Opportunities available for career transitioners

These six growth job roles account for 74% of the job postings from 2019 to 20221. These roles are better suited for career transitioners compared to other job roles because:

  • They offer more entry-level positions2 to serve as starting points for transitioners;
  • The required technical skills for these job roles are easier to attain; and
  • They offer career progression opportunities, entry to expert roles and potential diversification to adjacent roles.

Nonetheless, career transitioners are still expected to upskill/reskill and gain relevant technical know-how, to be considered eligible for such roles.

Individuals who are clear and focused on their career directions can opt for targeted pathways which facilitate direct placement in job roles like Career Conversion Progammes (CCP) and SkillsFuture Career Transition Programmes (SCTP). Individuals still exploring several career options can opt for alternative pathways like stackable full qualifications.

1Source: SalaryBoard 2More than 50% of the job postings for these job roles are deemed as entry-level. In turn, entry-level jobs are identified when they indicate that applicants require only three years or less as the minimum relevant experience.
Identifying Variable Roles for Career Transition
identifying variable roles for career transition

Industry Voice

Dr Ruby Toh

Principal Researcher/Senior Lecturer,
Singapore University of Social Sciences,
Institute for Adult Learning

Recent research by the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) on labour mobility of tertiary educated workers in Singapore (those with Polytechnic diplomas and above) highlighted four mobility archetypes with different levels of career progression and transitions between jobs: those who achieve strong career progression (with respect to income and designation) through fewer (Stable Achievers) rather than more moves (Adroit Achievers), and those who experience comparatively weak career progression regardless of whether the transitions are frequent (Explorers) or not (Early Careerists/Plodders). Labour mobility here refers to transitions between jobs, occupations and/or industries. It encompasses career mobility, which examines the sequence of transitions in job roles within and between organisations throughout one’s working life. Such transitions may be voluntary or involuntary, temporary or permanent, that may or may not involve a change (increase or decrease) in income and job designation.

The research spotlighted the importance of developing and maintaining strong career decision-making readiness and career self-management capability as critical to achieving successful career outcomes. Career decision-making readiness reflects one’s capability to make appropriate career choices while taking into account the complexity of various external influences such as family, social, economic, and organisational factors. In contrast, career self-management is a dynamic process of developing, implementing and monitoring one’s career goals and strategies. Other factors that are significantly associated with mobility are age, gender, race, marital status, having dependents, education, upgrading, income, job designation, occupation, industry, type of company,employment terms, union membership, experience in internship and apprenticeship, and the availability of government support – CCP, SCTP, career guidance, online portal (MyCF, MySF).

To support career progression and job transitions, it is pertinent that individuals hone their career management skills and regularly upgrade and update their skills and knowledge over their career, including one’s domain knowledge as well as Critical Core Skills that can facilitate job transition (skills related to Communication, Collaboration, Influencing, Problem Solving, and Digital Fluency). Seeking career advisory support to improve career decision-making readiness may also be helpful for Early Careerists, Plodders and Explorers. Employers are strongly encouraged to support the skills and career development of the multi-generation workforce to reap the benefits of a skilled workforce and the demographic premium of an ageing population.


Profile Story

As SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) transformed internally to focus on data-driven insights and publications such as this, several of our officers went through similar career transition experiences to adapt to this new direction and become data professionals. Two of them share their experiences here.

Alex Seo

data scientist with SkillsFuture Singapore

My journey in becoming a data scientist

“I appreciated the chance to embark on a targeted learning journey through a six-month Specialist Diploma in Business and Big Data Analytics at Nanyang Polytechnic. This course helped me gain Data Engineering, Data Ethics, Data Visualisation and Business Needs Analysis skills. Outside the classroom, I realised the importance of having a flexible learning mindset and learning on the job from various sources such as mentors and online platforms. This ability to integrate insights from different sources and apply them creatively to craft effective solutions matters to me.

“I agree with the timeless wisdom that “Change is the only constant.” This idea is especially true in uncertain times when change accelerates rapidly. In these situations, adapting and learning quickly is essential. It is about staying abreast of the ever-changing environment and remaining relevant. I believe that the real worth of learning is in its application and implementation. Becoming a data scientist is not just about gaining knowledge for its own sake but using it to improve things important to us.”.


Darryl Leong

jobs skills analyst with SkillsFuture Singapore

My journey in becoming a jobs skills analyst

“As a Jobs Skills Analyst, I use Big Data Analytics to analyse labour market intelligence and produce jobs-skills insights that inform stakeholders’ decision-making. However, communication is vital when discussing my research and findings with other government organisations, businesses, training providers and the public. I also need to tailor my messages to cater to their level of understanding and empathise with their perspectives to ensure effective communication. In this aspect of my role, I leveraged my skills in Communication, Learning Agility and Self Management, and my experiences engaging stakeholders from my previous job role.

“Technology is advancing faster than ever, as are the changes to the economy and industry. The knowledge and skills one has now will become outdated sooner. Therefore, to stay relevant or competitive, I urge everyone to keep their skills and experiences current and aligned with industry trends.”

Hazel Xie Yi Fang

cloud software engineer at a products and technology MNC

Teacher to student: A story of lifelong learning and chasing a dream career

After graduating from the National Institute of Education (NIE) with a Bachelor of Arts (Education), Hazel Xie dedicated the next few years of her life to teaching geography. While she enjoyed working in education, Hazel’s first love has always been technology – so when she got the opportunity to work at an urban farming company, she jumped at it!

Levelling up a career, one skill at a time
Excited by the new skills she was picking up, but not quite satisfied with her pace of advancement, Hazel decided to accelerate her progress by learning tech skills on her own.

This search for knowledge led her to Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) Career Conversion Programme (CCP), where she picked up the expertise needed to land a role as a software engineer. From there, Hazel studied the technology landscape and recognised that the cloud would be a big part of every organisation’s future. She then took up AWS Cloud Solution Architect and Google Cloud Solutions Architect certifications in her own time.

Opportunity came knocking again when Hazel was asked if she would be interested in a role as a cloud software engineer with her present employer. The firm, impressed by Hazel’s proactiveness and ability to pick up tech skills on her own, was confident that she would learn the skills needed to excel in this role. Without a moment’s hesitation, Hazel – once again – leapt towards the opportunity.

Today, the cloud software engineer codes programs for her colleagues across the organisation and ensures seamless deployment of these programs to the cloud for various business functions to get work done more easily and efficiently than before.

Essential digital skills
Hazel highlights Workflow Digitalisation, Programming and Coding, and Software Design as the most important skills for someone in her role.

Hazel explains, “Workflow Digitalisation enables us to take applications that were once run on local servers and data centres, put them onto a cloud infrastructure and make them more widely accessible. It simplifies troubleshooting and improves the speed at which we can create and run programs.

“Meanwhile, a good understanding of Software Design allows us to design solutions that are purpose-built to suit our business needs. Finally, Programming and Coding enables us to write code that ensures these solutions work exactly as intended. This is very important for both our consumer products, and the programs we use internally.''

Advice for transitioning into technology
Although Hazel’s move into the Digital Economy looked seamless, she’s had to overcome her fair share of hurdles – the biggest one, being the need to rethink her mindset on learning.

“As a teacher, I realised that many students were used to being spoon-fed the ‘correct answers’, then memorising everything. That’s how many of us approach learning. But with programming and coding, it’s never just about finding ‘the correct answer’. You must be comfortable with failing, making mistakes, and knowing that this is part of the process!

“That’s because, in a real-world tech workspace, you’ll always need to find the answers for yourself. And this is what makes it truly rewarding.”

We greatly appreciate your feedback on the report here.

17 Nov 2023