Everything You Need To Know About The Singapore Tech Industry

If you’re looking to join the tech industry or take up a software engineer or coder role, rest assured that despite economic changes, the industry is constantly on the lookout for talent. Im fact, all things considered, there's still a high demand for professionals in data science, product management, software engineering, and many other IT fields.

Last updated
January 6, 2023

In the last few years, Singapore has rapidly become a hub for tech companies and startups. Big businesses and organizations from the US and China are establishing their base in the so-called Silicon Valley of Asia. 

If you’re looking to join the tech industry or take up a software engineer or coder role, the timing couldn’t have been better. The industry is booming, and there’s a high demand for professionals in data science, product management, software engineering, and many other IT fields. 

However, before entering the industry, you will have to face several questions.

"What field within IT should I choose? What companies offer jobs in that field? Is there a scope of growth in that field or company? Will it be a high-paying job?"

You’ll have all these questions and more. But lucky for you, we’ve got answers to them. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about the IT industry in Singapore, myths around the industry, the most popular jobs, the skills they require, and more! 

And with this, you can make an informed decision about picking a career option. So let’s dive in!

Quick Facts

  • Since 2018, 80 of the top 100 tech firms in the world have established a presence in Singapore. These include IBM, Google, Microsoft, and several others. 
  • Companies with immense growth rates, such as Zoom, Twitter, Paypal, ByteDance, etc., have also established offices in Singapore.
  • 30% of these are for roles that do not require core tech knowledge, such as programming, coding, software development, etc.

All these facts point to the simple fact that a tech career has boundless scope. You can grow both professionally and financially while being at the center of innovation and development. 

However, there are two primary things to note here. First, there are non-tech jobs in the tech industry that balance out the tech-savvy roles such as data scientist, AI specialist, software developer, etc. Second, you might have perceptions that you need a degree to get into a tech role and several others. But that’s not true in most cases.

This brings us to the myths around the Singapore IT industry. So let us help you by listing down some of the most common misconceptions about the tech industry.

Myths About The Industry

Myth #1: You need to have a tech background to enter the IT industry 

There are jobs such as product management, business analyst, etc. that require relatively less knowledge about coding than tech-first roles in many companies.  

Furthermore, even if you are looking for entry-level tech roles or even mid-career switches, you can still get a job. This is because degree, in most cases, is not the criteria. Instead, the companies focus on your skill sets and passion. 

You can leverage your transferable skills, such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, etc., to get a job. In contrast, you can learn technical skills such as coding and development via online coding courses and boot camps. 

Myth #2: Mature employees cannot enter the IT industry

As mentioned earlier, you can switch careers and get into the IT industry in both tech and non-tech roles. All you need are the relevant skills to bag you that job you are looking for.

Myth #3: You need to be good at math

This is a surprising one, but no, it isn’t true. In fact, many of the tech/non-tech roles do not even involve mathematics, let alone requiring you to be good at it. 

Myth #4: You’ll only have a promising career if you join a FAANG company

The FAANG companies are Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. People believe that you need to get into big companies such as those listed above to have an impeccable career. However, that’s far from true. These are merely two extremes. In between them, there are various big companies offering you a great career, and there are numerous rapidly growing startups offering good salaries and incredible learning experiences.

Myth #5: Getting a degree is enough to guarantee you a job

IT as an industry is ever-evolving. What you learn when you get a degree are the mere basics. When you enter the industry and work in real-time, you need to keep learning as you go forward. If your question is how, then the answer is simple. Subscribe to online courses or join coding boot camps that are present on the internet. These can keep you updated with the latest trends, and you can apply your learnings from here in your job.

Now that we’ve debunked the myths, let’s hop on to what kind of job roles are in demand!

Popular Job Roles In Singapore’s IT Sector

Tech Oriented Jobs

Software Engineer:

You can either be a front-end engineer, back-end engineer or full stack developer. Full-stack development involves building websites and softwares working on both front-end and back-end. The front-end is what you see before you, i.e., the user interface, while the back-end is programming the website’s functionalities.

To bag a job in this role, you need to be well-versed with languages such as Python, Ruby on Rails, C++, etc. In addition, knowledge about operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, etc., will also be helpful.

Based on different projects, you’ll work with different languages and OS. So as we mentioned earlier, keep learning more and updating yourself. Take up online courses in your time and build your expertise around the subject.

Cloud Engineer:

As a cloud engineer, you’ll be working on developing and managing cloud applications for businesses and migrating current on-premises applications to the cloud. This is yet another important job role that is getting more popular due to the remote working scenario.

You need to possess technical skills such as database management, programming, and a deep understanding of cloud service providers, web services & APIs. You also need to equip yourselves with project management and problem-solving skills. 

Data Scientist:

Data Science is one of the very few exceptions to the myths around math we mentioned earlier. It requires you to possess knowledge about statistics, probabilities, creating charts to understand trends, derive results, give predictions, and creating actionable plans.

Data science is yet another field whose scope spans across various industries such as healthcare, advertising, FMCG, supply chain, etc. You need to have a stronghold of mathematical concepts and technical concepts such as Big Data, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Data Manipulation, and Visualization.

AI Specialist:

As an AI Specialist, your job would be to build programs that can think on their own. In addition, you’ll be building AI models using machine learning algorithms and emulate neural networks to derive business insights for companies. 

However, depending on where you work, you’re not restricted to this. You can work on products that perform facial or speech recognition. If you’re in a naval research lab, then you could work on automating processes in that field. For instance, a bot has been developed that can be boarded on an unmanned submarine to repair damaged vessels. 

In medicine, AI is currently being used to diagnose diseases, and research is underway for building AI chatbots that can provide cognitive therapy.

A common thread that links all of these is building smart systems that can perceive information, understand it, derive insights, and even solve problems. 

As you can see, the applications of AI are vast, so you’ll be able to work on projects across sectors such as healthcare, automobile, etc.,

Here once again, you require knowledge on various coding languages such as Python and R. Besides these, there are many math and science topics such as statistics, probability, cognitive-behavioral theory, language processing, etc., that you need to know about. Finally, the soft skills required are curiosity, first principles, and critical thinking.

Cybersecurity Analyst:

With companies undergoing digital transformation and remote working becoming the new norm, cybersecurity is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed and solved. As a result, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high. 

As a cybersecurity analyst, you will understand the company’s IT infrastructure, keep it updated with the latest security measures. You will also protect the data and hardware by evaluating the risks and threats of the network.

The crucial technical skills required are reverse engineering, application design, and firewall administration. You also need to know tools such as penetration testing and anti-virus software. Besides these, you should be adept at making critical decisions and crisis management.

Non-Tech Oriented Jobs

Product Manager:

As a product manager, you’ll oversee the development of applications and products. You don’t need to indulge in coding or know it, but you need to understand the application structure and the nuances of UI and UX. 

Having communication skills, strategic thinking, problem-solving skills, research skills, and an understanding of consumer psychology would be helpful.

Customer Relationship Manager:

Yet another job that doesn’t need a super strong tech background. You’ll be involved in providing the customers the best experience and constantly work with the team to improve the experience. 

The job will require high interpersonal and communication skills, people management skills, and a comprehensive understanding of consumer psychology. 

Strategic Partnership Manager:

This involves creating strategies to develop the business by finding and onboarding new partners. In addition, you’ll get to tailor client outreach campaigns for different partners and clients, ensuring a healthy relationship is maintained. The job requires interpersonal skills, communication skills, people management skills, and an aptitude for analytical thinking.

Community Specialist:

This is a modern role that is still in its nascent stages. Organizations are aware of the cut-throat competition in the ecosystem and hence realize the value of customer loyalty. 

Here, the role of a community specialist would be to build a community via online and offline forums to engage the customers and other stakeholders and provide a space where everyone can interact and connect with each other.

In essence, these are a few jobs that you can apply to and break into the tech industry, but don’t limit yourself to these because there are many more such as business analyst, project manager, etc. 

Overall, the tech industry has enough room for you all to thrive in. So pick a field that you’re passionate about, build your knowledge in it and kickstart your career!

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