5 reasons why you should work in tech in Singapore

By Robert Half on 11 April 2024
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

In recent years, the Singaporean tech industry has emerged as one of the nation’s powerhouse sectors. The digital economy, comprising ICT sector and digitalization in other industries, grew to account for 17 percent of Singapore’s gross domestic product in 2022, according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Recognising the high demand for tech talent in Singapore, particularly in areas like software development, data analysis, and cybersecurity, the Singapore government has rolled out several initiatives like the Tech@SG Programme to support the industry to attract foreign talent and develop a strong local talent pipeline.

With the demand for tech talent skyrocketing, professionals are particularly interested in the unique industry perks. If you’ve ever thought about why to work in tech, join us as we explore the unparalleled opportunities and rewards that can be found in the digital space.

Related: Is specialising in technology governance, risk and compliance a good career move?

Tech Talk

Ren Kelsey is a Senior Recruiting Manager at Robert Half and specialises tech recruitment, sporting more than 10 years experience in the industry.

She believes that a career in the Singaporean tech industry is an attractive prospect. Ren says, “There are endless opportunities for tech candidates. Tech is critical in shaping the way businesses operate and individuals interact. As such, employers are determined to attract top talent to ensure they don’t lose momentum.”

“In this war for talent, I’m seeing employers pull out all stops to attract and retain these candidates. From competitive salaries to continuous learning opportunities, the benefits of working in tech seem to be growing with the demand for skilled professionals,” says Ren.

Related: How to update a resume to keep pace with technological change

So, what exactly are the benefits of working in tech in Singapore?

High-demand jobs

The digital revolution has created an insatiable demand for IT professionals across various domains, such as software development, cyber-security, data analytics, and cloud computing.

With business success hinging on technological innovation and efficiency, tech sector jobs are a primary source of opportunity for Singaporeans.

High demand in this rapidly evolving industry, offers a greater likelihood of job security and stability.

Of the 27 occupations from six industries on the Ministry of Manpower’s new Shortage Occupation list for roles that require highly specialised skills lacking in the local workforce, 13 are from infocomm technology, including roles such as Artificial Intelligence Scientist and Digital Forensics Specialist.

In order to boost local tech talent, new applications for Employment Passes (EPs) will be assessed via the points-based Compass framework, which awards points for four foundational criteria. The occupations on the list are strategically important in achieving Singapore’s economic priorities and face a significant degree of labour shortage due to local skills gaps.

Additionally, the Singapore Government is funding $30 million to the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) for another three years and launching the SG Cyber Leadership and Alumni Program to build a pipeline of talent from university starters to career changers.

The reality is, tech isn’t going anywhere (neither is the demand for skilled professionals).

Flexibility and work-life balance

Post-pandemic in Singapore, many sectors have experienced widespread adoption of remote work practices (thanks largely to tech itself). From virtual meetings to shared drives, there’s a lot that organisations across Singapore can thank tech professionals for.

By its very nature, the tech sector not only engineers these kinds of technologies, it embraces them. In turn, workers can essentially work from anywhere if their company allows it.

In an industry that’s plagued with skills shortages, tech candidates find themselves in a good position to work with their employer to negotiate a work environment that suits their lifestyle preferences. With employers seeking star talent, flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance can often be provided for the right candidate, under the right circumstances.

One of the clear benefits of working in tech is the ability to work from home or, customise an alternative work schedule that makes work-life balance truly possible. As employees, this kind of flexibility can leave us feeling more satisfied, more productive, and more engaged at work.

Lucrative remuneration packages

90% of tech managers say finding top talent remains a challenge. Therein lies one of the biggest benefits of working in tech.

According to the Robert Half Salary Guide for Singapore, tech salaries have stabilised but remained at an all-time high, with 53% of managers increasing starting salaries to attract top talent. Amidst skyrocketing inflation and rising costs of living, competitive salaries are certainly appealing. Plus, it’s widely acknowledged that employees in the tech industry earn a good salary

Ren says that many employers are paying above the market rate. “Not all businesses can afford to keep up with salary premiums. We are seeing many turn to other incentives including bonuses, additional holidays, and employee share schemes,” she says.

Ren cautions against focusing on salary alone though. She says, “Take your time to review the whole package - identify where you can drive additional returns as you deliver value for the business.”

Growth and development opportunities

The dynamic nature of technology means that industry professionals are constantly faced with new challenges and opportunities for growth.

In the face of new and evolving technologies, the industry fosters a culture of continuous learning and development, where individuals are encouraged to upskill and stay abreast of the latest advancements.

As businesses in Singapore fight to stay ahead of the curve, investment in employee development and training has become essential. From formal education to certification courses, employers have embraced different avenues to upskill their employees, expand their knowledge, and sharpen their expertise.

Ren believes the benefits of working in tech stem from passion and commitment. "Your starting point doesn't define your journey. Singapore offers a wealth of resources for upskilling and professional development. The key to getting ahead is to take charge of your career. Build your skillset, stay curious about emerging technologies, and embrace every opportunity to learn and grow."

Related: Why aren’t there more women in tech?

Commitment to gender equality

Like many industries, the tech sector has a long way to go when it comes to equal opportunities for women. But in contrast to the global average, Singapore has a relatively higher percentage of women in tech. In fact, statistics show that women comprise around 41% of the tech workforce in Singapore, which is significantly higher than the global average of 28%.

The industry has demonstrated a clear commitment to improving gender balance but there's still a push for greater results. Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) advocates for diversity and inclusion in the tech sector. Their "SG Women in Tech" initiative highlights the valuable contributions of women in tech and offers resources to encourage girls' interest in STEM fields.

Recognising the talent shortage and the need to appeal to more women, many Singaporean tech companies are actively implementing strategies to attract and retain female talent. These efforts include mentorship programs, flexible work arrangements and unconscious bias training.

The benefits of working in tech are clear

As tech continues to cement itself as an essential part of life and business, the value of tech employees only skyrockets. Talent is central to the success and evolution of tech in business, as such, the benefits of working in tech continue to grow. With Singaporean employers offering flexibility, lucrative remuneration packages, and growth and development opportunities, many professionals are captivated by the industry. Promising high-demand jobs, work-life balance, and a commitment to gender equality, tech is certainly an industry worth considering.

Think you have what it takes to become a tech trailblazer? There’s no time like the present to leap into this diverse and dynamic industry. If you’d like advice on how to find a job or move your career forward, check out Robert Half’s dedicated Jobs Page.

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