Challenges IT professionals face todayBY PRI SANDHU
Today’s job market is all the more challenging in Singapore, with employers keen to keep operational costs lean in a generally conservative climate.
With this increased emphasis on cost-cutting, employers have allotted lower budgets for hiring, resulting in a more subdued job market. With fewer new projects being developed in the market today, many companies are therefore looking at up-skilling their workforce and training existing staff to take on different portfolios in a bird to maximise productivity.
However, certain industries like healthcare, telecommunications and oil and gas are still showing a strong demand for IT professionals, with a specific demand for employees with niche skill sets.
In light of this current market, there are three distinct challenges IT professionals face in the job market today:
1. Limited Opportunities
IT professionals are finding that they have limited opportunities to upgrade or upscale their skills due to the implementation of cost-cutting measures. Companies usually provide budgets for learning and development programmes.
However in a cost-sensitive market, such budgets may have shrunk and, IT professionals are finding fewer opportunities to improve their skills. When looking to move on to different roles, IT professionals may be limited in their options, partly because they have fewer chances today to be trained for different functions today.
2. Budget Constraints
The next challenge IT professionals face would be the limited budgets or smaller budgets they would have to work with. With today’s cost-cutting measures, IT professionals are now expected to roll out regular projects with a much smaller budget.
The scale of these projects is unlikely to change or be downsized and companies are likely to allocate fewer resources to it in an attempt to cut costs. This means that IT professionals would have to work under more constraints and have less support. They would have to leverage on past experiences and continue to perform despite fewer resources.
3. Multiple Portfolios
IT professionals today are also expected to take on multiple roles in a project, or basically handle different portfolios. With a much leaner workforce, IT professionals have no choice but to take on double hat roles and take on different tasks that may be outside their typical job scope.
Coupled with few opportunities to do training and upgrading of skills, IT professionals have no choice but to learn on the job.