Many new job opportunities in tech, healthcare amid Covid-19: Edwin Tong

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong at the inaugural Careers Unmasked Forum on Oct 9, 2021. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - People may have become sick with worry over their livelihoods since the Covid-19 pandemic started. But the outbreak has also created new opportunities in the healthcare and tech sectors, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong.

People have more opportunities today compared with previous generations, now that they have more exposure to the world, and it is more common to have multiple careers throughout their lives, he added.

Speaking at the Careers Unmasked event on Saturday (Oct 9), which connects job seekers with industry leaders in the tech and public sectors, Mr Tong said: "As we look at how industries and businesses transform themselves, it's a good time to recognise how these adjustments have affected the job landscape."

For instance, there is a greater demand for social workers to improve the well-being of Singaporeans amid the pandemic. Job seekers can also look for wider opportunities even in traditional sectors - becoming a user interface (UI) designer in a bank, for instance.

Said Mr Tong: "I hope you walk away from this session with more confidence, knowledge and feel more equipped to make informed decisions (about your career)."

The four speakers at the event were Mr Tong, who is also deputy chairman of the People's Association; Mr Otavio Calixto, managing director of foodpanda Singapore; Ms Charmain Tan, founder of digital marketing company QuickDesk; and Mr Darryl Long, managing director of gaming giant Ubisoft Singapore.

Organised by the North East Community Development Council, the three-hour event was held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 250 participants attending in-person and virtually.

Mr Tong shared about the transformation of public service careers, urging young people to pick up skills such as data science and security.

Mr Calixto and Ms Tan provided insights about issues such as product-market fit and soft skills needed to thrive in a start-up environment.

Mr Long debunked the myth that one needs to be a programmer to work in a gaming company.

At the end of the event, all participants received a free online profiling assessment tool to help them identify their transferable skills.

Mayor of North East District Desmond Choo said: "Certainly, with Covid-19 safe management measures in place, the traditional format of doing job fairs has to change quite a bit.

"We believe that with this kind of (hybrid) format, we are able to still continue the important work of helping people get the career of their choice but, at the same time, do it safely."

Singapore Polytechnic final-year student Dylan Zeng, who was one of 50 in-person participants, said he gained valuable insights which he will tap to run his freelance talent matching platform

After Saturday's event, which was the first career event he attended in person since the pandemic began last year, he plans to connect with the speakers via LinkedIn.

Mr Zeng, 20, said: "When you see the speakers in real life, you can engage with them and perhaps they may even remember your face. Whereas on Zoom, you may not be able to get noticed so easily."

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