Despite the Big Tech layoffs and hiring freezes, demand for tech talent remains strong in Asia Pacific (Apac).
“[As companies further their digital transformation efforts to remain competitive,] it will drive the demand for digital skills and technology-oriented jobs to increase from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million in 2025. We expect that a large proportion of these jobs will be in Apac, where some of the world’s fastest-growing economies are,” claims Dirk Schuler, Apac general manager of Le Wagon, a Singapore-based coding school specialising in immersive bootcamps.
Although the government and businesses in Singapore have taken measures to equip students and workers with tech skills, there is still a shortage of tech talent. Schuler says this is because it usually takes up to four years for a student to gain the right skills and knowledge and be career-ready.
He adds: “[The good news is that there is] an increasing number of education providers offering on-demand learning for in-demand skills or tech bootcamps to teach people the skills needed to take on specific roles and fill the gap in the industry. This shortens the time for upskilling and addresses the tech talent crunch in the market.”
Bootcamps to level up faster
Le Wagon is one of those forward-thinking education providers. It has run upskilling workshops for over 50 organisations globally across industries, including luxury goods group LVMH, multi-energy company TotalEnergies, furniture retailer Ikea, sporting goods retailer Decathlon, healthcare company Sanofi and banking group BNP Paribas.
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“Our work with these companies includes helping them build the best-adapted bootcamps to each department and tech environment to ensure that all teams (data and business teams) develop the actionable skills they need in their day-to-day. The course duration varies, depending on the company’s requirements,” shares Schuler.
For instance, Le Wagon enabled a large pharmaceutical company’s marketing, sales, R&D and operations teams to make better-informed and autonomous decisions, thanks to data. It also helped upskill the data and engineering profiles of data engineers at several retail and energy companies.
Le Wagon is also helping individuals future-proof their careers. To date, it has trained 17,000 students worldwide, of which 1,300 are in Apac. Many of the graduates from Le Wagon’s web development and data science bootcamps, states Schuler, are looking for a career switch or to start their career in tech.
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Our bootcamps are intensive and designed for students to learn the fundamental skills to be ready to take on a tech role in a very short time. At the end of the bootcamp, we organise a career week to support them in creating their resume, preparing for tech interviews and introducing them to hiring partners to give them the best chance to land the role they are after.
Dirk Schuler, Apac general manager, Le Wagon
As a testament to the effectiveness of its tech bootcamps, nine out of 10 of Le Wagon’s students usually land a tech role after completing the programme. Schuler gave the example of a food scientist who landed a data scientist job with semiconductor manufacturing company Micron after completing Le Wagon’s data science bootcamp.
Besides offering tech-related bootcamps, Le Wagon also organises workshops for Singapore university students from non-tech disciplines to help them acquire IT skills to be career-ready.
It is also working with the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore to offer funding to its students under the Tech Immersion Placement Programme, which aims to convert non-tech professionals in Singapore into industry-ready tech professionals.
Determining in-demand skills
Given the fast-changing technology landscape, keeping up with in-demand skills is challenging. Le Wagon ensures its bootcamps and workshops remain relevant to the market by keeping its ears to the ground.
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“We determine in-demand skills for today and the future in a number of ways. The first is through our global team as well as internal and external curriculum designers, who have expertise in software engineering and experience across leading tech companies including Google and Shopify,” says Schuler.
He continues: “Secondly, we are able to get input from our city managers in our campuses across 45 cities around the world on the skills that are in demand in those cities. Thirdly, we attend and speak at big conferences in key cities, which keeps us informed and updated. Besides that, we regularly speak with hiring partners and recruiters and monitor the latest job openings.”
Based on Le Wagon’s data, the current in-demand skills include software development, software design, user experience, data analytics and data science.
“A growing number of jobs will involve working directly with data. This means that data communicators and storytellers will be increasingly valuable to companies. The skills that will be in demand include the ability to read, understand and interpret data as well as communicate it,” notes Schuler.
The shift towards artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will also increase the demand for these skills.
He explains: “Companies successfully leveraging AI and automation in their business are not only focusing on setting up the right technology and data infrastructure, but also on enabling their teams to leverage data and AI in concrete use cases. This means ensuring the data and AI teams and the business teams (such as marketing and finance) develop the best-adapted data skills so that they can effectively collaborate and build the best models that are useful in all key areas of the company.”
In response, Le Wagon has launched a data analytics bootcamp this year, which complements its data science bootcamp while being easier to learn and without prerequisites in Mathematics and Python.
Schuler also shares that the company plans to launch Le Wagon online in Apac. “Students across the region will be able to choose from our full-time bootcamps — which run over nine weeks with classes from Monday to Friday — or from our Flex offer where they have the freedom to decide their learning schedule,” he says.