Singapore is rapidly gaining a reputation in Southeast Asia as a regional technology hub, with tech and digital jobs in heavy demand across a myriad of sectors. However, it is also facing a tech talent shortage, according to recruitment and talent platform Grit’s Singapore Salary Report & Market Outlook for 2022/2023.
The top five job roles that employers are looking to fill are data analysis (57%), digital marketing (57%), big data (52%), strategy and operations (43%), and digital strategy (43%).
While the most in-demand tech skills employers are looking for are cybersecurity (57%), data analysis (57%), AI/machine learning (52%), digital marketing (43%), and agile/scrum (43%).
Big data analytics far outpaces any other technologies employers believe their companies will have to adopt with almost half (49%) saying so. This is followed by IoT and connected devices (36%), eCommerce and digital trade (35%), AI (33%) and cloud computing (31%).
Due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused a severe lack of mobility and restrictions on face-to-face transactions, many local businesses across several sectors all throughout Singapore underwent a critical digital transformation. This included across the marketing industry who connects the gaps between customers, content, data, and technology to deliver better customer experiences.
They were forced to transform their ways and rely on digital marketing to promote themselves and because of this, they are now prepared to continue offering consumers a blend of online-offline services, be it in terms of operations, business models, or work arrangements.
All this change and transformation has brought a new generation of marketers to the fore, where a marketer will need to be more creative, analytical, technical, fluid, and collaborative. Marketing is one of the most diverse areas with a myriad of opportunities.
According to Grit’s research, head of marketing/marketing director’s salaries will range from SG$7000 to SG$22000, in the following year while a senior professional in trade/consumer marketing can make up to SG$19,000, and those in social media marketing making up SG$12,500.
The report lists data analysis and analytics, project management, research, SEO/SEM, social media, user lifecycle, user experience, martech, CMS, data collection and visualisation as the most in-demand skills in the marketing industry.
While globally a number of uncertainties remain, Singapore’s economy is not expected to slip into a recession or stagflation. Boding well for the Singaporean labour market which according to Grit is projected to see positive movement (in terms of unemployment rate, number of retrenchments, and salary adjustments), with more emphasis on the ICT sector in the coming years.
“We focus on strong job creation and wage growth as the best ways to help Singaporeans tide through these immediate difficult times and ensure that we have sufficient resources to tackle the long-term challenges,” said Alvin Tan, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry during a parliament reply in July as the best ways to combat inflation.
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the country’s GDP growth forecast has been maintained at 3% to 5%, with growth likely to be nearer the lower half of that forecasted range. Whereas overall inflation for the whole of 2022 is now expected to hit 5%, up from the 3.6% reported in the previous Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) survey.
On the back of those figures come reports that Singaporean employees can expect larger-than-usual salary adjustments, with an average increase of up to 3.8%. This is because employers are prepared to pay their workers more as the economic outlook improves, as well as to offset soaring inflation and a talent crunch.
Singapore’s tech and digital economy efforts are powered by the ICT sector. It grew by 12.2% and far outpaced the other sectors, which makes it the industry with the third largest growth in 2021. In addition, it contributed SG$28.4 billion to the economy in the same period, accounting for 5.6% of GDP.
Crypto, blockchain and Web3
Web3, blockchain, and crypto have all captured the world's attention when they set the stage for innovative business models and value relocations. It started with finance and has since expanded into healthcare, supply chain, gaming, IoT, and digital identity. This is why blockchain and crypto are so hot right now, and more companies are making their way towards a sustainable Web3 ecosystem.
The fast-emerging industry offers a host of marketing and tech roles with CMO/head of marketing and chief product officer/head of product set to make up to SG$35,000 according to Grit’s report. CTO/head of technology are the highest paid and could make anything between SG$25,000 and SG$60,000.
Clearly driven by the pandemic-induced shift towards remote working, it is not just the employees who are placing great value on the ability to work remotely, as companies in Singapore are considering extending "remote working" as an option.
As such, they are thus increasingly keen to hire international talent, with a 227% increase in employing remote employees and contractors in Asia Pacific. This is according to compliance and payroll solution provider Deel’s State of Global Hiring Report, which also went on to note that start-ups and the tech industry are the most keen to hire international talent.
The top five roles that see an uptick are virtual assistance (24%), software engineers (22%), software developers (9%), community managers (8%) and content writers (7%).
Particularly given the current talent crunch in Singapore, there’s an emergence of companies building completely remote teams, implementing staggered work schedules in the office or 100% WFH policies, as well as being more flexible on where to source the best talent.
Almost half (49%) of Singaporean employees worked remotely during the height of the pandemic in 2020, where the ICT sector had the biggest proportion of WFH employees (77.6%). Singapore has consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to work remotely and the top of the list in Asia.
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