With its easy lifestyle and exciting cultural blend, expats continue to be attracted by the sparkle of Singapore. The place packs a mighty punch in Asia – particularly in the finance, travel/tourism, education, sciences, health and technology sectors, where most global corporations have established headquarters or a regional presence. So, if you find yourself looking for a new job within Singapore, here’s a guide to some of the mainstream sectors employing expats.
#1 Finance Sector
Singapore is one of Asia’s major financial hubs. Due to the growing global network and sophistication of the banking and finance system, opportunities often exist with financial institutions, banks and insurance companies.
Common ways to land a job in the finance sector include through inter-company transfers from one country to another, targeting competitors and through niche recruiters.
According to figures provided by LEK Consulting Global Education Practice, Singapore’s international school market is worth around S$1.6 billion, enrolling something like 53,000 students annually. And the demand for international schooling is only on the rise.
Due to the transient nature of Singapore’s expat community, jobs are often advertised all year round, with most international schools employing expat teaching staff.
Schools usually have specific recruitment in-take windows, and entry requirements are pegged to the curriculum they follow. Expat teachers are commonly offered fixed-term renewable contracts.
Teaching professionals can certainly reach out to schools to find out their recruitment policies and ensure they schedule their applications according to the school selection dates.
#3 Information Technology (IT)
Technology is a hot industry for established tech-giants like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s also home to start-ups, early blockchain adopters, deep-tech innovators, and other industries that have been disrupted by technology.
Given Singapore’s ‘smart-nation’ ambitions, it’s no surprise that tech start-ups are constantly popping up and advertising jobs via niche job portals like Start-Up Asia. LinkedIn remains a popular job-board for well-established brands, too.
Expats working in (or entering) the tech space are certainly ‘future-proofing’ themselves, and will likely have a steady stream of job opportunities for years to come.
Yay for sectors where there is a ‘war for talent’! This means job opportunities exist and job-seekers can even be picky in their selections.
This has been the case in recent years for the life science, pharma and biomedical space in Singapore. Most of the top 10 pharmaceutical and medical-technology firms have headquarters in Singapore, and there’s been a steady ongoing demand for talent.
The market remains attractive for highly skilled professionals, as companies continue to expand their presence and increase market-share. Also, expat knowhow remains in demand in cases where they may be a shortage of home-grown skills.
#5 Hospitality and Tourism
Singapore has always been a popular destination for both business and travel. Because of this, opportunities for expats within areas like hotel management continue to be available.
Luxury tourism is a firm cornerstone and spin-off of the hospitality/tourism sector in Singapore. Entrepreneurs offering complimentary services for high-end or business clients may be able to create job opportunities for themselves by tapping into this sector.
#6 Energy / Construction / Real Estate / Infrastructure / Shipping
Although these sectors are independent giants in their own right, many expats find job opportunities exist across their various industries.
You may want to target global corporations operating in these sectors, as they tend to be more open to hiring expat job-seekers.
If you don’t hail from the above mainstream industries, or if you’ve lost your job, fret not. Expats are employed across industries, including lesser-known sectors, island-wide.
A great tip is to transfer your skills to another industry. Currently, there are 148 industries listed on LinkedIn. Researching some of these alternatives can open up a whole new world of opportunities to target.
Up-skilling is the new buzzword. Therefore, new entrants in any sector should ensure they have ‘in-demand’ skills that you are constantly up-skilling.
Lastly, Singapore is a great place to meet people from all walks of life. So it’s worth sharpening your networking skills both online and offline, to help you open doors.
Good luck with your job hunt!
Like this? Read on for much more about expat life in Singapore.