Older PMETs must embrace technology to stay relevant

Singapore is transforming into a digital economy, and older professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) must work actively to stay relevant, as digital disruptors are redefining how to stay competitive in this new job market.

As innovations and technologies are changing the way we live and work, it is vital for professionals across all sectors to stay up to date.

This is true not only for older PMETs working in the tech sector, but also for all Singapore PMETs, as technology is an integral part of almost every industry, from banking and manufacturing to pharmaceutical companies.

Last year, more than 15,000 workers lost their jobs. This is partly due to the restructuring of the Singapore economy, and that number is widely expected to increase.

This means that retrenched PMETs need to upgrade their skills and familiarity with IT to gain a better footing in the future economy, or else they will be left behind.

As innovations and technologies are changing the way we live and work, it is vital for professionals across all sectors to stay up to date.

Luckily, there are many government-sponsored initiatives that older PMETs can take advantage of to gain that IT knowledge and to further polish their skills. These include Workforce Skills Qualification, SkillsFuture and various certification programmes offered in information and communications technology.

In addition, older PMETs should keep in mind the following recommendations to stay ahead and gain a strong footing in our future Smart Nation:

  • Stay curious
    Take a proactive approach to knowing what is happening in the field of technology and how it will affect you and your job choices.
  • Stay hungry
    The speed of change in technology is ever-changing and accelerating. It's not enough to be curious; you need to convert curiosity into positive actions, such as undergoing proactive training, to stay ahead in the workplace and industry.
  • Stay connected
    Connect with peers inside and outside your industry to discuss how technology is changing their fields and job descriptions, and how they are adapting to get ahead of the crowd in the Smart Nation.

Following these three steps will help PMETs transition in the new economy and help them become better assets to the Smart Nation.

Howie Lau How Sin

President

Singapore Computer Society

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Older PMETs must embrace technology to stay relevant'. Print Edition | Subscribe