5 skills employers want you to have in tomorrow’s job market

Nov 04, 2016 04.00PM |

by Suhaile Md

TEN years ago, a cloud was just a cloud. Today, the word is used as part of a skill set employers can’t do without. Cloud-computing, along with search engine optimisation, marketing campaign management, data mining, and information security were among the skills most sought after by employers, said LinkedIn. The professional networking platform analysed recruitment activities on its portal and published the results on Oct 19.

It’s a foregone conclusion these days that workers need to adapt and upgrade. And displaced workers need to “let old jobs go and get into new jobs”, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at a labour movement leaders dialogue on Tuesday (Nov 1). That’s because “technology and markets are moving fast and Singapore cannot fight this change”. The dialogue was held at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) headquarters.

But if you’re unsure about which skills to develop, you may want to consider those identified by LinkedIn.

No one becomes an expert in a few days, but the introductory courses listed below give a head start. You can then decide if it’s something you wish to pursue further.

And the good news: You can use your SkillsFuture credits. If a course is subsidised, the credits can be used on top of the subsidy.


1. Cloud and distributed computing

Simply put, cloud computing is about storing your data and computer programmes online. Storing your pictures on sites like Flickr, documents on Google Drive or Office Online by Microsoft, the Apple iCloud, Dropbox, and so on, are examples of cloud computing services.

It’s a growing field. According to PC Magazine, an American computer magazine, the global market for cloud computing was US$100 billion ($122 billion) in 2012. By 2020, it’s expected to be worth US$270 billion.


Cloud computing concepts, Coursera.
Duration: 32.5 hours, part-time, online.
Cost: $49.

Legal and Regulatory consideration in Cloud computing, National University of Singapore.
Duration: three days, full time.
Cost: $3,000. $900 after subsidy.


2. SEO marketing

In 1994, there were 3,000 websites. By 2014, there were over a billion websites. That’s a 33 million per cent increase. If you have a business, how do you make it visible to customers online?

That’s where search engine optimisation, or SEO, comes in. It makes websites more visible on search engines like Google. You may sell the cutest pet clothing online for example. But if someone googles “pet clothing” and your website does not appear on the search results, he’s not going to see what you have to offer. Much less buy them. SEO skills will help surmount that challenge.


SEO marketing training, Marketing Institute of Singapore.
Duration: two days, full-time.
Cost: $1,200.

Essential SEO training for successful web marketing, Udemy.
Duration: nine hours, part-time, online.
Cost: $60.


3. Statistical analysis and data mining

What do people buy and when do they do so? Is there a pattern to when most people come down with the flu? What do people surf online at eight in the morning? How different is that to eight at night?

Every time the cashier scans what you bought, or when you register at the polyclinic, or clicked that link on Facebook, data is captured. Data mining and statistical analysis is about organising and analysing that data. This can reveal useful patterns and relationships which help to answer questions like those above.


Business intelligence analytics, National University of Singapore.
Duration: three days, full time.
Cost: $3,000. $900 after subsidy.

Fundamentals of data mining, SIM University.
Duration: 36 hours, part-time.
Cost: $1,180.


4. Marketing campaign management

Marketeers help businesses win over and retain customers. And a marketing campaign is a series of activities that help a marketeer do just that. It requires an understanding of how customers behave, the needs that you’re trying to fulfil, the features that would attract them and so on.


Develop digital marketing campaign, Singapore Institute of Retail Studies.
Duration: three days, full time.
Cost: $2,150. $645 after subsidy.

Marketing management, SIM University.
Duration: 36 hours, part-time.
Cost: $1,180.


5. Network and information security

The private information of over half a million people were leaked online thanks to a security breach at the Australian Red Cross. The leak came to light last Friday (Oct 28). Besides addresses, the information breached also included personal details like whether or not someone had engaged in sex work, gay sex or had taken drugs.

Closer to home, karaoke company, K Box, was hacked two years ago. Over 300,000 customers had their identification numbers, addresses and mobile numbers published online. The role of an information security expert is to guard against such attacks and keep data safe from prying eyes.


Learning network technology and security, Udemy.
Duration: Nine hours, part-time, online.
Cost: $60.

Information security management, SIM University.
Duration: 36 hours, part-time.
Cost: $1,180.


This article is part of a series on SkillsFuture, in collaboration with MOE and SSG. Read the other pieces here:

1. Poly vs Private degrees: It’s not the money that matters

2. Private degrees: data needs to tell a fuller skills story 

3. 5 new jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago

4. SMACK IN THE MIDDLE: Keys to success

6. Don’t underestimate ‘soft skills’ in your career

7. 50 Faces: What is success to you?



Featured image Central Business District by Flickr user Jan. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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