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The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) released a report on December 13, 2017 that showed continued improvement in the labour market, with seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for citizens declining from 3.3% in Q2 to 3.2% in Q3 2017. Furthermore, with the GDP growth forecast at 3.5%, local employment is expected to continue its positive outlook into the next year.
As more companies move to digitise their processes, professionals who are adept at infocommunications technology (ICT) will rise in demand. Projected to require over 42,000 workers in the next three years, the sector is preparing to fill this need by launching the ICT skills framework in November. The framework provides comprehensive information on the sector, allowing interested parties to learn more about available career pathways, roles, training programmes, and more.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has also launched a new Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in October 2017 to boost productivity in the finance sector. The regulatory body is planning to create 4,000 new jobs annually for the next three years, with 1,000 of those jobs being allocated to the growing fintech industry. Finding the right person to fill them is a struggle, but the ITM is attempting to address this setback by encouraging collaboration to ensure a sustainable pipeline of local talent.
With these developments in mind, diligent employees should be looking ahead to fill these skill gaps in the industry to future-proof their careers. Here is our take on 5 of the most in-demand skills to look out for in 2018:
1. Software development
Coding and programming have become the must-learn skills for many who are interested in breaking into the tech scene. Developers are the backbones of all tech companies, as without their technical skills companies would not be able to build a product. In addition, this skillset also includes able to document, test, and fix any bugs that occur to maintain the completed product.
2. User experience user interface (UX/UI) design
UX/UI design can actually be split into two different elements – UX design focuses on improving overall product usability while UI design focuses on the look and feel of the end product. These skills are sometimes separated, but a competent UX/UI designer is crucial for product improvement and maintaining customer loyalty.
3. Data science
Data science combines skills in statistics, mathematics, and programming to come up with ingenious solutions to problems within several industries. People familiar with data science are able to draw patterns and parallels from data that were not immediately obvious, thereby lending insight to improve or solve any issues a company may be facing.
4. Cyber security
Cyber security refers to a broad range of techniques that are used to protect the integrity of programs, data, and networks from unauthorised attacks or damage. Most companies understand the importance of maintaining the safety of personal customer data which puts people with cyber security skills in extremely high demand.
5. Digital marketing
At its core, digital marketing refers to advertising that is done over digital channels such as social media, websites, search engines, and email. People who wield this skillset often prioritise analysing data, allowing their marketing efforts and reach audiences with the right message at opportune moments.
An optimistic and hopeful outlook seems to be in order for 2018. Taking initiative to improve on those 5 desirable skillsets while keeping a lookout for the right opportunity could catapult your career to the next level. Furthermore, with so many initiatives by various government organisations, the time is ripe for people who are looking for new adventures in their working lives.