Professionals in the IT sector of Singapore are more keen on improving their knowledge and skills and are prioritising companies that offer them the opportunities to do so. They are seemingly more willing to accept more training opportunities as opposed to higher salaries as well.

Unfortunately, most IT workers say that their organisations encourage them to attend courses to upskill only outside of working hours. As a result, one of the major reasons cited for the barrier for job-related skills upgrading is a lack of personal time, according to a study by HubSpot Academy, which polled 1,000 professionals in Singapore.

Those who are unable to upskill or retrain themselves to adapt to the rapid changes in technology will soon find themselves drowning in the sea of the ever expanding competitive talent pool.

When asked why they wished to spend time on job-related training, 74 per cent of Singaporean IT workers said that it was a necessity to remain technologically relevant, while 57 per cent stated a desire to help grow their organisation. 52 per cent said that improving their skills would natural help them secure a promotion or pay raise.

With regards to preferred training methods, 65 per cent of IT professionals often gravitated to the use of online platforms for job-related learning, compared to 58 per cent of HR staff and 56 per cent of finance executives.

Additionally, 27 per cent of IT professionals said that they typically spend around 5 hours a week on job-related learning. Furthermore, 95 per cent of IT employees said professional experience and regular upskilling has become more valuable than their degrees in terms of career advancement.

HubSpot’s Asia-Pacific managing director Shahid Nizami said: “It is difficult to demonstrate the immediate value of learning and development before you acquire the new skills, which then makes employers less willing to commit resource. One way to seek a middle ground is through online micro-learning platforms. They often require lower time and monetary commitment, which allows professionals to ‘test the waters’ themselves. If they’re able to employ their new skills to bring more value to their work, employers can be more easily convinced to invest further resources in learning and development.”

For some time now, the Singaporean government has been cautioning workers to be more prepared for the changes to jobs as a result of the global digital transformation so that they can learn to use the new digital tools more effectively. The public sector itself has been working to ensure its employees are equipped to for the future through various initiatives.