Jobs That Will be Hot in 2020

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Think Future - Jobs that will be hot in 2020


Finding direction in the murky miasma of an unknown future has been a preoccupation for many and likewise, provided many with an occupation. Whereas soothsayers, seers and shamans are professions that have faded away into the annals of time, analysts, statisticians and consultants now command the same reverence as their potty predecessors.

As a graduand or savvy freshman choosing a major, the weighty decisions of the next step are understandably daunting, such that any enlightened advice would be welcome. So, let’s gaze into our crystal ball and apply some sensible analytical thought to help answer the all-important question – which jobs will be in greatest demand in the next five years?

Classical wage theory ( determined long ago that demand for labour is one that is derived from the demand of goods and services that it produces. Demand outstripping supply of labour would then be the basis of a “hot” job, so we have to look at the factors and trends that could cause this situation; such as population demographics (employment age), government policy (practice licenses, promotion initiatives, immigration policies), economic cycles (number of business registrations versus deregistrations), technological advances and cultural shifts (working styles, globalisation).

Dogging the news from Business Times to Forbes and creating headlines are the top trending topics of increased device networking and its associated security risks (, the continued economic rise of China and India ( and, the four-generation span of workers (, virtual reality ( and online advertising. In addition to keeping abreast of trends, if you’re looking for job security and growth, you’ll want to focus on the industries that are adding the most number of new jobs in the coming decade (


  1. Banking and Finance Specialists
    In the 1970s, the country’s government launched efforts to develop the financial services industry. Singapore has since risen to become a leading financial centre in Asia, attracting global financial institutions to base their operations here.The deep and liquid capital markets drawing from the region and beyond have attracted both sovereign and private entities with financing needs. With China and India forecasted to grow at an enviable seven to eight per cent in real GDP terms till 2020, to become the second and third largest economies in the world respectively, investment bankers, commercial loans officers and financial brokers will be in demand to assist their clients with their company’s funding needs. In particular, those with strong language skills will be in high demand, which helps immeasurably in building longterm customer relationships. Within financial institutions, candidates specialising in liquidity risk will see their skill set availed to assess potential clients and minimise the bank’s exposure to non-performance.( )
  1. Digital Marketers
    The death of traditional media predicted for 2015 has not been fulfilled, but the advertising budgets of companies have largely shifted to online formats. With the rise of personal smart devices, the information landscape has fragmented to the point where individuals themselves have become news portals that draw large readership. In this quick-changing landscape, digital marketers are still writing the playbook on how to engage bloggers, Instagrammers, and other social media personalities to create a packaged, targeted, results-oriented solution to meet the advertising needs of business entities who would, only five to 10 years ago, not have had an Internet advertising campaign or only had to work with a handful of large media agencies. Those trained to understand the interactions between individuals and with society and are able to design targeted campaigns that effectively communicate with the target audience, will find a natural fit as a digital marketer.(
  1. Management Analysts
    These are management, IT or marketing consultants who improve organisational efficiency, innovation and productivity. The future is all about information; those who can obtain it, understand it, use it and explain it, hold the power to make informed decisions. Companies are constantly on the lookout for more information about their customers and competitors to gain insights to make strategic decisions. With this in mind, candidates with data mining and analysis experience such as big data technicians, are in great demand.
  1. Financial and Insurance Advisors
    Business, Accounting or Economics students with a knack for salespersonship can expect a rewarding career in financial and insurance services. With an increasingly financially savvy and aging population, Singapore has seen a net increase in business registrations in this sector. In the last 10 years, the importance of a sound financial portfolio that considers retirement planning as well as insurance to hedge against potential financially crippling accidents and illnesses has become well understood. Gone are the days where one would be hushed or slapped in the face at the mention of personal insurance and it is increasingly common that a prudent approach to retirement and personal insurance is a sign of adulthood, akin to marriage or buying that first piece of property. Advisors play the role of understanding their clients, their personalities and goals, to plan out their investment or insurance portfolio that is consistent with their life aims.(
  1. Compliance and Risk Management Analysts
    With changes in the regulatory environment and penalties posing a substantial business risk, coupled with the complexities of doing business globally, those contemplating a legal career could choose to go down this path. Consider, for example, business entities with a sales presence across countries or one intending to register an office in a foreign country. There could be laws and trade agreements that could be taken advantage of, which could directly affect the company’s bottomline. Similarly but more dramatic to the bottomline is in avoiding unintended penalties if an action is within the law in one country but considered illegal in another. Those choosing this field have to research on many fine points of the law to sidestep legal pitfalls or navigate a solution that avoids it totally.
  1. Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
    With Singapore consistently topping the rankings as the easiest place to start a business, why not take your business degree and go off the deep end? Schools that offer entrepreneurship learning can make a difference to your start-up dreams in this manner.The opportunities for small businesses, with the advancement of new business channels for retail, marketing, payments and consultancy, have never been greater. Technology start-ups have gotten less expensive to initiate, but they continue to bring new products and services to the market that might not have been possible 10 years ago without a fully funded research and development department. With the advent of an unabridged internet connection, innovative means of funding like Kickstarter, and most importantly, modes of payment like PayPal and Alipay, the access to markets across the globe has never been more convenient. The internet has also dramatically reduced the cost of commencing an entrepreneurial endeavour or winding down with many free or low-cost methods to set up shop. These are amongst the chief factors entrepreneurship has grown globally.
  1. IT Security Specialist
    As the world’s systems and devices get even more connected, security has become a top concern for commercial and governmental organisations. With the increased productivity interconnectivity has engendered, the exposure to the malevolent intention of hackers has also increased. The result of such an attack by a computer hacker could be a tarnished image, fraud or even lost sales if a retail website is affected. The IT Security Specialist has to continuously be abreast of general malware while being savvy enough to repel specialised, customised attacks. The ante is ramped up as security breaches can result in large financial losses resulting from individual lawsuits for damages and even fines from governmental regulatory bodies, in the case of banks where absolute personal information security is legally expected.(
  2. Business Architect
    The notion that Information Technology is a back office job has faded into antiquity. A business architect is a member of the business organisation that works closely with the CEO to drive the company’s goals and direction by merging technology and business processes. The job entails weaving technology in all areas of the business, from sales to customer service to accounting, to maximise efficiency and productivity. This streamlines the entire set of activities from all departments to meet company goals without the wasted time and effort of duplicate or redundant processes. For example, the business architect could set a business process where the sales team records age-related data from customers that could then be used by the finance team to prepare metrics that could drive critical business decisions.
  3. Industrial Organisational Psychologist
    Industrial Organisational Psychologists specialise in workplace behaviour. They use psychological principles to maximise work productivity and select candidates best suited for a job. With a psychology degree in hand, the challenge is to understand the literal changing face of a business that globalisation and the widest generational gap (from baby boomer to millennial in a single commercial entity) ever seen in history have impacted. As 2020 approaches, the issues arising from these two developments will be exacerbated as it becomes more pervasive.
  1. Engineers
    Engineers (mechanical, chemical, industrial and electrical), especially biomedical engineers, will all be in demand in the coming years as experienced baby boomers exit the workforce. Engineers are the backbone of an economy as the builders, tinkers, and maintenance persons of society. With alternative energy also a perennial talking point, and with the world’s biggest economies finally coming to terms with global environmental degradation, alternative energy engineers with expertise in the above disciplines are needed to continually propel the initiative.The biomedical engineer is at the forefront of developing cures and systems to manage existing diseases and emerging health conditions. The aging population, demand from China, advancement in technology and continued governmental push for the health sciences sector bode a bright future for practitioners of this discipline. The latest development – wearable medical devices, which signal potential maladies to the wearer or even make online purchases, has seen great strides in inventiveness lately, and Singapore now hosts the R&D function arms of the top 10 global medical devices companies.(


Having considered your career, how about your education? Is it just a means to an end or has it prepared you more than adequately for your chosen vocation? Soft skills have become critical when you need an edge. Consider holistic programmes with an emphasis on real-world exposure through exchange programmes and collaborations in economically vibrant areas like China. Being able to coax engaged participation, impactful presentations and strong persuasiveness are marketable skills that take time, coaching and practise to wield effectively. With a strong academic foundation, coupled with an all-rounded emphasis on practical skills, your education will equip you with the competence necessary to succeed in any field and to even buck some trends.




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Tags: careers, jobs, occupations