Students worrying about possible job-skills mismatch when they join the workforce should take advantage of various online and digital e-learning programs, to pick up new lessons on much needed ICT skills such as managing and adopting cloud related services to help them stay ahead of the curve of employability and workplace compatibility.
According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Macroeconomic Review released on 25 October 2016, there has been a mismatch in the domestic labour market since 2012, and the upward trend is currently hovering at the same level as that of during the 2008-2009 recession. The index measures the discrepancies between the share of job seekers, and job openings across sub-markets.
The evolving state of information technology means that the modern workforce has not been able to keep up and update their skillsets to meet the ever changing needs of the workplace. This is not helped by the fact that for the first time in four years, figures from the Ministry of Manpower showed that the number of job openings in Singapore had fallen below the number of job seekers.
Yet, there are skilled jobs that need to be filled, and the workforce that is able to upgrade themselves will be more capable in filling the roles. The key is in learning the necessary skills that would remain in demand in the coming years, and not merely by adopting from a strict curriculum design.
One learning course is cloud-based Amazon Web Services (AWS) Educate, a global initiative crafted to provide students and educators with the resources they need to accelerate cloud-related learning. Students can learn through instructional videos, lab exercises, online courses, whitepapers, and podcasts.
Due to the rapid adoption of cloud computing infrastructure among companies, many industries are transiting from the traditional world of IT to the new world of cloud services, which makes migration skills on cloud deployment or software development using cloud services highly sought-after roles. New roles related to the use of cloud computing services have been created and these job roles such as software engineers, web developers, data scientists and others need to be filled with the right competency.
Regulated sectors such as banking and finance, insurance, government and healthcare are moving to cloud computing. An example in disruption led by non-traditional players is in fintech – new solutions for loans and payment services have been created by young startups that have gone regional and even global, giving rise to new job roles.
With cloud computing changing the technology and industry landscape, as well as creating new business models, its role in an organisation covers more than IT services. Areas like disaster recovery, data analytics, research and development and mobile app development are being transformed by cloud services. For example, Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore uses cloud to host public facing services and manage disaster recovery, while DBS bank envisages extending its usage of cloud over time and may shift up to 50% of its compute workload to the cloud within a two-year period. Innovative start-ups like Grab is using cloud to build predictive models with vast amount of data collected to build data models so that they can deliver actionable items to solve the demand and supply of driver and commuters at various peak times.
The benefits of a cloud-based learning and certification help in gaining industry-recognised credentials that enhance credibility of the technical skills. It increases re-employability and advancement in the career path from beyond the confines of local classrooms and curriculum.
Against this backdrop, students preparing to enter the workforce can take advantage of well-established and industry-recognised resources to build knowledge and skills related to cloud computing.
The Cloud Career Pathways available in the programme delivers a competency-based education-to-career platform that provides students with learning pathways tied to their career goals. It includes content, knowledge checks, and digital credentials that guide them through the learning process at various stages to verify online learning accomplishments. It covers four overarching job roles represented in the Job Board consisting of Cloud Architect, Software Developer, Operations-Support Engineer, as well as Analytics and Big Data Specialist. They are highly sought IT job roles today.
Upon the successful completion of Cloud Career Pathways, students can leverage on the digital credentials and apply to relevant jobs posted on the AWS Educate Job Board, or internship opportunities with technology companies to gain real world experience.
In Singapore, several education institutions have already signed up for the programme offered by AWS: Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), Singapore Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering), Temasek School of Informatics & IT, Nanyang Technological University (School of Computer Engineering), Singapore Management University, National University of Singapore (School of Computing) and LASALLE College of the Arts.
Adults and IT professional interested in acquiring cloud computing skills can also take advantage of trainings and programs offered by technology companies, such as AWS Training and Certification program to develop new skills in designing, deploying, and operating their IT infrastructure and applications on the cloud.
By Peter Moore, Asia Pacific Managing Director, Amazon Web Services