A new Singapore government unit wants to help the private sector create 10k new technology-related jobs over the next three years. This will trigger additional hiring in areas such as AI and data science – and make competition for talent between banks and tech firms even more intense, say recruiters.
The Digital Industry Singapore (DISG) office will help companies secure tech professionals, gain market access, build their businesses, and expand overseas. It will also guide government tech investments in fields including staff training and digital infrastructure. On the back of all this, DISG has set itself the 10k-jobs goal.
But what kind of technology jobs are likely to open up as a result of this extra investment? DISG’s objectives provide some general clues. For example, in enterprise technology – one of DISG’s two main coverage areas (the other is consumer tech) – the unit will help Singapore-based firms build new products in sectors such as cyber security, AI, payments and cloud computing.
Most of the jobs in these areas likely to be at pure-play tech firms – both local and international ones – rather than banks, say recruiters, adding that large financial institutions typically don’t need this kind of government help. The jobs won’t just be at early-stage startups though – DISG has already worked with Singaporean tech unicorn Grab to support the establishment its new headquarters, which will house up to 3,000 employees.
More specifically, the new tech jobs that will be created in Singapore over the next three years will likely be “heavily focused” on AI, data analytics, mobile app development, enterprise digital architecture/integration, cloud and DevOps engineering, software engineering, and digital product management, says Adam Davies, lead IT recruiter at iKas International.
April Jimenez, a senior consultant at recruiters Huxley, says the government’s new initiative will further fuel the already strong demand for data analysts and scientists in Singapore. “Firms like Grab and Lazada are looking for data candidates to improve services or to identify another hot consumer segment or product,” she adds.
Automation developers are also highly sought after, as are cyber and information security professionals, says Jimenez. “Following the IHiS cyber attack and other local security incidents, everybody is looking at ways to make their cloud deployments and applications secure,” she adds.
It may not be entirely straightforward for Singapore to hit its 10,000-jobs target, however. DISG is partnering with other government agencies, the tech industry, and education institutions to offer formal and on-the-job training for Singaporeans in areas such as cyber security, data science, software development, and user experience design. “But with 10,000 jobs to fill, both local and overseas specialist talent will have to be considered,” says Davies from iKas.
“There’s a strong push to hire locally, and most data scientists and engineers are actually young local graduates,” adds a Singapore-based technology recruiter who asked not to be named. “But the more technical roles, such as very experienced cloud and DevOps engineers, can be harder to fill locally,” he adds.
Whatever the exact hiring numbers over the next three years, the expected jobs growth will make the local labour market even tighter. Banks are already competing with tech firms to recruit and retain technology professionals. This competition is set to go up a gear as tech companies take on more staff in the near future, say recruiters in Singapore.
Image credit: AhLamb, Getty
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