Accountants, bankers, lawyers, life science and IT professionals will be Singapore's highest-paid this year: Survey

Medical technology presents one key area of growth, according to the report.
Medical technology presents one key area of growth, according to the report. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

They are tipped to be among highest paid here this year, along with bankers and accountants

Accountants, bankers and professionals in the life sciences are tipped to be among the highest paid this year, according to a new report.

Industries such as tourism and engineering are expected to exhibit strong growth this year, while professionals in the traditionally strong information technology and legal areas will also be among the big earners.

The report by manpower firm Kelly Services found that the monthly median household income rose 2.6 per cent to $8,846 last year as compared with 2015, and anticipated gross domestic product to grow between 1 per cent and 3 per cent this year.

The establishment of the Asean Economic Community was cited as a key reason for the spike in demand for skilled finance professionals and accountants who are able to work across borders.

More work is expected involving regional cross-border debt restructuring and complex projects that will require support from accountancy services, said the report.

By 2020, more than 21,000 accountancy professionals are expected to be working in accountancy services, 15 per cent more than now. A financial analyst with four to eight years of experience in the accountancy sector is projected to earn between $5,500 and $8,000 a month this year.

The increase in demand for banking and finance professionals with compliance and risk backgrounds will help prospects in these fields command a bigger pay packet.

A NEED TO UPGRADE SKILLS

In order to ease the transition as some jobs are destroyed while other are created, people need to constantly upgrade their skills. They need to accept that the transition is going to happen and evaluate the skills that will benefit them in the future.

MR ALVIN ANG, managing director of recruitment firm Quantum Leap Career Consultancy.

A risk manager with four to seven years of experience can expect a salary of between $5,000 and $10,000 a month this year, the report noted.

With the implementation of the Healthcare Manpower Plan 2020, 30,000 healthcare workers will be needed to support the expansion of medical facilities by 2020.

Furthermore, as Singapore serves as a key home base to more than 30 of the world's leading biomedical sciences companies, medical technology presents yet another key area of growth.

With the rise of new technological advancements, the information technology sector is also expected to expand.

The Infocomm Development Authority had told The Straits Times earlier that there were 150,000 technology professionals working in Singapore in 2014, with about 15,000 vacancies that could not be filled.

Official projections forecast that, by this year, the infocomm technology industry will require 15,000 more workers, particularly in the areas of cyber security, data analytics, and development and network infrastructure.

Mr Alvin Ang, managing director of recruitment firm Quantum Leap Career Consultancy, believes that the universal pursuit of productivity will lead to an increase in demand in the information technology sector.

"Companies across every sector are trying to improve their systems to become more efficient. These projects to ramp up their digital capabilities, supported by the Government's Smart Nation initiative, will mean an increase in demand for technology professionals," he said.

"I believe consultants in this sector will do well this year as well as in the coming years."

Technological advances will also mean that workers will have to constantly reskill to ensure they remain relevant to the economy, Mr Ang added, noting: "In order to ease the transition as some jobs are destroyed while other are created, people need to constantly upgrade their skills.

"They need to accept that the transition is going to happen and evaluate the skills that will benefit them in the future."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2017, with the headline 'A good year to be a life science or IT professional: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe