With the number of technological advancements that occur daily, it is no surprise that the demands of the local corporate landscape is changing rapidly - including the ICT sector.

In fact, 50% of Singaporeans say they need to upgrade their skills to remain competitive, according to a recent survey by Singapore Computer Society. The survey was conducted with 1000 ICT professionals, aged 18 to 70 years, between March and April 2016.

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)'s Annual Survey on Infocomm Manpower 2015 found that there will be an additional 53,000 new ICT positions required across the Singapore economy by 2018.

However, a significant proportion of ICT professionals in Singapore feel inadequate and uncertain about the required industry skills and knowledge.

Professionals surveyed specifically cited technical areas such as data analytics (29%) and people and project management skills (39%), as key areas needed to further support their career development.

In addition, 37% of respondents aged 36-50 years old feel the greatest need to equip themselves with such skills. These were followed by respondents aged 50 and above (30%) and respondents aged 21-35 (28%).

In terms of soft skills, respondents chose IT business development (15%), information management (14%), and green management (8%) as skills they believe they need to remain competitive in the ICT driven economy.

Human Resources spoke to Howie Lau, president of Singapore Computer Society, who noted that these findings are in line with the skillsets needed to support a more on-demand, hyper-connected digital economy.

"Infocomm technologies and industries have transformed from being considered productivity tools to being a competitive advantage for most organisations," he said.

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The survey also revealed significant insight on how much ICT profesisonals are willing to spend on upgrading themselves.

More than 70% of respondents say they are willing to spend up to S$2,000 of their own money annually to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

“It's heartening to note that many technology workers already recognise this need to evolve with the changing demands of businesses and society. They are serious and even willing to put their money where their mouth is to attain the relevant certifications,” said Lau.

This finding also supports the government’s latest focus on encouraging individuals to take ownership of their own learning, through the implementation of SkillsFuture Credit earlier this year.

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