Amongst key trends touched upon, a career in tech will see professionals having to work in cross-functional teams more than ever before, collaborating with diverse teams.
On 3 November 2022, Meta held the inaugural Uplift 2022 - an industry-led event that brought together key leaders from Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), Google Cloud, Grab and Meta. The hybrid event, attended by HRO, saw almost 500 students and community partners joining discussions on industry trends and actionable insights to grow a future-ready career in tech.
At the panel discussion, speakers from DISG, Google Cloud, Grab and Meta touched on the current skills gap in the tech industry, emerging trends, and talent opportunities for the Singapore workforce.
The speakers were (pictured below, from L-R):
- The panel was moderated by Ken Hoskin, HR Director, APAC, Meta.
- Sherie Ng, Country Director, Singapore and Malaysia, Google Cloud
- Goh Pei Sheng, Vice President, Digital Industry Singapore
- Karen Teo, Vice President, Global Business Group (Mid-Market) Asia Pacific, Meta
- Ryan Law, Head of Engineering, Grab
The discussion covered a range of topics relevant to the growth of Singapore’s tech talent pool and Smart Nation ambition, including:
Industry outlook and skills required to support the tech evolution
As the industry continues to build for the metaverse and make headway in Web3 technologies, specialised skill sets in artificial intelligence, extended reality and blockchain technology were highlighted as key to future-proofing tech careers. However, fundamental disciplines such as software engineering will continue to be crucial.
Panel speakers also touched on the importance of developing strong collaboration and communication skills, as well as the agility to deal with ambiguity. Workplace environments are set to become even more diverse, as more companies embrace hybrid working while striving for innovation. A career in tech will see professionals having to work in cross-functional teams more than ever before, collaborating with diverse teams.
Upskilling support provided by the industry
Several tech companies, including those present at the event, have invested in upskilling programmes of their own, in partnership with government and trade agencies such as DISG, IMDA, SGTech and more.
Listed as an example, Meta’s Upskill initiative in Singapore has trained more than 3,600 individuals in digital marketing, in addition to over 300 SMBs under its Boost programme. Singapore was also the first country in Asia-Pacific to launch the Meta Immersive Learning Academy (MILA), a programme for those keen to explore the rapidly growing field of extended reality technologies. Another initiative is the Above & Beyond Computer Science (ABCS) programme where Meta’s software engineers mentor engineering students to prepare for technical interviews as they transition into the workforce. This year, the programme has grown from a cohort of 15 to 160 in three years, with further intake planned in 2023.
Other upskilling programmes include Google’s Grow with Google initiative, which has trained over 58mn people across APAC since 2015, and its Google Career Certificates programmes, which fund scholarships for underserved learners and enable them to acquire job-ready skills in high-demand technology fields. In 2021 alone, Grab benefited 780,000 driver-partners across Southeast Asia with its 130 upskilling courses through GrabAcademy, which also offers over 250 courses for its merchant-partners.
Attracting diverse talent and creating an inclusive culture
As hybrid work models continue to gain ground in a post-pandemic, highly digitised landscape, all speakers acknowledged the importance of building an inclusive culture where people from diverse backgrounds can thrive.
They also shared on how focusing on DEI initiatives can make employees more engaged and satisfied, and programmes that ensure representation in leadership roles and diversity training are crucial for culture building.
At the event’s welcome address, Meta’s Singapore Managing Director, Damian Kim, said: “Singapore is home to 80 of the world’s top 100 tech companies and over 3,800 tech enabled startups, yet one of the nation’s biggest challenges that persists is talent shortage. It is also estimated that the infocomm technology sector in Singapore will need 60,000 professionals over the next three years, yet there are less than 9,000 graduates in this same time frame coming out of university and higher education programmes.
"We encourage everybody who wants to pursue a career in tech to have faith, be persistent, and know that many opportunities are available.”
Photo / Provided (Pictured L-R: Ken Hoskin, Sherie Ng, Goh Pei Sheng, Karen Teo, Ryan Law)