It’s hardly news anymore to learn that tech jobs have surged both job listings and career potential. Digital skills such as data science, analytics and user experience (UX) design have grown in demand by Singapore’s employers, across a wide spectrum of industries.
In fact, according to a recent report on emerging jobs and skills by NTUC LearningHub, data analysts currently form the top job roles that employers are looking to hire, with 54% of companies surveyed looking to fill positions in that field!
The Singapore government is also incentivising, equipping, and encouraging organisations of all sizes in their digitalisation efforts.
Speaking at the Committee of Supply Debate 2022, Minister of State Tan Kiat How shared in Parliament: “We have seen the benefits of digitalisation, particularly over the last couple of years, where firms and the workforce had to deal with Covid-19. I am heartened that many firms are embracing digital.”
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However, he also revealed that while around 10,000 information and communications technology (ICT) jobs have been added annually in recent years, 19,000 tech roles remained unfilled in Singapore at the time of writing.
To help Singaporeans attain the skills necessary for such jobs, Minister Tan announced the establishment of a TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA), which will comprise leading global tech companies, local companies, and major employers to support this effort.
Minister Tan said: “I am heartened that companies like Accenture, GovTech, IBM, NCS, and PSA Corporation have made significant commitments to provide internship, apprenticeship, or placement opportunities, and I urge more industry leaders to join this meaningful effort. “
Mid-careerists matter too
For Singaporean workers keen to upskill or try digital roles mid-career, he shared: “In addition to fresh graduates, many enter the industry as mid-career workers, such as through the TeSA initiative.
“Many joining the sector aim to progress in their careers, taking on higher-value roles, such as product managers, software engineers, or solution architects. We want to support the aspirations of our tech professionals.
“We will partner with industry leaders like Google, Microsoft, and Grab, as well as large end-user companies like DBS, to groom talents for these roles.
“Those on this specialist track will be trained in advanced technical skillsets like software and application development, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), through both instructor-led and hands-on programmes.
“These tech professionals can look forward to taking on senior technical roles in their companies over time!”
What types of data analytics do these companies do? Professor James Pang from NUS Business School shared: “In general, there are two types of analytics companies.
“Firstly, analytics solution providers. These companies provide analytics solutions to other companies: e.g., IBM, Microsoft, Accenture, etc.
“Secondly, analytics solution users. Let’s face it; almost every company is trying to apply data analytics to improve their business operations now!”
So what’s the process of data analytics and what tools are used? Essentially, the work usually includes data collection, data cleaning, model building, model validation, and model deployment.
Data analysts either use commercial tools from tech companies, such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, or open-source tools such as Python and R.
Read More: How to Become a Data Analyst in Singapore
So, who should consider being a data analyst and why?
According to reports on tech wages in Asia, things are looking up financially for those working in ICT in the region.
According to US-based software management firm Puppet, after a survey of 3,000 ICT professionals globally, salaries in Asia outpaced Europe in recent years, with those in Asia making an average of US$75,000 to $100,000 (S$100,000 to $136,000) compared to their counterparts in Europe, who made an average of US$50,000 to $75,000.
According to Professor Pang, with the market demand for analytics talents so high in Singapore now, many companies compete to attract workers with these skills.
Apart from money, job fit also matters, of course. Wondering if you have the aptitude for it? If you enjoy puzzle games and generally are good at unravelling problems, data analytics is up your alley.
Companies need data analysts to help with greater decision making and finding meaning amongst huge piles of information and data. So if discovering solutions to problems excite you, your bosses will love you.
Of course, if trends were that easy to spot, who would need data analysts? The real craft in the job is putting data sets together to find patterns that aren’t immediately obvious.
In addition, a natural pragmatism and matter-of-fact perspective on life also help. You can’t make judgement calls based on emotions but rather factual results. It matters if your insights are producing anything of value?, and if they’re not, you need to be ready to pivot!
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At the end of the day, data analytic skills won’t restrict you to only working as a data analyst, added Professor Pang.
“You can work in roles such as data analysts, in data science, as a data engineer, a consultant, or analytics project managers.”
He also shared predictions on the future of data analytics, and what skills we Singaporeans should be picking up to excel in the industry.
“In my opinion, AI will be an important trend in the data analytics arena.
“Ultimately, a successful industry worker in the data analytics industry will need to master the three skill sets: analytics modelling (including AI modelling); industry domain knowledge; and IT skills.”
If all this sounds up your alley, head to MyCareersFuture to see what data analytic jobs are available now!