Hot tech jobs bucking the trend in slower market

The rise in demand for tech jobs has been attributed to the tightening of regulatory requirements in compliance and cyber security.
The rise in demand for tech jobs has been attributed to the tightening of regulatory requirements in compliance and cyber security.PHOTO: REUTERS

The push for a smart nation is one major reason for more openings in the technology sector

Technology jobs like cyber security analyst, cloud engineer and data scientist are among the bright sparks in the local job sector this year, stoked by companies looking to ride the smart-nation wave.

This is even as Singapore enters a slower job market.

According to recruitment firm Randstad Technologies Singapore, these jobs are among a select group of tech positions demand for which has risen by 50 per cent over the past two years.

The list includes the following positions:

• project manager;

• business analyst;

• application developer (in Java, C++, Agile and mobile technologies);

• user-interface designer; and

• head of engineering.

Mr Daljit Sall, Randstad Technologies Singapore director, attributed the rise in demand for tech jobs to the tightening of regulatory requirements in compliance and cyber security.

This is despite Singaporeans and permanent residents hitting a 3 per cent unemployment rate last month, the highest since end-2010, according to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

"Organisations in both the banking and commercial spaces have stepped up recruitment activities for professionals specialising in network, application and information security," said Mr Sall.

ManpowerGroup Singapore country manager Linda Teo attested to the trend.

"Businesses are now investing more resources in building up their online, data and system defences," said Ms Teo.

She added that the investment has come on the back of rising online hacking and security breaches.

A crackdown by the Personal Data Protection Commission earlier this year against 11 organisations for lax security procedures provided a wake-up call. Four organisations were fined and seven issued with warnings or directives for failing to do enough to protect their customers' personal data.

The Singapore Government's smart-nation push has also fuelled more openings in the areas of data analysis, cyber security and software development, Ms Teo noted.

The jobs are available within government organisations as well as in companies bidding for government technology contracts.

A record $2.82 billion worth of technology tenders will be called this year, with infrastructure projects - such as network, cabling and data storage and hosting - alone accounting for close to two-thirds of the total budget.

This proportion was last seen in 2007 when the Government installed standard computer systems across all its agencies.

A lack of local talent has so far resulted in these hot tech positions going vacant for months.

Technology positions such as those for software, Web and multimedia developers and systems analysts were among the hardest to fill last year, according to MOM.

Singapore is also expected to find itself short of a total of 30,000 technology specialists - including some 11,000 software developers - by next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'Hot tech jobs bucking the trend in slower market'. Print Edition | Subscribe