Year in Review 2020: Five most in demand jobs in Singapore

·4-min read
Electronics Engineer Works with Robot, Soldering Wires and Circuits. Computer Science Research Laboratory with Specialists Working.
(PHOTO: Getty Creative)

By April Zara Chua

SINGAPORE — The pandemic amplified the importance and need for digitalisation, placing jobs in the digital and tech industries in higher demand. Delivery services was also one of the fastest growing industries in the country in 2020. Here are five of the most in demand jobs in Singapore this year.

1. AI Specialist

Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialists work with AI to get machines to retain information, automate processes, and mimic human thought like learning and problem solving. Jobs in the AI realm will continue to be in demand as more and more industries adapt automation including healthcare, finance and cyber security.

Thanks to continued support from the government via the national programme called AI Singapore (AISG), demand is expected to rise as the country puts more focus on deep research in the field, investing and growing local talent, and putting Singapore on the global map. According to a LinkedIn report, skills in TensorFlow, machine learning, deep learning, Python, computer vision, and PyTorch will come in handy for those looking for jobs in this line of work.

2. Robotics Engineer

(Source: LionsBot International)
(Source: LionsBot International)

COVID-19 also played a significant role in shaping the demand for robotics in the environmental services industry.

Building and deploying software known as Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is the robotics software engineer’s main role. This software is used to automate mundane rules-based tasks and processes, helping to reduce costs, and support customer experience, revenue growth and risk mitigation. Industries that use this include IT, industrial automation, banking, telecommunications, and research.

To meet the overwhelming demand for more cleaners and better cleaning services, environmental services companies are turning to robotic floor sweepers as a solution to the manpower shortage that the industry is facing. Cleaning robots produced by LionsBot International are already a common sight in places like Jewel Changi Airport and are expected to be employed in more places in the coming years.

3. Cybersecurity Specialist

Growing awareness and cyber threats have put cybersecurity in the spotlight. According to an annual report published by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) in June, cybercrime cases in Singapore jumped by more than 50 per cent last year. With cybercrime making up more than a quarter of all local crimes committed in 2019, the demand for cybersecurity specialists continues to grow as companies work to fortify their systems.

On top of developing security programs and implementing these, cybersecurity specialists are also responsible for keeping computer information systems secure, paying special attention to cybercrimes like phishing, denial-of-service attacks, malware, viruses and hacking. Employers will be looking for cybersecurity specialists with skills in information security, vulnerability assessment, network security, penetration testing and malware analysis.

4. Data Scientist

What’s the use of data if you can’t analyse and pull-out meaningful insight from it? A data scientist is a cross between a computer scientist and a mathematician, helping to generate and analyse important and actionable insights from large amounts of data. According to a report by the Straits Times, there were over 100 positions available this year to meet the rising demand in e-commerce adaption; and this included data scientist and data analyst roles.

The data scientist role is also in LinkedIn’s top five most in demand jobs in Singapore this year. The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) shared that the data analytics industry contributes an estimated annual US$730 million to the country’s economy. On top of that, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Research Centre launched in 2019 has US$5.85 million funding over three years, to help propel Singapore as one of the world’s biggest data hubs.

5. Delivery Services

Delivery and courier services were the hottest jobs this year during the pandemic to meet the demand of the sudden spike in online shopping that happened when everyone was locked in. Deliveries ranged from documents and parcels to food and groceries, fashion and lifestyle products to even alcohol — anything that could be delivered were delivered. In April 2020 alone, food delivery services increased by about 20 to 30 per cent.

Online food delivery revenue in Singapore is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.8 per cent from 2020 to 2024, hitting an estimated US$698 million by 2024, according to a Statista report. Competition may be tough but there are plenty of opportunities for anyone keen to join this sector, as long as they have good means of transport.

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