Showcasing the seismic shifts in the job market that have taken place as a result of COVID-19, a recent LinkedIn report, “Jobs on the Rise in Singapore” explores the current trends and highlights the fastest emerging jobs in 2021.
While previous editions of this annual report took a five-year view of the jobs landscape, the unique circumstances of 2020 has led LinkedIn to focus on a special report with a one-year view. This year’s report compares the roles experiencing the highest growth between April and October 2020 against the same period in the year before to highlight the changes that have emerged in the past year as a result of the pandemic.
Let’s explore what the jobs market looks like in 2021 for Singapore!
The rise of the care economy
Diving into the first key trend - the rise of the care economy. The report found that there are rising opportunities in the care economy - from healthcare medical support to frontline workers, social work and mental health specialists. One notable role is the rise in mental health specialists, which has become increasingly critical as companies and governments alike realise the importance in protecting the mental well-being of their remote workforce, and population at large.
“The importance of mental health rose to the fore as we saw the onset of COVID-19 and remote working challenge existing social and behavioural norms. We also saw the delivery of this service evolve, and cross over into the digital realm.”
The pandemic brought about much needed mental health awareness with many companies introducing measures to support their remote workforce including employee assistance programs and access to counselling services for employees and their families. 2020 has promoted greater understanding and compassion towards different home situations, and employees who need help are actively encouraged to reach out. While advocacy for mental health has experienced a visible boost, whether this translates into long term action and policies remains to be seen.
Digital transformation, digital learning and digital empowerment
Emphasizing Singapore’s commitment to being a digitally empowered economy, the report highlighted, “Before COVID-19 hit, Singapore was already home to 80 of the world’s top 100 tech companies and in 2020 it raised US$3.7 billion in capital for tech startups. COVID-19 definitely accelerated the use of technology, even amongst those who were not previously inclined.”
The report explains how COVID fueled this commitment further: Organisations turned to digital and social media channels to engage with their consumers, as their traditional methods of face-to-face communication were disrupted. This likely drove the demand for professionals who were skilled in digital marketing and social media. As organisations adapted and adopted new technologies to serve new and changing consumer needs, it also drove higher demand for engineering talent. And, to serve organisations’ needs around data and information privacy, we saw a demand for workers proficient at data science and cybersecurity.
The influence of digital acceleration has also been significant in the digital learning space, with students taking their classes online, and working professionals upskilling themselves through online learning platforms.
Traditional jobs are going digital
Many jobs that were traditionally done in person had to pivot to being done online. This has helped certain functions scale and even find greater importance, leading to a growth in functions like finance, business development and customer service.
The report suggested, “During the global pandemic, the customer service industry had to adapt. The sector now serves various purposes, not only reacting to customer feedback, but also proactively working with consumers to understand their changing needs. As other sectors were negatively impacted by COVID-19, such as tourism and hospitality, we saw talent from these sectors pivot into the customer service industry, where they could repurpose soft skills like communication or interpersonal skills.”
The pandemic did challenge the pre-COVID jobs landscape, and disrupted many industries, however, it also brought along the opportunity to upskill, and gain cross-functional expertise, highlighting the immense potential of existing roles to elevate and enhance efficiency, relevance and impact on the emerging hybrid economy.
The jobs on the rise clearly demand reskilling, for employers and employees alike. With adaptability and agility at the core, businesses as well as the workforce have an opportunity today to capitalize on these developments, rethink how work is done, remove the limitations we put on the scope of jobs and skills, and leap ahead on a solid foundation of the right mix of the new and old.
While the above data is only a peek into the findings, you can access the complete report here.