workipedia logo white

5 minute read

Thinking of a Mid-Career Switch to ICT? Hear from Industry Veterans

Looking for industry-specific advice before deciding whether to switch sectors? We spoke to WSG’s volunteer Career Advisors (vCAs) from the ICT sector to find out what they can help you with, and what it takes to make a mid-career change to this industry.

Making a career switch is no walk in the park. To have a better idea of what you’re in for before committing to any life-changing career decisions, you might be looking to speak to someone with industry experience – such as a volunteer Career Advisor (vCA).

Workipedia by MyCareersFuture hears from WSG’s vCAs with experience in the ICT sector, who offer industry-related advice and peer support to help their advisees make more informed career decisions.

What is a key change taking place in the ICT sector that you think more people should take note of?

Gin Chye: The ICT sector is always evolving and transforming itself. When you are part of the sector, you need to stay updated on the changing trends through industry events, online webinars, white papers, and most importantly, align your skill sets with your company’s IT Master Plan or Digitalisation Plan. Personally, I will take stock of my own training needs at the start of each year to prepare for the changing environment and ensure that my skills are up to date. The key ingredient is to be a lifelong learner and keep pace with the changing technologies.

Need personalised guidance in your job search? Register for a complimentary session with WSG’s Career Matching Services today and get the support you need.

Albert: There are always new buzzwords that surface. ‘Analytics’ was one such buzzword, as well as the different programming languages. But I think what’s most important in this dynamic industry is your mindset. Having the right mindset of curiosity, self-motivation and the initiative to constantly pick up new things would bring you much further in your career, rather than focusing solely on the ‘flavour of the month’.

What advice do you have for someone without prior experience who wants to make a sector switch to ICT?

Keng Hoe: When we develop solutions or refine workflows, having domain understanding in the application areas such as healthcare, finance, or manufacturing is equally, if not more important than, specific technical knowledge. Hence, having diverse work experiences can help you stand out to employers.

You don’t have to know how to fix a car to drive one. So don’t be afraid to join the ICT sector – many things can be learnt along the way!

Albert: When looking for a new role in a new industry, people often think they should start by learning new skills. However, it is vital to first assess the transferable skills you have from your previous experiences before you try to fill the skill gaps.

Gin Chye: Do go for courses that prepare you for entry-level certification. Certification is an attestation of your knowledge in a given area. Be mindful that there are many similar-looking but very different certifications in the market. To find out which are valued by your potential employersthat are worth your time and resources, go to MyCareersFuture.gov.sg and take a look at some of the job postings where they will list down the relevant certifications required.

For mid-career switchers, do consider “Place and Train” programmes such as the Career Conversion Programme, where the employer offers you a job with on-the-job training.

Looking for career guidance? If you are exploring career changes and need professional advice, register for a complimentary session with WSG’s Career Coaching today.

Paul: There are many hot jobs in the industry, such as software engineering, data analytics, systems engineering and information security. My advice: do what drives you. The industry is made up of many disciplines and it is possible to enter the sector without prior experience.

Before making the switch, you can start to dip your toes into the sector by attending a bootcamp or participating in on-the-job training. Take the initiative to shadow projects that you’re interested in to learn the know-how and processes. With great effort come greater job opportunities!

Why did you decide to be a volunteer Career Advisor with WSG?

Keng Hoe: I hope to share my experience in the ICT industry with others, and hopefully help those interested to join the sector.

Albert: I decided to sign up as a volunteer Career Advisor because I wanted to give back. I personally benefited a few years ago when somebody reached out to me. I was inspired by his dedication and wanted to give back in the same way.

Seeking some quick career advisory? Connect with our officers virtually on your job search queries here.

What can you offer to your advisees?

Christine: Advisees can come to me to understand how the ICT industry is hiring, what the interview processes are, the soft skills and technical skills that interviewers are looking for, and more.

Gin Chye: vCAs are industry practitioners – with our experience in the respective field, we are able to share industry trends and emerging skills with you, to help you make informed decisions on your career development needs.

If you are interested in an ICT role and wish to learn more about the industry, speak to a vCA from the ICT sector today.

Visit https://go.gov.sg/vcai-app for the list of volunteer Career Advisors and apply to be connected with one of them.


vCAs featured in the article:
  • Loh Gin Chye, Former Chief Information Officer & Chief Data Officer
  • Albert Wee, CRM Regional Manager, Southeast Asia
  • Toh Keng Hoe, Client Service Lead
  • Paul Toh, Advisor, Enterprise Technology Services
  • Christine Chanderan, Senior Manager, Strategic Planning

Sources:

Find more jobs like these at
MyCareersFuture Job Portal