Trendspotting: 5 In-demand jobs and where to find them

Are you unsure of a suitable career path to embark upon after graduation? Or what’s the best diploma/degree for you to take, perhaps? We’ve put together a general overview of in-demand jobs (and emerging ones) which might help!

Before diving deep into the list, however, observe this:

Most of us readers have grown over the years from teeny toddlers into winsome young adults. Even if we don’t feel very adult-like and would rather rewind time, please and thank you very much.

Jobs have done much growing along with us, too, and we’d do well to take note!

Traditional jobs have been actively evolving over time into ‘hybrid jobs’, requiring a mix of soft and hard skills that would have belonged in different job departments in the past. Think editorial and IT coming and marketing converging, for example, to form one of the trending, in-demand jobs below.

This means that you might have to explore a little bit of what you’re unfamiliar with… or wouldn’t think of touching in a million years. So don’t close yourself up to trying out different things! That prevents you from being versatile and puts you at a disadvantage. Okay? Okay.

Let’s get right into the list* proper, now! In no particular order:

*( Disclaimer that things are always changing. Current as of Nov 2018.)

Emerging jobs[i]

#1: Data Scientist

According to LinkedIn, which pooled data of all its Singapore users with work experience, Data Scientists are very, very coveted. The role grew 17 times within the 5-year bracket of 2013-2017.

This crazy spike might honestly seem unbelievable, but it makes perfect sense: after all, rapid digitisation has resulted in businesses and organisations having tremendous volumes of data coming in from multiple channels.

The potential of this mass-mess of data cannot be not fully realised, however, until it is mined and interpreted by data scientists so that trends and patterns surface. They can then present data-driven insights/predictions to companies who can then make more informed decisions on how to grow and improve, while having a clearer picture of future implications.

Skills data scientists are currently expected to have: Top skills, according to LinkedIn, include data mining, data science, machine learning, and analytics.

What the pay looks like: According to Big Cloud Recruitment’s Singapore Salary Report 2017, a data scientist with around junior level experience earns around $59,480 annually.  A mid-level data scientist would earn around $104,626. Take these figures as a gauge and not something set in stone.

Do note: while both handle large volumes of data, data scientists and data analysts are not the same roles. Avoid conflating them!

#2: Content Specialist

While hanging around your favourite sites to kill time, you might have noticed the same names coming up every so often. Instead of being the ordinary freelancers/contributors you thought they were…they might just be content specialists! Their main aim is to create (by writing, mostly) content that achieves their company’s goals, while being compelling enough for people to consume and spread. This requires strategy (often data-driven) and of course, writing proficiency.

Skills content specialists are currently expected to have: Management, Content Marketing, Communication and Research skills are some of the skills an awesome content specialist is expected to have.

What the pay looks like: We’re not sure about junior content specialists, but stats and reports we’ve found generally estimate that experienced content specialists (5 years exp) can expect a monthly salary of $5,000 and upward[ii].

#3: User Experience (UX) Designer

(For those who are perplexed at what UX Designers actually do, Adobe explains it pretty well!)

UX Designers are currently in high demand worldwide owing to low supply vs. demand caused by experience and knowledge gaps, as well as the increasing need to guarantee customer/user satisfaction and returned patronage (because when there’s so many options out there, why stay somewhere you don’t  like?). LinkedIn’s research has seen this role grow sizeably at 3.4x (2013-2017). UX Designers aren’t just sought after by tech companies these days, but also by any company with a service/product that desire good design.

Currently, the demand locally is driven in part by the financial sector.

Skills UX Designers are currently expected to have: Hard skills like coding and prototyping, proficiency in software like Adobe Illustrator, as well as soft skills like analysis and collaboration (as UX is an entire process that requires other departments’ input as well as different UX Designers with different specialisations).

What the pay looks like: According to PayScale, UX Designers draw an annual salary of around $53,000+ annually.

#4: Cyber Security Specialist

We’re sure that you know why this is an in-demand job. Right? Right.

The pool of cyber security specialists grew by 5.5 times in Singapore, and with the Smart Nation initiative and increasingly digitised services is set to grow larger.

If you’re keen on this career, we have a cyber security course list  right here on DS for your viewing pleasure.

Skills cyber security specialists are currently expected to have: Risk mitigation, data security, research skills, and soft skills like critical thinking

What the pay looks like: IMDA lists the salaries of top cybersecurity specialists at $9k-21k per month.

#5: Head of Digital

Also known as the Chief Digital Officer (CDO)—you can find a Head of Digital at organisations like Oglivy—these are the folks that lead the way for their companies or businesses to adopt digital technologies. The financial industry has contributed much to the demand for this role (3x) here, and professionals assuming the role often have backgrounds/past experience as Heads of Marketing, Heads of Information Technology, and so on.

Skills a Head of Digital is currently expected to have: Skills in Digital Marketing, Communication, Leadership, Digital Strategy, and so on.

What the pay looks like: We can’t really find figures for the local context, but Payscale lists the annual median salary of a Head of Digital in the US as around USD 66,000 (approx SGD 91027.20).

Other in-demand jobs [iii]

#1: Civil Engineers
#2: Mechanical Engineers
#3: Commercial & Marketing sales executives
#4: Software, Web & Multimedia developers
#5: Teaching & Training professionals

How do I keep track of what’s hot, when things are always changing?

Whether you’re just curious, debating a mid career switch, or a student planning out their ideal career trajectory, it’s still good to keep abreast of the job market so you won’t be too overwhelmed by changes all at once.

Where can you go? Here are some places you can stalk for information/yearly reports to get an idea of what’s going on:

  • Recruitment Specialists like Hays and Robert Walters, who often publish things like salary guides and whitepapers. Another good source is, of course, LinkedIn.
  • Government publications like the Ministry of Manpower’s annual job vacancy reports
  • Occasionally, established/larger corporations will publish reports/whitepapers revolving around their industries’ outlook (one example being Ernst & Young).

Hopefully you’ve gotten a better idea of the job market in Singapore and what you can look out for to be better prepared. If you’ve come across useful resources that we’ve yet to bring please do share them with us below!


[i] All credit for information goes to LinkedIn and its 2018 Emerging Jobs in Singapore Report.
[ii] One such source would be Adecco’s Singapore Salary Guide 2017/18
[iii] Ministry of Manpower’s Annual Job Vacancies Report (2017)


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