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Fostering Tech Talent for Singapore’s Digital Economy

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According to Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development, Singapore’s digital economy has been on a remarkable trajectory in recent years, demonstrating exponential growth and delivering substantial career prospects for its citizens.

The city-state’s journey into the digital realm, marked by an impressive shift in GDP contribution and job creation, was highlighted in IMDA’s inaugural report on Singapore’s digital economy. This report disclosed that the digital economy surged to an astounding SG$106 billion in 2022, equivalent to 17.3% of Singapore’s nominal GDP, up from 13% in 2017. Besides, the number of digital tech jobs created swelled from 155,500 to 201,100 during this same five-year period.

It is vital to nurture a strong pipeline of tech talent to sustain and further propel Singapore’s digital economy. The tech sector plays an indispensable role in supporting various industries in Singapore, ranging from trade and healthcare to logistics and banking.

As technology continues to evolve, it presents a wealth of opportunities for these sectors to transform and enhance their global competitiveness. Hence, the importance of initiatives like the ‘Step IT Up’ programme becomes particularly evident.

The ‘Step IT Up’ programme, with its focus on training individuals with no prior background in computing, has opened doors for many Singaporeans to venture into the tech sector. Past cohorts have included mid-career professionals from diverse backgrounds, including musicians, researchers, and platform delivery riders.

These individuals underwent rigorous training in low-code platforms, equipping them with the skills needed to become digital builders in sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare, and financial institutions.

The programme has committed to assisting 400 workers in Singapore in acquiring digital roles over the next three years through this laudable programme. For its third iteration, the programme will concentrate on hiring, placing, and training 20 digital business analysts, a role in high demand for its role in bridging the gap between technology and practical business use cases.

GovTech has partnered to place some of its Step IT Up graduates within the organisation. This partnership not only augments GovTech’s tech talent pool but also provides career opportunities in the burgeoning technology sector to individuals with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. It’s a prime example of public-private collaboration aimed at enriching Singapore’s tech landscape.

SMS Tan expressed his passion for providing young Singaporeans with more opportunities in the technology sector. He emphasised the dynamic nature of the tech space, urging individuals to continually update their training and skills to remain relevant in this ever-evolving landscape; and reiterated the importance of investing in oneself, a form of investment that cannot be taken away.

Sustaining the digital economy of Singapore hinges on the availability of a skilled workforce to meet the ever-growing demand for technology-related expertise. This involves not only maintaining existing tech infrastructure but also ensuring that it remains up-to-date and secure.

Tech talent is indispensable in this endeavour, as they are responsible for the continuous improvement, maintenance, and protection of digital systems that underpin the operations of various industries, from healthcare and finance to logistics and telecommunications.

Additionally, these professionals are critical for propelling Singapore’s digital economy further ahead. As technology advances and new opportunities arise, the expertise and innovation provided by tech talent are what allow the nation to stay competitive and seize new prospects. Whether it’s developing cutting-edge applications, optimising data-driven decision-making, or safeguarding sensitive information from cyber threats, tech talent ensures that Singapore remains at the forefront of the digital frontier.


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