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Who Wants to be a Global Talent?


In the tech space where everything exists as bits and machines seem to exert dominance over humans, it may come as a surprising fact that tech talents are in great demand. Question is, why is there a tech talent shortage1? And what talent does the world need?


The answers to these questions can be found simply by recognising that a talented architect/developer can be 10x or even 100x better than another person. In contrast, a not-so- talented developer may introduce bugs in the program or system, which require many man-hours to isolate and fix. No wonder everyone is on the search for the best talents.


Case in point, based on the Labour Market Report 2017 published by Singapore Ministry of Manpower on 15 March 2018, the local workforce – comprising Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents – makes up only 67.2% of the total workforce. Similarly, the number of Singaporeans working abroad has increased from 157,800 in 2004 to 213,400 in 20162.


Confronting these numbers, I have to agree with Thomas Friedman’s views expressed in his 2004 book “The World is Flat”. In fact, I have reasons to believe that it is becoming flatter every day, especially in the area of talent. After all, talents today – both foreign and local – are globally mobile and welcomed anywhere in the world.


Therefore, if you have your eye fixed on the global arena, the good news is that you can acquire the talents needed to perform at the highest level right here in Singapore. And I have a few tips to help you better export your talent too (though there are very few places more exciting than Singapore right now).




1 According to a CIO survey in 2018 conducted with 3,000 technology leaders by IT outsourcer Harvey Nash and auditing firm KPMG, 65% of respondents agreed that there is a shortage of professionals with the right skills.

2 Research findings from a 2016 survey carried out by the Institute for Policy Studies.

3 Source from Singapore Business Review, 6 February 2018.

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