The information technology (IT) industry will continue to boom this year as companies in the region increasingly leverage technology to boost productivity and drive business innovation.
According to IT research company Gartner, technology spending in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to reach $767 billion this year, a rise of 5.5 per cent on 2013.
This means the demand for IT talent will surge, adding pressure to the already-tight talent market. In Singapore, IT professionals can command an average of a 7 to 12 per cent pay increase when switching jobs.
But which IT jobs have the greatest growth potential? Below are three of the hottest IT jobs forecast in Singapore for this year.
Mobile application developer
With the mobile penetration rate exceeding 150 per cent, companies in Singapore are scrambling to stay ahead of competitors by developing mobile applications to establish their presence and provide added value to customers.
In addition, companies such as banks and other financial institutions are continuously updating their mobile applications to provide maximum convenience and security for their customers. This has created a huge demand for mobile application developers, which is set to continue in 2014.
Successful mobile application developers require high-level programming skills, and need to keep up to date with rapidly changing technology. Developers also need to be aware of compliance and security issues when developing apps for banks and other industries facing growing security challenges.
A mid-level mobile application developer in Singapore can expect to earn between $6,000 and $8,000 a month.
Big data or data scientist
Findings from the recent 2013-2014 Randstad World of Work report, reveal that 33 per cent of organisations in Singapore use big data to assist in making informed decisions about their talent strategy.
There is growing demand for data scientists who can help companies make sense of mountains of incoming internal and external data available to organisations. Gartner has said that 4.4 million IT jobs will be created globally by 2015 to support big data usage.
Deemed “the sexiest job of the 21st century” by Harvard Business Review, data scientists collate, sort and annotate data. They don’t just crunch numbers — the data sets they develop are used to guide decisions and predict outcomes.
By analysing big data, companies can see whether a campaign is effective, which new markets have the greatest potential and what time of the year is best to launch a product or service. Data is the ultimate roadmap, and job candidates who can navigate it are poised for success.
Key skills in data scientists are mathematics, analytics and critical thinking. However, it is soft skills such as the ability to communicate and present effectively to convey the research results that will mean the difference between a data analyst and a business-savvy data scientist.
Salaries vary greatly (between $6,000 and $15,000 a month), depending on experience and seniority.
IT project manager
IT project managers are responsible for ensuring the successful completion of a project on time and within budget. They are gaining importance as organisations deal with increasing technological complexity and shorter time-to-delivery requirements.
A successful project manager is required to strike a balance between adhering to a strict methodology and adjusting it to suit the realities of an individual IT environment.
Therefore, besides excellent organisational skills, a good IT project manager needs to maintain a level of flexibility and the ability to think fast to deal with shifting situations and priorities. IT project managers deal with multiple stakeholders, so communication and customer service skills are also imperative.
The typical salary range in this type of work is between $7,000 and $12,000 a month depending on project experience and seniority.
Newer roles such as solution architects, IT auditors and cloud computing and virtualisation specialists continue to gain traction, and demand is expected to rise for at least the next five years.
These hot jobs generally have significant educational or experience requirements, so now is the time to get prepared and upskill yourself to take the next step in your IT career.
Article by Daljit Sall, associate director of IT at Randstad Singapore. Randstad is a global HR services company. For more information, visit www.randstad.com.sg