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Singaporean companies compete for junior IT professionals

The booming start-up community in Singapore is proving a hard rival for multinationals in the country. Indeed, according Computer Weekly, employers may be able to attract senior IT talent with lucrative salaries, but junior professionals are harder to capture the attention of.

Singapore has long been known as a vibrant economic hub, but the city is home to much more than just its conglomerates and industry giants. It is currently the end goal for many seasoned IT professionals, thanks to its enviable salaries and career prospects.

In fact, its salaries are so competitive that you would struggle to find a position in ASEAN that pays quite as well. The TechTarget Salary Survey 2016 Apac shows that 30% of IT professionals in Singapore are paid more than £81,310 a year with just 8% earning £20,327 or less. Elsewhere in ASEAN, 30% receive less than £20,327 and only 17% earn more than £81,310.

However, as Tan Kah Chye, board member of Singapore-based financial services firm Tin Hill Capital, explains, while there is no shortage of senior applicants, Singapore’s multinationals are lacking in junior hopefuls. It seems start-ups and junior level openings across ASEAN have left Singapore’s juggernauts spinning.

“This is where some of the competition for talent is keenest,” he said. “It is also the category of IT professionals who are young and more able to take risk, and are most likely to want to have a go with their own start-ups,” Tan continued.

Yet this entrepreneurial spirit is hardly surprising given that Singapore provides the ideal market in which to build. Moreover, the government recently launched a new department that incentivised start-ups and brought IT and media together. Known as Infocomm Media 2025, it aims to develop digital technology and in turn help to drive the overall economy.

Additionally, Tan Kah Chye noted that other nations in ASEAN are also competing for junior IT talent. Developing economies and booming industries mean that international talent is now tending to stay home.

He explained: “More often than not, the domestic economies of people’s home countries are significantly larger than in Singapore. Companies in Singapore have the ability to pay higher rates, but salaries are no longer the only reason why professionals move.”

However, this is not to say that Singapore is losing its charm. Far from it: Tan commented that Singapore’s extensive economic structure, expanding digital economy and family-friendly environment all perpetuate the city’s magnetism.

While large companies scrabble for applicants, returning graduates may be right on time to get their foot on the career ladder. At GradLink we work alongside numerous businesses that operate within Singapore and wider ASEAN. To find out what opportunities may be waiting for you, register with us today.


By David Gee Published: October 21, 2016


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