As part of the significant disruptions to global markets, the pandemic has accelerated the established pattern of more businesses and services migrating online. This accelerated shift is increasing the demand for a wide range of digital and tech professionals, directly affecting job trends in Southeast Asia. This marked effect of the global health crisis on the jobs market is the main focus for the latest LinkedIn report: Jobs on the Rise 2021

Every year LinkedIn tracks the trends for over 15,000 job titles, comparative to the ones across the previous years. . In this latest iteration, it has distilled this data, from a year unlike any other, into 15 major career trends and corresponding job markets while predicting the likely changes for the year ahead.

Rise of tech and digital jobs 

This year’s study highlights the need for an increasing number of skilled digital workers to facilitate this mass migration online. The report shows the sharp rise in demand for writers, online content creators, digital marketers, web developers and search engine optimisation (SEO) experts to help move businesses online. Careers in areas such as video editing, design thinking and UX testing are also highly in demand as more companies require vibrant, engaging digital collateral such as websites and apps. 

Paul from GRIT shares his entrepreneurial journey in the HR industry in Asia.

With the rise in financial technology and the increased number of monetary transactions occurring online, jobs for fintech, cybersecurity, and data analysis are at a prime, as are roles in statistical modelling and data visualisation. Along with the more technical sides of companies becoming digital, there has become a heightened need for professionals working in public relations and customer care, to ensure smooth interactions and transitions online while keeping the public informed of any changes. 

“Our data shows that in the next five years, we’ll see 150 million more technology-related jobs across industries globally, so the demand for digital skills is very much on the rise,” says LinkedIn News senior editor Andrew Seaman, reinforcing how this recent digital acceleration is not an anomaly.

Increase in remote work 

The pandemic is far from over, so there is no reason to believe this pivot to digital will not continue. The report notes that the shift to remote workplaces has opened many opportunities for workers. However, the jobs are still predominantly within the main urban centres. This shift to remote or home office working is particularly suited to jobs in the tech sector, and this trend may continue way beyond the current COVID-19 era. 

The LinkedIn report went on to say that overall in their database, the remote job vacancies on LinkedIn have increased four times for the second half of 2020. As a result, people with the coveted skillsets and capability to work from home are seeing ever-increasing opportunities.

Hardware manufacturing is among the ancillary sectors that will have to transform to meet this increase in digital workers. This demand makes it unsurprising that Vietnam is licensing South Korea’s LG Display Co to invest $3.25 billion USD in the expansion and redevelopment of the port in Haiphong, creating 5,000 new jobs. The investment will enhance LG’s production capabilities in the city and is likely to be completed by May this year. 

Continued job growth in the digital sector

Backed up by the LinkedIn study, one of the most significant behavioural shifts over the last 12 months has been quickening the existing migration of business, and leisure, online. Even with eCommerce steadily growing for over two decades, many businesses and services who have hitherto resisted the transition from more traditional modes of business, have now had their hands forced. This increased digitalisation rate has had a butterfly effect for many existing sectors, most notably spurring the emergence of relatively new but sure to become established fields, like Healthtech and Edtech. The rise in startups in these sectors further reflects the trend of services, beyond commerce and leisure, moving online. 

The established online industries, particularly the fintech and logistics sectors, will benefit from other services and businesses, both established and newer, increasing their online presence. With more people purchasing online, there is an increased demand for online payment platforms and credit access, opening up fintech startups opportunities. Logistic companies, also becoming more digitalised, are experiencing a surge in demand due to the uptick in eCommerce. 

Studies show that in Southeast Asia, one in three of the users currently engaging in online services is new and that 94% of these new users will continue to use digital services. 

In short, the LinkedIn Report 2021 confirms that job trends in Southeast Asia have rapidly changed. The increased move away from traditional jobs such as agriculture and manufacturing brings their own issues such as the skills shortage Singapore is currently experiencing, highlighting a need for many countries to upskill their workers for the digital future.