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42,000 IT professionals needed over next 3 years

SINGAPORE — Demand for infocommunications technology (ICT) professionals is set to heat up, with over 42,000 workers needed for the sector in the next three years, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim during the launch of the ICT skills framework on Friday (Nov 10).

42,000 IT professionals needed over next 3 years

Demand for ICT professionals is set to grow in Singapore over the next three years, as the Republic propels itself into the digital economy. TODAY file photo.

SINGAPORE — Demand for infocommunications technology (ICT) professionals is set to heat up, with over 42,000 workers needed for the sector in the next three years, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim during the launch of the ICT skills framework on Friday (Nov 10).

As of last year, there were 180,000 ICT professionals employed here, and in-demand jobs going forward include user interface user experience (UIUX) designers, software developers, data analysts, and information technology (IT) infrastructure managers. Other positions that companies are expected to ramp up hiring for include data scientists, who use statistics and machine-learning to interpret and extract meaning from data, and systems analysts who specialise in analysing, designing and implementing information systems.

The ICT skills framework, which is aimed at helping Singaporeans equip themselves with relevant IT skills, was jointly developed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and Workforce Singapore (WSG) through extensive consultation with over 150 industry leaders from various organisations, industry associations, training providers and unions.  

As the sector continues to transform, the demand for skills has been shaped by emerging trends in artificial intelligence and data science, cyber security, immersive media and Internet of Things, said the agencies. These will require skills such as cyber forensics, data engineering and design.

The framework, which can be found on the web portal, www.skillsfuture.sg/skills-framework/ict, provides comprehensive information on the ICT sector, including career pathways, job roles, skills, competencies and training programmes. It also identifies 80 existing and emerging technical skills and competencies, and provides information on more than 100 ICT job roles.

Users can access the “Skills Maps” section which break downs the job roles and work functions to seven career tracks: Security, support, infrastructure, data, professional services, software and applications, sales and marketing.

Another section provides information on the skills and competencies required for the roles, identifying the relevant skills needed for interested individuals new to the industry, or existing ICT workers looking to improve their skills.

Addressing a crowd of over 200 people from industry partners and companies at the Concorde Hotel on Friday, Dr Yaacob reiterated in his speech that the framework cuts across a broad swathe of industries. “This means that employers or individuals in non-ICT sectors, such as retail, logistics and finance, can also use the framework... this ensures that the skills framework is relevant to ICT professionals across different industries,” he said.

Students or workers can use the framework to find out more about their career interests, identify relevant training programmes to upgrade their skills, and prepare for their “desired jobs”.

The framework will also help employers to “make better decisions about where to invest their training dollars and strategise their talent recruitment, development and management”, added Dr Yaacob. So far, more than 10 organisations have come on board as early adopters.

Recognised as an ICT hub for many multinational technology companies and large local enterprises, Singapore also boasts a growing and vibrant tech startup ecosystem.

Based on the IMDA’s annual survey on the infocomm industry for 2015, the ICT industry’s revenue grew by a compound annual growth rate of 18 per cent per annum from 2010 to 2015 to reach S$189.6 billion in 2015, largely due to re-exports of mobile and smart phones, telecommunication equipment and storage devices.

The sector contributes about 8 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product.

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