The new IT industry: Today and beyond

So you want to participate in the IT industry? The employment landscape is evolving in tandem with the Government's labour and economic restructuring policies, namely to enhance productivity and real wage growth on the back of reduced foreign worker hires. Netizen Yongjin explains and warns against placing too much hope on that IT diploma or degree you earned in school, as genuine ability in a specific field of practice would beat mere paper qualifications hands down in most cases:

"For those who are thinking of going into the IT industry or have a strong passion for technology-related work..... here are some things you need to know first.

Firstly, the IT industry these days no longer concerns itself about plain vanilla computing; it has since transformed and grown into a completely different animal .

Secondly, the IT industry is particularly keen in local workers armed with only one skill-set these days as they can be conveniently replaced by cheaper foreign imports.

Thirdly, the IT industry here is looked upon favorably by numerous other developed countries and its position is further strengthened by Singapore's well established track record of hosting numerous Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forums and reputation of a burgeoning regional services hub.

All in all, Singapore is no longer keen in retaining cheap IT technicians or engineers who only have a SINGLE skill-set..... IT graduates in today's IT industry are expected to be multi-skilled, highly analytical and able to think at many levels.

So what exactly are some of the jobs in demand for IT graduates in the current IT industry and foreseeable future (next 5 years)?

1. Big Data Analysts and Data Scientists

2. Full Stack Engineers

3. Business Computing Engineering and Consultants

4. Security Engineers, Architects and Digital Data Forensics Experts

In fact, the above mentioned jobs can land you a monthly salary of more than S$5k despite lacking proper paper qualifications. More on their scopes and functions:

Big Data Analysts and Data Scientists are actually performing a combination of duties associated with both Database Experts as well as Business Analysts. They mine data from a large variety of sources including Google, Oracle, Microsoft SQL, MySQL etc. They subsequently perform in depth analysis including correlation testing, trending and predictive testing to derive relevant, applicable business solutions for their clients to grow their enterprises.

Full stack engineers are engineers who can install, configure, administer and manage applications, servers, networks and storage subsystems. This is highly crucial to the virtualization and convergence of today's computing infrastructure as well as sustaining the growth of cloud computing. Cloud computing in fact refers to the use of virtualization technologies on a larger scale where it leverages the internet as well as various private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks that span all over the world. It turns computing resources of all layers and levels into a commodity made available to everyone including home users. Particularly in Singapore,one can own a Data Centre and become a home office services provider in the comfort of his/her own home; however do note an IDA license needs to be obtained. In a nutshell, you must be able to administer and manage these complex IT infrastructures by the time you graduate in order to secure a decent paying job.

Business computing engineers and consultants refer to IT consultants of the new era; no longer are IT consultants confined to merely maintaining/developing IT infrastructure. Businesses of today dictate how IT works, in other words, IT is employed as a means to help grow the company, unlike in the past when technologies were extremely expensive, hence businesses had to adapt their workflow to accommodate these capabilities. In today's IT industry , the buzzword is customization. IT is meant to be customized to complement a business model; as a consultant or engineer you are there to customize the solutions to fit snugly within the business framework which by the way could be an exceedingly complicated bundle stretching across business applications, servers, storage, network, hypervisors, clouds and data centres.

Lastly, the security related portfolios are pretty much self explanatory; with the surge in number of blackhat hackers and the ever growing possibility of an all-out cyber war being waged on a global scale, you will always need defenders who are at the forefront of IT security technologies. Can you even begin to fathom the catastrophic nightmares unleashed if the internet was shut down completely even for a single moment?

However, some government jobs still demand paper qualifications, such as :

1. TAs in schools (S$1.5k) - it is anticipated these will be done away with as centralized administration is fully implemented.

2. Network engineers (S$2.5k) - note that it is in fact easy to hire a FT Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert(CCIE) for a monthly wage of just S$4k.

3. Systems or Servers engineers (S$2.5k) - they are easily replaced by anyone these days; after all, who doesn't know how to work using Microsoft and Linux?

Also, government agencies which require at least CAT 1 clearance for job roles (though they are largely deemed as lowly-skilled positions) typically cite having basic paper qualifications as a compulsory application criteria to be fulfilled, as such ensure you possess a degree in Computer Science (or Engineering or any other related field) from either NUS or NTU."


The Czar (Site Founder)

Dated 2 August 2014


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