Blockchain mastery among top 3 rising skills in Singapore

Workflow automation, human-centred design knowledge are other two: Report

65 per cent of employees surveyed in Singapore indicated they were worried about the pace of change in the skills needed to succeed. PHOTO: ST FILE

Workers in Singapore are increasingly focused on picking up the skills relevant to blockchain, workflow automation and human-centred design.

These three "rising skills", as professional network LinkedIn calls them, have a higher prominence here than in other Asia-Pacific economies.

LinkedIn said in a report released yesterday that rising skills are those which have had exponential month-on-month growth in listings by members over the five years from January 2014 to December last year.

"These skills may be nascent now, but will potentially see wide-scale adoption in the future," said the report.

Organisations are also vying for talent who have these skills, the report noted. Users in the Asia-Pacific who were equipped with them received three times as many private LinkedIn messages from recruiters as the average user in the region.

Outside of Singapore, professionals in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan were most focused on adding artificial intelligence knowledge to their skill sets, while those in the Philippines and Indonesia were most focused on social media marketing.

Human-centred design, which means developing solutions while focusing on understanding the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process, was most prominent among professionals in Malaysia.

Compliance and gesture recognition technology were also among the 10 rising skills which had the biggest increase in listings over the five-year period for the Asia-Pacific region.

As jobs transform rapidly, 65 per cent of employees surveyed in Singapore indicated they were worried about the pace of change in the skills needed to succeed. A majority also felt they lacked the time at work to upgrade themselves.

LinkedIn surveyed 4,136 employees and 844 learning and development professionals in Australia, India, Japan and Singapore on the state of workplace learning and skills requirements for its report.

Ms Feon Ang, LinkedIn's vice-president for talent and learning solutions in the Asia-Pacific, said that different skill sets are required to navigate the rapid transformation brought about by digitalisation.

"It is therefore important for organisations to have a deep understanding of their current talent pool and how to evolve it for their long-term business goals," she said.

"Helping current talent to upskill or reskill early can help organisations ensure that their future talent needs are met."

Specialists with in-demand skills may be able to command higher pay, said recruiters.

Randstad Singapore senior client solutions director Clarence Quek said people who are able to apply these rising skills and have experience in using them to resolve real-life issues in the business environment may command a salary that is up to 20 per cent higher than the market average.

ManpowerGroup Singapore country manager Linda Teo said that while demand for tech and digital skills is growing across all functions, "employers are placing increasing value on human skills, such as analytical thinking and communication, which they said are even harder to train".

Merkle Science business development head Ian Lee, 27, used online resources to pick up blockchain two years ago. For people interested in learning the skill, he recommended attending blockchain events. There are typically two or three here every week, he said.

Lacking skills, knowledge for jobs

Most white-collar workers here do not feel well-equipped for their jobs, a new survey has found.

The poll last month of 1,000 white-collar workers found that 74 per cent felt they lacked the expertise to perform well at work.

Among professionals in senior positions, 57 per cent felt this way.

Tertiary-educated workers also had doubts about their abilities. Of the university degree-holders surveyed, 78 per cent felt they lacked the skills or knowledge needed to do their job well. The proportion decreased for those with master's (69 per cent) and doctorates (33 per cent).

Knowledge-sharing platform Tigerhall commissioned the survey.

Tigerhall chief executive Nellie Wartoft said the creation of new job roles and ways of working means "traditional education just isn't providing what people need to keep up".

When it came to what was lacking, survey respondents were split equally between soft skills, such as managing people and negotiation, and job-specific skills such as digital marketing and financial modelling.

Mr Mark Hall, country manager for recruitment firm Adecco Singapore, said the initiative for employers to invest in their staff is low, which is resulting in a widening skills gap.

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay said workers are aware of the need to upskill but not all are taking action to re-train. He said this could be due to factors such as lack of time or company support.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2019, with the headline Blockchain mastery among top 3 rising skills in Singapore. Subscribe