What is a Data Scientist salary in Singapore this year?

By Robert Half on 22 July 2019

In today’s business world, data is fast becoming the key to making better strategic decisions and allowing companies to enhance connections with customers.

However, with the rapid growth of the data industry in Singapore and the need for data to be managed and interpreted, more and more companies are in need of skilled professionals who know how to translate raw data and extract valuable information.

Consequently, the role of the Data Scientist in Singapore is growing in importance. According to the recent Robert Half Salary Guide, data scientists are now one of the top five in-demand hiring roles in Singapore.

And because of such market conditions, companies are under mounting pressures to offer an attractive Data Scientist salary in Singapore to draw in-demand talent.

The rise of data in Singapore

The data industry in Singapore has seen a rapid evolution in recent years, including:

  • Data centre operations have grown significantly in Singapore over the last few years, with approximately two dozen providers and over forty data centres located here.
  • Singapore is fast becoming a hotspot for data storage and processing and is the fourth largest market in the Asia-Pacific for internet data centres (behind Japan, China and India).
  • Internet giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook have chosen Singapore as one of their destinations to house data. In fact, Facebook is currently investing S$1.4 billion into building a 170,000 square-metre building in Singapore, which will become the world’s largest data centre under one roof.
  • The data industry is said to contribute around S$1 billion to Singapore’s economy each year.
  • According to EDB Singapore, big data and business analytics services are projected to reach S$37 billion by 2022. This growth is supported by government investments and incentives, as well as investment support from REITs (real estate investment trusts).

So, what is driving the demand?

As Singapore becomes more and more data-driven, data becomes valuable for those with the talent to apply such knowledge to practical business use. While the availability of data is growing exponentially, the challenge for businesses is to extract meaningful value and insight from the wealth of information, and translate it into informed business decisions.

Business intelligence is used to inform decisions about everything from new product development, to marketing campaigns, to supply chain design. Companies in Singapore are also relying on these insights to help them improve cyber-security, employee retention, recruitment and productivity, customer service and engagement, and much more.

This is where the Data Scientist comes in. Singaporean businesses need people with knowledge of statistics and modelling to unlock the value of complex, unprocessed data from an array of sources. Those sources can include everything from machine log data, digital media and documents, databases, the web, and social media channels.

What companies are looking for

Because data-driven business intelligence can be used in so many ways, Singaporean companies are on the hunt for data scientists who have strong business acumen, alongside the expected technical skills and qualifications needed.

Communication abilities and other soft skills are also paramount for today’s Data Scientist, who will be expected to deduct and communicate data results to senior management in a cohesive manner, exploring risks, trends and opportunities that the business should monitor or act on. Data scientists are often expected to describe their analysis in writing or present their findings directly to business teams.

Data Scientist salary in Singapore

According to the Robert Half Salary Guide, a Data Scientist salary in Singapore can range between S$90,000 and S$200,000 depending on the role, your qualifications, and your level of experience.

The future of the Data Scientist in Singapore

Singapore is rapidly moving forward with its plans to become a hub for data, attracting foreign investment and establishing the country’s readiness for future digital initiatives.

What will this mean for data scientists? The answer is that the future is full of opportunity.

Singapore’s transformation goals towards becoming a ‘Smart Nation’ is a factor to consider. The initiative, launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2014, encourages individuals, businesses and the government itself to harness the power of technology and big data to create solutions to problems, which can, in turn, help to grow the economy.

Employers will be challenged to meet this demand as a war for talent to attract top skilled IT professionals grows increasingly competitive. The obstacle for many companies will be finding and subsequently retaining IT talent in a skills-short market, particularly in a high demand field such as data.

According to research by Robert Half, 87% of Singaporean CIOs say it is more challenging to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago, and as a result, current market conditions are increasing the pressure for salaries to rise for skilled professionals. While this presents many challenges for employers, jobseekers should leverage this demand when it comes to negotiating a Data Scientist salary in Singapore.

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