Do IT professionals really earn a lot? S’pore IT professional answers common questions about getting IT jobs.

And why is there a coding language named after a snake?

| Fasiha Nazren | Sponsored | September 17, 2021, 11:52 AM

With about 80 of the top 100 tech firms in the world having a presence in Singapore, it is not surprising that Singapore is often known as the digital capital of Asia.

According to the Joint Graduate Employment Survey in 2020, information and digital technologies graduates also statistically have one of the higher median salaries among the other industries in Singapore, so it’s no surprise that more are interested in joining the field of information technology (IT).

But do I need to know coding to have an IT role? And how can I transition into the IT industry?

We’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions from our Instagram followers and got professional answers from Mullaikodi Vaithilingam, the head of IT School at Kaplan in Singapore with over 25 years of professional experience in IT systems.

What does a day for an IT professional look like?

Many would assume working in IT means one would be sitting in a chair in front of a computer all day.

According to Mullai, it really varies depending on the technical job environment.

For most professional roles including data analysis, developers, designers and programming, the job does require one to sit in a chair in front of a computer for eight hours a day.

But they’re not just staring at a monitor all day fixing bugs, compiling code and perhaps once in a while, getting frustrated about the software.

Mullai said: “You may also be requested to handle technical queries from clients and other employees, as well as assist with client testing and installation.”

Is the demand for IT on a down or upward trend in the next five years?

It’s not unrealistic to expect technology to advance in leaps and bounds in the years ahead, said Mullai.

And looks like that’s the trend for IT jobs in the future as well.

According to Robert Half - The 13 Best Jobs for the Future, the following are some of the top jobs of the future:

  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Business analyst
  • Data architect
  • DevOps engineer
  • Marketing analytics manager
  • Mobile applications developer
  • Systems analyst
  • UI designer
  • UX designer

Do I need to know how to code for an IT role?

The short answer is yes.

“Either one or two coding languages is essential in most IT jobs,” shared Mullai.

She added: “Depending on the specific industry, IT roles demand a wide range of technical skills. If you want to be a JAVA developer, you must be proficient with the JAVA programming language. If you want to be a Data Scientist, on the other hand, you’ll need to grasp Python and Pandas.”

Do I need a degree in IT to get a good-paying job in this industry?

Statistically speaking, yes.

Apart from having a strong command of a computer language, a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related discipline is often a prerequisite for most IT hirers.

According to the Polytechnic Graduate Employment Survey (PGES) in 2020, Information & Digital Technologies diploma holders have a median gross monthly salary of S$2,500

Meanwhile, Information & Digital Technologies degree holders have a median gross monthly salary of S$4,760.

That’s about a 50 per cent difference.

Any tips on transitioning to a career in the IT industry?

Whether you want to switch to a new sector or choose to advance to a higher-level position, Mullai shared these best practices for IT professionals:

Get a degree, master’s degree or certification

According to her, acquiring a certification may be valuable or essential to grasp the most up-to-date information in the industry.

Speak with experts

Don’t be shy to network with others in order to enhance one’s professional profile as an IT expert and stay informed about one’s future employment options.

This can be done by attending industry conferences, joining industry associations or participating in events.

Analyse IT growth trends

Mullai shared that knowing the expected development trends for one’s preferred future career might assist in planning a career path.

It is also crucial to learn about the various career levels and what one will need to do to advance.

How much do IT professionals really earn a month?

“The world is on the verge of becoming fully automated. Countries are paying high salaries to tech professionals in order to keep them working for themselves. Singapore’s tech industry is booming, and tech experts here earn more money than you would imagine.”

Mullai shared that a person (with at least a bachelor’s degree) working in IT earns an average of S$10,000 per month, with salaries ranging from S$5,500 to S$16,000. (Robert Walters Salary Survey 2019)

Those are just average numbers, the actual maximum salary could differ.

And in case you’re wondering what are some of the highest-paying jobs in IT, here’s a list:

  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cybersecurity / Information Security
  • Data Scientist / Data Engineers / Artificial Intelligence
  • IT Infrastructure (Cloud Engineer, DevOps Managers, Network Engineers)
  • Project Management
  • Software Engineer
  • UI/UX Developer

Kaplan’s Online Cyber Fair

Now that you know a few things about breaking into the IT industry in Singapore, get to know which IT-related courses you can join at Kaplan’s Online Cyber Fair.

Kaplan offers over 90 IT programmes across multiple specialisations including the following:

The annual Online Cyber Fair is held on Sep. 25, 2021, from 11am to 5pm.

You can find out more about Kaplan’s Online Cyber Fair here.

This sponsored article is brought to you by Kaplan.