology will rise significantly due to the talent shortage, said the Robert Walters Salary Survey 2022, though it gave no estimates. But even in other areas, professionals moving between jobs can expect to command salary premiums of 10 to 15%, said the survey.

Industries that need tech talent in Singapore

Tech companies are just some of the ones who are on the lookout for hot new tech talent. Non-tech companies are also keen to hire tech workers to build their digital infrastructure. Here are the top three industries other than tech that are in a hiring boom across Singapore. Here’s a comprehensive list of tech jobs in high demand across various industries.

  1. Banking and Finance

The financial industry is still a strong hire for tech talent across Singapore. Banks like OCBC, DBS group, and UOB are amplifying their search for tech talent. 

OCBC is looking to hire 1,500 tech staff over the next three years. DBS group remains intent on expanding its 10,000-strong tech workforce by about 1,000 employees a year. UOB is still poised to groom tech talents for its 5,000-strong technology and operations workforce via a work-study program with the Singapore Institute of Technology.

  1. Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry remains one of Singapore’s largest industries, contributing 20-25% of its annual GDPR. The critical industry jobs in this sector include electronics, chemicals, biomedical sciences, logistics, transport engineering and IT. 

The Singapore government is targeting manufacturing as a critical sector for the next eight years, with an already 13% growth since its launch in 2021. The manufacturing industry has also received $8.5 billion in total fixed asset investment, creating more than 6,000 jobs locally.

  1. Logistics and supply chain

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-commerce sector has recorded 87% growth and a 30% rise in new online customers since 2020. As more people turn to online shopping post-pandemic, the logistics and supply chain industry needs to hire skilled new tech talent to keep up with these changes in purchasing behaviour. 

As of December 2022, over 6,000 supply chain and logistic jobs are advertised on LinkedIn. With positions ranging across engineering, tech, customer support, digital commerce, and market operations. 

3 ways to land a tech role at a non-tech-specific company in Singapore

Singapore’s demand for tech talent means excellent news for career changers. Both tech and non-tech companies looking to build their digital presence, launch new products, or improve their customer’s user experience will have the option to choose from a thriving tech talent pool. So how can you get your profile in front of the recruiter and land your first tech job? Here are some handy tips. 

  1. Be willing to take on an entry-level role

If you’re currently working a mid-tier or senior role at your current job, be prepared that you may need to apply for a junior or entry-level position when transitioning into a tech job. A pay cut is one of the biggest challenges of starting at the bottom of the ladder. 

However, in exchange for a pay cut, ensure your employer will provide you with the right training and support to ensure you are quickly moving up in the company. When applying to tech-native and non-tech companies, keep an eye out for free employee development and education opportunities as part of your benefits package. 

  1. Make your transferable skills shine

All the transferable skills you’ve picked up during your previous career will serve you well in your new tech job. Identifying these skills during your career change is critical to ensure you are not starting from zero. Here are five top transferable skills employers in Singapore will look out for in 2023. 

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Organisation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving

Make these transferable skills shine by highlighting them in your skills section on LinkedIn and your resume. Additionally, during the interview process, let the recruiter or hiring manager know how you’ve utilised these skills in the past and how they can help you thrive in your new tech role. 

  1. Start early when it comes to your hard skills

If a pivot into a tech company or job is something you are considering for 2023, we recommend you start learning some hard skills now. Unlike your transferable skills, hard skills are referred to as your technical skills and require more time and education to understand. 

In today’s recruiting world, including the right hard skills on your profile will help you appear in front of recruiters and hiring managers. According to Cio World Asia, here are the top five tech skills employers are seeking out. 

  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analysis
  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Digital Marketing
  • Agile/Scrum Masters

To get a head start and quickly pick up some of these hard skills, check out some free workshops and events and on-demand learning opportunities to enable you to explore new skills at your own pace. 

Your opportunities in tech are endless

If you’re considering a change into a tech role, consider industries outside of tech. The truth is every business needs tech talent these days. Most non-native tech companies still require tech talent to work on their website, online security, digital marketing efforts, data analysis, user experience and much more. 

So kickstart your 2023 career change by downloading the “Career Changer’s Guide to Doing Something Different” to help you take a confident leap of faith into a tech career, step-by-step. 


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