Like the rest of the world, Singapore has seen layoffs in the tech industry. Online marketplace Carousell and Shopee cut 10% of their staff in December and November, respectively. However, despite the downsizing, Singapore continues to invest in tech skills. Efforts to hire and train tech talent in both tech and non-tech sectors are still robust.
Investing in Tech Talent
Singaporean banks OCBC, DBS, and UOB have programs to train technology staff and prepare students to enter the tech industry. OCBC alone announced plans to hire 1,500 tech employees over the next three years. Other companies like STLogistics also invest in digital skills like software robotics. Telecommunications company M1 launched a program to equip undergraduate students with skills like cloud infrastructure support.
Increasing Demand for Tech Jobs
Tech jobs have become increasingly popular in recent years. In 2022, nearly seven in 10 of all vacancies in information and communications were new positions, which was the highest level across all sectors for the third consecutive year. Technology talent like software developers and applications managers continued to be highly sought after across job vacancies.
Specialized Tech Areas
Demand for individuals in specialized tech areas such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity isn’t limited to the tech sector. Such tech workers are needed across multiple industries such as finance, manufacturing, logistics, and professional services. Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has trained more than 15,000 Singaporeans and placed them in specialized tech jobs across various industries. IMDA’s programs provide on-the-job training and classroom learning to help participants learn specialized skills and develop into tech professionals.
Donald MacDonald, OCBC head of group data, said that technology is the engine that “powers all the big banks.” OCBC designed a program to equip employees with basic data skills and teach them how data can be used in their jobs. The bank uses data to understand customer profiles and personalize customer experiences. Data also plays a part in reducing risk, as OCBC scans every transaction to detect scams and uses algorithms to figure out “who to lend to and … how much to lend.”
Despite global layoffs in the tech industry, Singapore continues to invest heavily in tech skills. Demand for tech jobs remains high across various industries, and Singapore is establishing itself as a regional hub for AI and deep tech. IMDA’s programs provide opportunities for Singaporeans to learn specialized skills and develop into tech professionals.