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Tech talent shortages in Malaysia and Singapore create ideal opportunities for graduates

Excellent news this week for graduates returning to Malaysia and Singapore.

Malaysia and Singapore are facing a discrepancy in technology talent. According to Computer Weekly, organisations are battling for local applicants and while this may sound like bad news for business, it does pose an excellent opportunity for returning graduates who can seamlessly fill the gap.

Combating the talent shortage

As Malaysia and Singapore race to the forefront of the digital world, they are trying to bring the level of local IT up with them. Innovation is abound here. Ryan Carroll, country manager for recruitment agency Randstad Malaysia, notes the paramount importance of digital adoption: “The need for businesses to implement technology has gone past being an advantage – it is now an absolute must-have to remain competitive in the market.”

As a consequence, even non-tech specific sectors are investing in in-house teams of IT technicians. Technology talent is no longer a niche. Hence, applicants that would usually be picked up by tech companies are now being headhunted by organisations across ASEAN. This results in somewhat of a scramble over the same potential employees. Moreover, Carroll explains that even successful applicants will need to receive further training.

In demand

It follows, then, that those with the right skills should expect to earn a sizeable sum when entering a field in which said attributes are so highly sought after. According to Randstad’s ranking of the most in-demand tech jobs in Singapore, first place is given cyber security and technology risk professionals. Each position has the potential to earn between S$120,000 (£71,000) and S$240,000 (£142,000) a year.

Other jobs in the spotlight include project managers, business analysts and application developers. And according to Daljit Sall, director at Randstad Technologies Singapore: “Tech jobs coming into Randstad Technologies have increased by close to 50% in Singapore in the past two years.” Meanwhile “the country continues to face a gap for IT talent as businesses strive to digitise their operations and processes.”

Investing in the future

Graduates from UK universities find themselves in a unique and desirable position. Their existing skill set and education will give them a considerable leverage ideal for filling the talent gap. Furthermore, tech is a sector that keeps on growing, which is by no means accidental – private companies alongside government agencies and programs continue to pour investments into the sector, guaranteeing its potential for long-term growth and security.

Malaysia’s tech hub, Cyberjaya, has received RM11bn (£2.1bn) in investments due to the construction of the Cyber City Centre. Elsewhere, RM1.5bn (£293m) has been assigned to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

With such sizeable room for growth and the potential for an enviable pay cheque, the shortage of talent in the region creates a terrific opportunity for graduates. As organisations continue to compete with tech providers for applicants, those in-demand roles will not only provide a great first step on their career ladder, but also lucrative rewards.

GradLink has a wide array of tech job opportunities in Singapore and Malaysia listed on our job board. Register with us today and be part of ASEAN’s digital future.

By David Gee Published: October 13, 2016

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