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Singapore’s 15 top emerging jobs for 2020

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The fastest-growing jobs in Singapore for 2020 are dominated by tech, which is not really surprising. What is interesting is how diverse the roles being thrown up by the local tech sector now are.

Further, an ageing population, combined with medical tourism, is driving more demand for healthcare in the country. This has in turn fueled demand for healthcare workers and jobs like clinical specialist.

Check out the full list of Singapore’s 15 most in-demand job roles below:

#1 Artificial intelligence specialist

Just over a decade ago, recruiters spent hours on end flipping through stacks of resumes and multiple interview sessions with tens of candidates to find suitable hires. Fast-forward to today, and (almost) gone are the stacks of papers – recruiters are virtually flipping through resumes online instead. Employers are also tapping on artificial intelligence for a smarter HR experience.

In Singapore, the national programme Al Singapore (AISG) is focusing on investing & growing local talent and putting Singapore on the global map. It has also launched an apprenticeship programme to groom local talent.

Top industries: Computer software, information technology and services, internet, research, higher education, financial services

Skills needed: TensorFlow, machine learning, deep learning, Python, computer vision, Py Torch


#2 Robotics engineer (software)

Emerging robotics engineers build and deploy software known as robotics process automation (RPA), which is used to automate tasks, like expense reporting. This software automates mundane rules-based business processes and replicates those actions.

Top industries: Information technology and services, industrial automation, banking, telecommunications, research

Skills needed: robotic process automation (RPA), UiPath, robot operating system (ROS), Blue Prism, robotics, Python

ALSO READ: Q3 2019 labour market: Employment increased, retrenchments stayed low


#3 Full stack engineer

Known as the swiss army knife of tech roles, full stack engineers remain in incredibly hot demand. A full stack engineer has a combination of front-end web development and software development skills. Their versatility means that they can run a project from start to finish.

Given the scarcity in some of these emerging profiles, employers are looking to blend internal talent development with external staffing to get the right mix of fresh digital talent and institutional knowledge in these new roles.

Top industries: Information technology and services, computer software, financial services, Internet, banking, marketing and advertising

Skills needed: React.js, Node.js, AngularJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, Amazon Web Services (AWS)


#4 Backend developer

The backend of a website is the part the user never sees – the guts and brain that make it work. A backend developer’s job is to build the technology needed to power the parts that make the website work-the server, the application and the database.

Top industries: Information technology and services, Internet, computer software, financial services, computer games

Skills needed: Git, Laravel, Node.js, MySQL, MongoDB, PHP

ALSO READ: Hiring outlook in Singapore for Q1 2020: How each industry will fare


#5 Data scientist

With analytics solutions, HR professionals can now leverage data to establish metrics or benchmarks in key areas such as employee churn and retention, employee performance, recruitment, employee development and engagement, workforce planning and incentive programmes. As organisations get swamped in data, they need data scientists to help them generate meaningful and actionable insights.

Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) states that the data analytics industry contributes an estimated US$730 million to the economy annually. Meanwhile, NTU has launched its new Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Centre last year.

Top industries: Information technology and services, Internet, computer software, banking, financial services, higher education

Skills needed: Machine learning, Python, data science, R, Apache Spark, deep learning


#6 DevOps engineers

DevOps engineers are the perfect example of a hybrid engineer. They bring together a deep engineering knowledge, along with hands-on experience. Using a variety of open source technologies, they link them together with code to deliver new software, services and applications.

Top industries: Information technology and services, banking, computer software, financial services, Internet, insurance, telecommunications

Skills needed: Ansible, Jenkins, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker Products, Kubernetes

ALSO READ: A majority of staff in Singapore are seeking or open to a new role in 2020


#7 Data engineer

In context of the skills of the future, HR leaders need to think about the skills their companies need – break it down by function, role, and what we will need in the future. This lays the foundation for the competency mapping.

What’s the difference between a data scientist and a data engineer? Well, like all engineers, data engineers are concerned with the ‘how to’-so they are in charge of things like pipelines, data workftow management and ETL (extract, transform, load) processes.

Top industries: Information technology and services, Internet, banking, semiconductors, financial services, computer software

Skills needed: Apache Spark, Python, Hadoop, Scala, Hive, data engineering


#8 Cybersecurity specialist

Businesses in Singapore lost some US$42 million due to cybercrime in 2018, according to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. A QBE Insurance survey of Singapore’s small and medium enterprises found that while 90% are aware of potential cyber risks, one in four did not have any process to protect themselves. Cybersecurity specialists are emerging as key members of any organisation to help avoid the damage from cyber crime.

Top industries: Information technology and services, computer and network security, financial services, accounting, banking, telecommunications

Skills needed: Information security, vulnerability assessment, network security, penetration testing, malware analysis

ALSO READ: HR roles will be in the highest demand in 2020


#9 Community specialist

With the increasing number of company-reviewing platforms, it is crucial for HR specialists to approach hiring and exiting processes differently to provide a positive and impressionable experience.

On the broader side, a community specialist is a new multifaceted role with responsibility for managing the community in both online and offtine forums with the goal of driving loyalty and engagement. Online their job is to turn organisational social media spaces into true places of ‘community’ where authentic communication meets the projection of company values.

Top industries: Information technology and services, Internet, non-profit organisation management, higher education, civic & social organisation, financial services, education management

Skills needed: Community engagement, public speaking, leadership, event management, event planning, strategy, social media marketing


#10 Partnership specialist

A partnership specialist is a modern account management role, which includes coordinating an organisation’s relationship with its partners. This might include managing and implementing campaigns, generating new commercial partnerships and generally driving growth.

Whether it is managing franchises, engaging customers through loyalty programmes or working with external stakeholders on campaigns, a partnership specialist keeps projects on track.

Top industries: Information technology and services, Internet, non-profit organisation management, marketing and advertising, financial services

Skills needed: Strategic partnerships, business development, marketing strategy, marketing, business strategy

ALSO READ: HR business partner will be the hottest HR job in 2020


#11 Clinical specialist

Organisations are asking: “what should we do to redefine work around human capabilities?” This simply means shifting employees’ time, efforts, and attention from executing routine, tightly defined tasks, to identifying and addressing unseen problems and opportunities.

Similar to a customer success specialist, but specific to the medical industry, clinical specialists help introduce medical devices into hospitals, providing training and advice on use. They may also be required to look after patients, supporting nurses, physicians, surgeons in their patient-facing roles.

Top industries: Hospital & healthcare, medical device, pharmaceuticals, medical practice

Skills needed: Clinical research, medicine, patient safety, psychotherapy, healthcare management


#12 E-commerce specialist

An e-commerce specialist is a specialist in online sales strategies. They monitor site activity and track that against goals, like increasing website traffic and sales, developing brand loyalty and improving the user experience. They execute digital marketing campaigns via search engines and social media.

Top industries: Internet, information technology and services, consumer goods, retail, marketing and advertising, logistics and supply chain

Skills needed: Digital marketing, social media marketing, marketing strategy, business development, Microsoft PowerPoint

ALSO READ: Hong Kong businesses lag behind Singapore for digital transformation


#13 Customer success specialist

Unlike customer service, which is largely reactive (e.g. responding to complaints), customer success specialists are expected to work proactively to understand core client needs and what an organisation needs to do to meet those needs. They’re particularly prevalent in software-as-a-service industry which relies on retaining customers rather than a one-time sale.

Top industries: Computer software, information technology and services, Internet, financial services, marketing and advertising, telecommunications

Skills needed: Customer relationship management (CRM), account management, Salesforce.com, enterprise software, customer retention


#14 Product owner

Above the development team is the product owner, the leader responsible for the value of the products created. A product owner is the leader responsible for the value of the products created. This emerging job reflects the rise of agile culture, which focuses on collaboration and allowing for evolving needs, rather than prescriptive approaches to tasks.

Top industries: Banking, information technology and services, financial services, computer software, Internet, automotive

Skills needed: Product management, agile methodologies, Scrum, agile project management, business analysis, JIRA

ALSO READ: Digital: The most important new literacy at Chandra Asri Petrochemical


#15 Creative copywriter

A creative copywriter delivers the words that accompany advertising concepts. They need to listen carefully to key stakeholders and translate what they want into language that engages and persuades.

Top industries: Marketing and advertising, information technology and services, online media, Internet, broadcast media, publishing

Skills needed: Content strategy, content marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO)


This research has been highlighted in LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report Singapore.

Photo / 123RF

Hong Kong HR Masterclass Series: 27th March Strengthening the mental resilience and wellbeing of employees -
improving employee engagement, talent retention and organisational productivity.
Register now here

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