In Financial Hub of Singapore, Tech Jobs Are Growing Faster

For decades, Singapore has shined as one of the world’s great financial and high-tech manufacturing centers. However, in recent years the Singapore economy has also transformed itself into a powerful tech hub as well.

A growing number of major U.S. tech employers today have significant operations in Singapore, including Amazon, Facebook and Google, along with major Asian tech giants such as Alibaba and Baidu. Just as New York City and Chicago have transitioned from financial center to tech hub in recent years — with tech employers increasingly hiring from the large pool of “knowledge workers” attracted to the financial industry — Singapore is positioned for similar gains in tech hiring in the coming decade.

Who are the top tech employers in Singapore today? And what jobs are they hiring for on Glassdoor? This analysis uses data from Glassdoor’s global jobs database to highlight the latest tech and finance hiring trends in Singapore today.

A Bright Outlook for Hiring

As the Singapore economy moves into 2019, hiring remains strong. There are 52,090 open job postings in Singapore on Glassdoor, up roughly 40 percent from one year ago.(1) By comparison, there were 6.3 million open jobs in the U.S. on Glassdoor during the same period, up a much more modest 6 percent year-over-year. After a brief slowdown in hiring in Singapore in 2016 and 2017, job vacancies today are on the rise.

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

Tech Hiring Outpacing Finance

Today on Glassdoor, the total number of open tech job postings in Singapore actually outnumbers hiring in the finance industry. This is broadly consistent with what we see in the U.S. labor market as well — in the United States, tech industry job postings outnumber the financial sector today by a roughly three-to-one ratio.

As of November 2018, there were 4,715 unique jobs in the finance industry open on Glassdoor. By comparison, there were 5,806 open jobs in the three combined tech sectors we track: 3,072 open jobs in the computer software and hardware industry,1,418 open jobs in the modern tech and internet industry — which includes many tech giants such as Google and Facebook — and 1,316 open jobs in the more traditional information technology (IT) sector.

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

Finance Still Pays A Premium

What do today’s open jobs in Singapore pay? Using Glassdoor’s powerful database of salaries shared by job seekers, we used a simple statistical model to estimate median base pay for the open jobs Singapore employers are hiring for today.(2)

For the open finance jobs on Glassdoor, the estimated median base pay was SGD $8,338 per month. For the open tech jobs, the overall median base pay was SGD $7,253 per month, about SGD $1,000 less per month. However, there is a lot of variation in pay for both tech and finance jobs on Glassdoor today — and pay is similar in the two industries for the highest-paying roles.

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (Glassdoor.com/research). Median base pay estimated for jobs based on elastic net regression model using similar Singapore salaries reported on Glassdoor.

For example, the highest-paying tech job opening in our sample was for a senior managing director role at a large computer software and hardware employer paying an estimated SGD $19,687 per month. By comparison, the highest-paying open finance job in our sample was for an executive director of treasury services role at a large investment banking firm paying an estimated SGD $19,414 per month — a comparable salary for senior roles in both sectors.

Top Employers Hiring

Who are the top tech and finance employers hiring in Singapore today?

The table below shows the top 10 tech employers hiring today, along with our estimates for the median base pay among their open jobs on Glassdoor. E-commerce giant Amazon leads the pack for tech hiring in Singapore with 212 open jobs, paying a median base salary of SGD $8,891 per month. It is followed by Micron (205 open jobs, SGD $6,470 per month), Visa (196 open jobs, SGD $9,100 per month), Grab (158 open jobs, SGD $7,600 per month) and Apple (155 open jobs, SGD $8,019 per month).

Top Tech Employers Hiring in Singapore

Employer Open Singapore Jobs on Glassdoor Estimated Median Base Pay (Monthly)
Amazon 212 SGD $8,891
Micron 205 SGD $6,470
Visa 196 SGD $9,100
Grab 158 SGD $7,600
Apple 155 SGD $8,019
Oracle 148 SGD $7,165
Facebook 138 SGD $8,350
Seagate Technology 112 SGD $6,420
Google 108 SGD $9,054
Dell 92 SGD $8,895

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

The top finance employers with the most open jobs in Singapore today on Glassdoor are shown in the table below. CitiGroup leads the pack with 1,356 open jobs hiring today with an estimated median base pay of SGD $8,372 per month. They are followed by OCBC Bank (581 open jobs, SGD $7,019 per month), DBS Bank (319 open jobs, SGD $11,520 per month), JP Morgan Chase (249 open jobs, SGD $9,721 per month), and United Overseas Bank (231 open jobs, SGD $9,140 per month).

Top Finance Employers Hiring in Singapore

Employer Open Singapore Jobs on Glassdoor Estimated Median Base Pay (Monthly)
CitiGroup 1,356 SGD $8,372
OCBC Bank 581 SGD $7,019
DBS Bank 319 SGD $11,520
JP Morgan Chase 249 SGD $9,721
United Overseas Bank 231 SGD $9,140
UBS 80 SGD $7,482
HSBC 71 SGD $7,364
Deutsche Bank 62 SGD $11,125
GIC Investments 61 SGD $10,466
Credit Suisse 58 SGD $7,759

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

Top Tech Jobs Hiring

For job seekers aiming to join Singapore’s growing tech sector, what are the top jobs hiring today on Glassdoor? The table below shows the top 10 job titles with the most open jobs in Singapore’s tech sector today, along with our estimates of median base pay for each. The most in-demand tech role today is software engineer, with 210 open jobs paying an estimated median base pay of SGD $8,253 per month. It is followed by project manager (94 open jobs, SGD $8,018 per month), solutions architect (89 open jobs, SGD $9,150 per month), sales manager (79 open jobs, SGD $8,477 per month), and account executive (74 open jobs, SGD $6,316 per month).

Previous Glassdoor research shows that roughly 43 percent of hiring by large U.S. tech employers is for “non-tech” roles — including sales, marketing, operations, and business development, among others, as tech companies aim to transform their technology into revenue and growth. Our analysis of tech hiring in Singapore shows a similar pattern, with a rich mixture of both tech and non-tech roles hiring today in the country’s tech sector.

Top Jobs Open in Singapore’s Tech Sector

Job Title Open Singapore Jobs on Glassdoor Estimated Median Base Pay (Monthly)
Software Engineer 210 SGD $8,253
Project Manager 94 SGD $8,018
Solutions Architect 89 SGD $9,150
Sales Manager 79 SGD $8,477
Account Executive 74 SGD $6,316
Marketing Manager 68 SGD $9,560
Systems Engineer 62 SGD $6,951
Data Scientist 60 SGD $7,600
Business Development Manager 56 SGD $8,362
Program Manager 55 SGD $9,109

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

The table below shows the top job titles being hired on Glassdoor today among finance employers in Singapore. In the finance sector, the top open job is risk manager, with 170 open jobs paying an estimated median base pay of SGD $8,275 per month. It is followed by financial manager (147 open jobs, SGD $11,520 per month), compliance officer (138 open jobs, SGD $8,029 per month), relationship manager (133 open jobs, SGD $5,990 per month), and wealth manager (87 open jobs, SGD $7,650 per month).

Top Jobs Open in Singapore’s Finance Sector

Job Title Open Singapore Jobs on Glassdoor Estimated Median Base Pay (Monthly)
Risk Manager 170 SGD $8,275
Financial Manager 147 SGD $11,520
Compliance Officer 138 SGD $8,029
Relationship Manager 133 SGD $5,990
Wealth Manager 87 SGD $7,650
Product Manager 74 SGD $7,614
Project Manager 70 SGD $8,797
Compliance Manager 62 SGD $9,950
Service Manager 54 SGD $7,767
Operations Manager 50 SGD $9,904

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

Who Earns Premium Salaries?

Although finance jobs on average pay higher base salaries than tech roles in our sample, there are many high-paying senior-level roles open in both sectors on Glassdoor.

The table below shows five examples of the tech jobs open in Singapore with the highest estimated base pay, along with the industry and company size. To mask the identity of specific employers, we have anonymized the job titles for these roles. However, each one corresponds to an actual job open on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

The highest-paying tech job opening in our sample was a senior managing director role at a large computer hardware and software employer. For this role, we estimate a median base pay of SGD $19,687 per month — more than twice the annual household income in Singapore.(3) Other high-paying open tech roles include senior engineering manager (SGD $18,782 per month), director of business and architecture (SGD $18,447 per month), senior director of digital solutions (SGD $18,401 per month), and director of human resources (SGD $17,689 per month).

Examples of High-Paying Tech Roles Open in Singapore
Job Title Median Base Pay (Monthly) Detailed Industry Company Size
Senior Managing Director SGD $19,687 Computer Hardware & Software 1001-5000
Senior Engineering Manager SGD $18,782 Computer Hardware & Software 5000+
Director of Business and Architecture SGD $18,447 Computer Hardware & Software 5000+
Senior Director of Digital Solutions SGD $18,401 Enterprise Software & Network Solutions 5000+
Director of Human Resources SGD $17,689 Computer Hardware & Software 5000+

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

In the table below, we show five examples of the highest-paying open finance industry jobs in our sample. The top-paying role is an executive director of treasury services position in a large investment banking and asset management firm. For that role, we estimate a median base pay of SGD $19,414 per month). Other high-paying roles hiring in Singapore’s finance industry today include a VP of java software engineering role (SGD $19,261 per month), VP of human resources (SGD $18,570 per month), director of IT for client information (SGD $18,486 per month), and technical director for global markets technology (SGD $17,896 per month).

Just as we have observed in the U.S., many of the highest-paying roles in Singapore’s finance sector are in fact highly skilled tech jobs — directors of software engineering, IT, and other hybrid finance-technology roles.

Examples of High-Paying Finance Roles Open in Singapore

Job Title Median Base Pay (Monthly) Detailed Industry Company Size
Executive Director of Treasury Services SGD $19,414 Investment Banking & Asset Management 5000+
VP of Java Software Engineering for Payments SGD $19,261 Investment Banking & Asset Management 5000+
VP of Human Resources SGD $18,570 Investment Banking & Asset Management 5000+
Director of IT for Client Information SGD $18,486 Banks & Credit Unions 1001-5000
Technical Director for Global Markets Technology SGD $17,896 Banks & Credit Unions 5000+

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research (glassdoor.com/research/). Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018.

The Future of Knowledge Work in Singapore

The future of work in Singapore is likely to feature many more opportunities for “knowledge workers” — those using data, software, and intellectual skills — in the country’s growing tech and financial sectors.

According to official figures from the Ministry of Manpower, tech and finance hiring is on the rise as a percentage of total open jobs. Tech and finance hiring has risen from 6 percent of open jobs between 2006 and 2013, to more than 12 percent as of June 2018 (see the figure below). This trend toward Singapore’s rising tech hiring is likely to accelerate in the coming decade.

Source: Glassdoor analysis of data from the Singapore Labour Market Survey, Manpower Research & Statistics Department, Singapore Ministry of Manpower. Available at http://stats.mom.gov.sg/SL/Pages/Job-Vacancy-Introduction.aspx.

One factor fueling Singapore s rising tech hiring is the escalating U.S.-China trade war. Tech employers throughout Asia are increasingly looking to move jobs into neutral territories outside of the U.S. and China to sidestep tariffs. With abundant tech talent and proximity to growing Asian markets, Singapore is a natural choice — something we expect to continue in 2019 and beyond.

Conclusion

Although Singapore has a well-deserved reputation as an Asian center for finance and high-tech manufacturing, it has also grown into a tech hub in recent years.

Our analysis of online job postings on Glassdoor shows there are 5,806 open tech jobs hiring today in Singapore — outpacing the nation’s 4,715 open finance jobs, with estimated pay reaching as high as SGD $19,600 per month for some senior-level tech roles. According to official figures, “knowledge worker” roles in tech and finance today make up more than one in 10 open jobs in Singapore today — a share that has doubled since 2013.

In the coming years, it’s likely that tech hiring will continue expanding its reach within Singapore’s job market. With a highly educated workforce, proximity to large Asian markets, and a pro-tech-investment policy stance, Singapore may be positioned to become one of the world’s top destinations for tech hiring in the coming decade.

To learn more about jobs in Singapore, visit https://www.glassdoor.sg. For more information on Glassdoor’s entry into Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand, check out the Glassdoor Blog.  

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Footnotes:

1.Based on unique online job postings on Glassdoor as of November 10, 2018. One-year-ago comparison based on unique job counts as of November 6, 2017.

2.We only report base salary estimates for jobs where sufficient data were available to estimate pay. For open tech jobs, we had enough data to estimate pay for about 79 percent of them (4,590 out of 5,806 jobs). For open finance jobs, we were able to estimate pay for about 74 percent of them (3,491 out of 4,715 jobs). Base salary does not include compensation from tips, bonuses, stock options, commissions or other non-base forms of pay.

3. Source: Department of Statistics Singapore, “Key Household Income Trends, 2017,” available at https://www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/files/publications/households/pp-s24.pdf. 2017 median household income in Singapore was $9,023 per month.