Singapore isn’t perhaps the first place that comes to mind when thinking of areas around the world at the forefront of technology and innovation. Silicon Valley in San Francisco, USA, is often top of people’s lists, home to many of the world’s largest technology corporations, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Adobe, Cisco and many others.
If you want a career in technology though, somewhere much closer to home is Singapore, which appears in Fast Company’s ‘Top 20 Cities To Live And Work In Tech’ list. Despite being a small nation with a population of just 5 million, Singapore is a serious player in the IT industry. The country was recently named one of the world’s most tech-ready nations by World Economic Form’s ‘Global Information Technology 2016’ Report.
With such a booming reputation, those in the IT sector of Singapore have a lot of potential to grow their career whilst earning some of the highest paying jobs. This blog explores why technology is so important to Singapore’s economy and why it offers some of the highest paying jobs in the nation.
Why is technology booming in Singapore?
As a small city-state, technology has been an important way for Singapore to get noticed on a global scale. As a result, Singapore now regularly appears at the top of international league tables and technology has become a major contributor to its economy.
Whilst technology is growing at warp speed all over the world as businesses shift online and digitise more of their processes, Singapore is one particular country that is going above and beyond.
In 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong officially launched ‘Smart Nation’. This initiative aims to harness the power of technology, to bring new possibilities to the area and enhance the way citizens “live, work, play and interact” by 2025.
The Singapore government recently announced a budget of 2.4 billion SGD over the next four years to support their digital transformation, according to ZDNet.
Non-governmental organisations such as the Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) are aimed at promoting emerging and innovative technologies, such as big data, cyber security, Internet of Things (IoT) and FinTech.
To ensure there are skilled workers to fulfil the demand of new IT jobs, the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has invested almost 120 million SGD into the sector. This investment will help support staff training efforts, for both existing and future IT professionals in high demand areas.
Many other initiatives also exist such as funding schemes, training, events and hackathons across Singapore, all aimed at developing technology and increasing its applications throughout the region.
How has IT created some of the highest paying jobs in Singapore?
Whilst information technology in Singapore is thriving, the demand for highly trained workers has skyrocketed. According to the Straits Times, Singapore businesses are concerned over the short supply in talent, including the struggle to find staff and retaining existing talent, fearing they’ll be poached by competitors or other businesses.
This issue is now affecting many businesses with goals to grow internationally and domestically, to run new projects and initiatives, expand upon their products and services, as well as to increase their IT security.
Consequently, salaries for IT workers have risen in order to remain competitive, with the IT sector now providing some of the highest paying jobs in Singapore. According to research by Robert Half, 57% of CIOs/CTOs planned to increase salaries further, with 32% saying they plan to increase bonuses too. As an example, between 2015 and 2016, the biggest salary rise was for Senior IT Risk Auditors. They saw a staggering 21% increase in their salary on average, from 72,000-110,000 to 90,000-130,000 SGD.
An IT career in Singapore is worth considering
If you are looking for your first IT job, or your next career move, Singapore is filled with lots of exciting prospects. Whilst there are businesses of all sizes and industries looking for tech professionals, many global businesses such as Twitter, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Facebook have also recently set up their Asia-Pacific headquarters here.
Whilst the IT sector does have some of the highest paying jobs in Singapore, salary certainly isn’t everything when choosing a career path. By working in IT, you have lots of opportunities to develop your skills, work in different industries and roles, as well as be involved in shaping the future of digital innovation.
Whilst Singapore is relatively more expensive with cost of living compared to other countries, it does offer a good standard of living, with technology (and Smart Nation) only aiming to improve that further.
If you work in IT or are considering a move to IT, is Singapore on your career radar? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts or experiences.