This special report showcases the seismic shifts that have taken place as a result of COVID-19.
COVID-19 brought significant disruption to the global economy, and with it, came permanent changes to the jobs landscape.
As a global hub for trade, travel and commerce, Singapore faced significant upheaval. Many industries suffered a sudden and steep downturn, while others had to ramp up operations, or adapt their business functions to respond to significant and sustained demand. The country delivered a widely-praised COVID-19 response and overall, saw accelerated investment and adoption of HealthTech and EdTech.¹
As we move forward into 2021, workers and organisations want to know: What trends have we seen emerge from 2020, what jobs are on the rise, and what skills are needed to succeed in these roles?
LinkedIn’s own unique dataset offers insights into these questions, and we have compiled them into a special edition of LinkedIn’s yearly Emerging Jobs Report, titled Jobs on the Rise. The report takes a close look at the rapidly-changing world we’re living in, as a result of COVID-19. In previous years, we have looked at changes in the jobs landscape over the past 5 years, but this year, our special Jobs on the Rise report compares the roles experiencing the highest growth between April and October 2020 against the same period in the year before. We also map out the skills that are on the rise for workers, and organisations.
One common and overarching trend we have noticed amongst almost all the roles on our list is that almost all may be conducted remotely. As a result, workers who are equipped with digital skills — even at a basic level — will have an edge in finding employment opportunities within these fields. Read on to discover four of the most pertinent trends that have emerged as a result of the events in 2020.
The Rise of the Care Economy
Before COVID-19 hit, Singapore was already facing the pressure of an ageing population. This, coupled with the rise in medical tourism, saw significant investment in Singapore’s healthcare sector, from medical equipment and clinical research to more sophisticated care. However, when the global pandemic hit, we saw a greater demand for frontline healthcare professionals including doctors and nurses. We also saw a rise in demand for care professionals with varying expertise, like social workers, laboratory technicians and mental health specialists. As a whole, those working in the care industry will require a range of skills to succeed, from clinical and medical knowledge, to interpersonal and communication skills.
Healthcare Medical Support
Opportunities within the healthcare sector are abundant for people with a range of experience. Outside of the traditional healthcare roles — like doctors, nurses, radiologists — exist a range of necessary roles that help the population with physical therapy, diagnostic-related roles or at-home care.
Top titles: Medical Technologist, Pharmacy Technician, Radiology Technician, Medical Laboratory Technologist, Physical Therapist Assistant
Top skills: Laboratory Skills, Pharmacy, Environment, Radiology, Medical Technology, Physical Therapy
Healthcare/ Medical Frontline
As the nation responded to the threat of COVID-19, we saw frontline healthcare roles grow in demand. However, beyond the global pandemic, these roles are likely to remain on the rise, especially as Singapore’s healthcare sector continues to attract significant local and international investment.²
Top titles: Medical Officer, Registered Nurse, Nurse
Top skills: Medicine, Healthcare, Nursing, Basic Life Support (BLS), Patient Safety
This sector encompasses a range of roles — from counselors to community-based workers. Central to all the roles is a commitment to social change and improving the well-being of individuals and the broader community.
Top titles: Medical Social Worker, Social Worker
Top skills: Medical Social Work, Case Management, Social Services, Social Work, Individual Counselling
Mental Health Specialist
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. In 2020, Singapore-based mental health app, Intellect, reached one million users. The app lowers barriers for those seeking mental health help and advice in Asia.³
Top titles: Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist
Top skills: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychotherapy, Clinical Psychology, Psychological Assessment, Mental Health
The Acceleration of Digital Transformation
Singapore has always been an advocate for digitalisation. 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. Many Singaporeans turned to online platforms for their daily needs, like groceries and food. A research found that 1 in 3 (~36%) of all Southeast Asia consumers who are new to digital services picked them up due to COVID-19 and 94% of these new consumers intend to continue with the service post pandemic.¹ This has fueled a demand for talent skilled in logistics, warehousing and supply chain management, as companies strived to provide seamless service from point of sale to delivery.
Organisations, too, 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. Other organisations adapted and adopted new technologies to serve new and changing consumer needs, driving higher demand for engineering talent. And, to serve organisations’ needs around data and information, we saw a demand for workers proficient at data science and cyber security.
Logistics & Supply Chain
In 2020, the e-commerce sector recorded 87% growth and a 30% rise in new online consumers.¹ As more of the population opted to stay home, they turned to e-commerce websites to meet their daily needs. Behind the scenes are logistics and supply chain experts, ensuring a seamless system from order to delivery. More importantly, this sector supports professionals with a range of expertise and skills, from warehouse workers to planning and supply chain executives.
Top titles: Supply Chain Assistant, Supply Chain Officer, Supply Chain Executive, Logistics Manager, Supply Chain Planning Manager
Top skills: Warehouse Operations, Supply Chain Management, Logistics Management, Inventory Management, Supply Chain Management
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Supply Chain and Operations Management Tips, Managing Logistics, Lean Inventory Management
Social Media/ Digital Marketing
In 2020, the ability for organisations and brands to communicate with customers using online media became even more important, as many faced significant disruption to their usual in-person engagement. We saw social media and digital marketing capabilities evolve and expand, from business development to content creation. Now that organisations have experienced the potential of social media, this trend is likely to continue in future.
Top titles: Growth Manager, Social Media Coordinator, Chief Growth Officer, Social Media Strategist, Search Engine Optimisation Specialist
Top skills: Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google Analytics, Keyword Research, Social Media Marketing
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Marketing Tools: Digital Marketing, Online Marketing Foundations, SEO Foundations
Developer and engineer roles have long been featured on Singapore’s emerging jobs lists, and we will likely see this trend continue. The country is a global tech hub - it’s home to the regional headquarters of 80 of the world's top 100 global tech companies.⁴ Meanwhile, its bubbling start up scene and fast growing video and online games market means there is a range of opportunities across sectors for engineering talent.
Industries and organisations within them will continue to adopt new technologies to serve new and changing consumer needs, driving higher demand for engineering talent. In Singapore, the video game sector is expected to grow by 7.9% by 2025, to be worth US$268 million with mobile games as the largest sector of the market.⁵
Top titles: Game Developer, Backend Developer, Product Support Engineer, Software Engineering Specialist, Infrastructure Engineer
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Go Essential Training, Advanced Java Programming, Learning HTML5 Game Development
Digital Content Freelancers
In 2020, during the height of the lockdown, Singaporeans were spending on average 4.5 hours online each day for personal use.¹ The demand for relevant, engaging content will continue fuelling the demand for content creators in Singapore, as more people spend time online.
Top titles: Youtuber, Videographer, Film Producer, Content Coordinator, Video Editor
Top skills: Content Strategy, Adobe Premiere Pro, Video Editing, Videography, Video Editing
LinkedIn Learning Courses: UX Foundations: Research, Premiere Pro 2020 Essential Training, Introduction to Video Editing
Technology has allowed organisations to collect data, and with it, comes the potential to unlock new solutions and products. However, without proper processes to store and analyse data, organisations will not be able to unlock the value of their data. Data science roles exist across a range of functions — from collecting data and maintaining storage systems, to analysing the insights and forecasting emerging risks and opportunities.
Top titles: Data Science Specialist
Top skills: Machine Learning, Python (Programming Language), Data Science, Natural Language Processing (NLP)
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Artificial Intelligence Foundations: Data Science Foundations, NLP With Python for Machine Learning Essential Training
Cyber security roles have been a mainstay of Singapore’s emerging job lists, as both government and private enterprise invest heavily in securing data. From developing software to rebuff phishing, viruses and hackers, to tracking digital incursions, those working in cyber security roles offer a range of services to keep information and data safe. As more and more organisations and systems move online, this will become increasingly relevant and important.
Top titles: Cyber Security Analyst
Top skills: Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Information Security, Cybersecurity, Network Security, Machine Learning
LinkedIn Learning Courses: IT Security Foundations: Core Concepts, Penetration Testing: Advanced Web Testing, Cyber Security Foundations
Traditional jobs remain relevant in the future economy
In spite of the effects of COVID-19, traditional roles within organisations — including finance, business development and customer service — have maintained their level of demand, and in some instances, even expanded in number of roles or functions. For example, organisations that have adapted and experienced a greater demand for their products and services have had to expand their business development and sales capabilities. Customer service professionals, too, have had to be multifaceted in responding to customer feedback, and proactively working with consumers to understand their changing or evolving needs.
South-East Asia has undergone rapid growth in recent years, and Singapore is well-positioned as a global financial hub to provide a launchpad for international organisations looking to invest in the region. At the same time, the growing start-up scene in Singapore has led to an increase in venture capital activity, which requires a range of talent with skills in investor relations, wealth management, and taxation laws.
Top titles: Tax Officer, Investor Relations Manager, Venture Partner, Private Wealth Management Specialist, Treasurer
Top skills: Investor Relations, Investments, Banking, Income Tax, Treasury
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Understanding Capital Markets, Investment Evaluation, Banking for Small Businesses
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. Based on LinkedIn’s data, one of the top job transitions was from guest services associate to customer support specialist.
Top titles: Client Service Associate, Client Service Analyst, Customer Care Officer, Customer Support Specialist
Top skills: Client Services, Customer Experience, Customer Support, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Salesforce.com
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Customer Experience: Journey Mapping, Building Customer Loyalty, Empathy for Customer Service Professionals
Business Development and Sales
Identifying new opportunities and understanding the evolving needs of their clients is key to any organisation’s growth and success. This is especially so for organisations that have seen an increase in demand of their products and services, due to the pandemic. As a result, we have seen these organisations expand their business development and sales capabilities.
Top titles: Business Development Associate
Top skills: Business Development, Market Research, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Business Development: Strategic Planning, Market Research Foundations, Asking Great Sales Questions, Learning Salesforce
Online Education and Coaching is on the Rise
Education was one of the most disrupted sectors as most of the world went into lockdown. International students were no longer able to remain overseas, and most had to continue their semesters online. Local schools and institutions physically closed, and had to transition their methods of teaching and content onto digital platforms. This drove a demand for educators. 2020 was also the year we saw many workers retrenched, and looking to repurpose their existing skills set in new employment. As a result, we saw a demand for coaches who were skilled in communication, career and life advice.
Singapore’s education sector is well-regarded internationally. While COVID-19 may have disrupted physical classrooms and travel for international students, the education sector adapted quickly to adopt remote learning and EdTech. This presents new opportunities — for those who wish to teach, or learn, across geographies and regardless of time zone.
Top titles: Mathematics Tutor, Academic Tutor, Education Professional, Instructional Design Specialist, Academic Administrator
Top skills: Tutoring, Teaching, Curriculum Development, Instructional Design, Educational Leadership
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Learning to Teach Online, Teaching Techniques: Developing Curriculum, How to Design and Deliver Training Programs
Professional and Personal Coaches
As many people faced unemployment uncertainty, they looked for new ways to repurpose their skills. In fact LinkedIn data shows that people working in industries impacted by COVID-19 were most likely to apply for new roles in different sectors.⁶ These career pivots likely fuelled demand for expert job hunting advice as many sought to re-enter the job market.
Top titles: Life Coach, Communication Coach, Career Coordinator, Leadership Coach
Top skills: Facilitation, Personal Development, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Life Coaching
LinkedIn Learning Courses: Workshop Facilitation, Effective Listening, Creating a Leadership Development Program
While ongoing disruption and uncertainty is likely to continue in the new year, we hope this report shows there are still various opportunities for talent with a range of experience and skills. A lifelong learning mindset is crucial for professionals looking to develop themselves and adapt to the workforce of the future. Workers who are equipped with digital skills — even at a basic level — will have an edge in finding employment opportunities. From digital marketing, project management to software development and data analysis, there are a range of LinkedIn Learning courses that professionals can take up to venture into these skill sets.
For talent professionals, we hope these trends provide valuable insights in informing your workforce strategies for 2021 - whether you're recruiting for new roles, upskilling your workforce or helping your organisation pivot to meet the demands of today’s changing talent landscape.
Resources for recruiters, or organisations hiring for new talent:
1. Address current and future skill gaps using skills trends and competitive benchmarking with LinkedIn Talent Insights
2. LinkedIn’s Skills Assessment to identify talent with relevant skills
3. Connect employees to relevant, applicable skills through a learning experience that is personalised and social with LinkedIn Learning
Resources for professionals looking for employment, or to pivot in their careers:
1. LinkedIn’s Career Explorer tool, to help job seekers gain a new perspective on the skills they currently have and explore different or new career paths
2. Free learning paths released last year for in-demand jobs
3. LinkedIn Learning courses to help you secure a job (‘Expert Tips for Answering Common Interview Questions’, ‘How to Rock an Interview’, ‘Resume Makeover’, etc.)
For talent professionals, we hope these trends provide valuable insights in informing your workforce strategies for 2021. Find out how LinkedIn can partner with you to turn these trends into successful strategies. Get a snapshot of how LinkedIn’s suite of solutions can help you identify, hire and build critical skills for your organisation in this infographic.
"Jobs on the Rise" are defined as the career categories that have seen the highest year-over-year growth rates in hiring (as reflected in the April 2020 to October 2020 timeframe).
LinkedIn Economic Graph data scientists have looked at over 15,000 job titles to uncover the jobs that have grown the most, compared to 2019 levels.
Those titles were then grouped into overarching career trends that capture as many as 25 job titles within each category. Each trend summary calls out the largest job titles within that trend. Career trends are ranked using a combination of year-over-year growth rate combined with the raw size of the job demand.