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We are now living in the fourth phase of industrial revolution. Unlike the first three industrial revolution, the fourth is expected to see the most influence in terms of technology advancements. It has changed many businesses to higher level of innovations and marketings. Global Economic Forum released that industry 4.0 has a potential in digital connect networks and dramatically improved the efficiency of organisations. Not to mention, many believe that new technology advancements will increase the demand of talents with IT expertise.   

Highly on demand, no wonder there are many companies that are willing to pay more for those who have tech skills. Not only high salary, you will likely to get a vast reward and employee benefits. Thus, making advancements on your technical skills will give you a big plus when applying for a job. Here, we list top 7 most popular tech jobs that pay the highest, according to Glassdoor.

1    Software engineer manager ± $163,500 / year

Being a software engineer manager requires you to be able to manage and oversee design and development of software applications. You will also lead a team tasked with developing, researching, and testing company’s software. Another job is that you should direct the work of engineers to ensure the best practice, report to a senior manager, and manage a day-to-day performance of your jobs and other employees.

Skill requirements – Knowledge of software technologies, familiar with coding and computer language, management skills, agile management experience, deep understanding in company’s engineering processes, products, and visions.

2    Data warehouse architect ± $154,800 / year

A data warehouse architect is responsible for designing data warehouse and working with conventional data warehouse that support a business. They also often take client needs and work in developing a specific architecture for a specific purposes.

Skills requirements – Data modelling, ELT* development, data cleansing, online analytical processing (OLAP) design, application development, production automation, general system and database administration

*ELT refers to extraction of data from source systems into staging, transformations necessary to recast source data for analysis, and loading of transformed data into the presentation repository.

3    Software development manager ± $153,300 / year

Being a software development manager means you should be able to develop, manage, and prepare software development team, provide project management and technical leadership. Guiding, coaching, and mentoring are also your responsibilities. In other words, you will lead a team for developing and testing certain system within the company.

Skills requirements – Strong technical and analytical skills, expert knowledge of computer software languages, platforms, and methodologies, strong leadership, budgeting, and managerial skills, excellent in written and verbal communication.

4    Infrastructure architect ± $153,000 / year

If you want to be an infrastructure architect, it means you will be in charge of underlying IT system in company including servers, data centres, or cloud computing system. You will ensure that all system are working optimally and support the development of new technologies and system requirements.  

Skills requirements – Project management experience, web technologies and enterprise architecture roadmaps, familiar with web server and application server administration, web tech experience (PAN), architecture certification, Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE), knowledge of Cisco network and technologies, CCIE, Linux, and Unix.

5    Applications architect ± $149,000 / year

Application architects are responsible for choosing strategy for application within company such as when to use existing tools, build new one, and occasionally develop company’s prototype for further development. They play important role in designing and analysing software projects. They also create new application and improve existing one.

Skills requirements – Good leadership skills, know how to design and test methods, good creating custom solution, and able to integrate application with existing system.

6    Software architect ± $145,400 / year

Software architects design and develop software systems and applications. They are responsible for setting an overall plan and strategy for building software. They act as a high-level decision makers in the process and are determining everything from deciding choices to technical standards. Being one of them means you really set the pace and goals for other teams of developers.  

Skills requirements – Board knowledge of software development process and technology, knowledge of architectural styles and design patterns, understand various of codes and computer languages, data modelling and database design experience, experience with software development lifecycle (SDLC), service oriented architecture (SOA), enterprise service bus (ESB), and content management systems.

7    Technical program manager ± $145,000 / year

If you want to be a technical program manager, you are in charge of handling all aspects of technical projects for your company. You are responsible for initiating programs, following its progress, and serving as sport providers if there is issues arise. You should also be able to track technical issues and implement solutions in a good manner.

Skills requirements – Interpersonal and presentation skills, ability to identify and track dependencies, project management skills, financial and cost management, understanding business goals, and able to manage risks.

Read also: 4 Things to Remember: How to Make Employer Falls In Love with You

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“Follow your passion when you look up for a job.”

There are two different responses people usually give upon hearing this advice. Jobseekers and fresh graduates with more ideals and less work experiences are more likely to accept and follow the idea. Meanwhile, those who have been in the workforce long enough might be rolling their eyes when hearing the same advice.

Then the question pops up: is following your passion a bad advice? What about working following our skills? Is it better?

Before judging whether it is right or wrong, let’s see what passion and skill actually are:

Passion is something that you love doing or spend time doing it.

Probably you are wondering why your friends can work in a prestigious company with flashy job title and it seems that they really enjoy their jobs, despite the fact that the job does not match their true passion. But believe it or not, there are chances that they might feel restless inside as if something is ‘missing’ from them.

Needless to say, working while following your passion gives you more satisfaction and happiness because you really love what you are doing ‘at that time’. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, believed that passion is the key to satisfaction. He also mentioned that we need to pursue our passion first but never settle. When you find a job you are passionate about, you feel amazing and satisfied but after long months of dealing with the same routine, you might feel tired and want something new.

Another downside of working according to your passion is that it might get you nowhere because it limits your choice. For instance, you are interested in literature, it is easy to think that being a writer will give you a satisfying career, and thus you ignore other options such as being an accountant or teacher. That being said, rather than having a single passion, you can be more than what you expected to be because your interest grows from time to time.

Skill is an ability that you can acquire or learn after lots of practice or hard work.

Focusing on your skill can give you a rewarding career given that skilled talents are highly sought-after. Yet, it might feel like you are lack of happiness when the job does not suit your interests. You can receive fat paycheck for the skills that you contribute to the job, but is that all you want? No satisfaction or happiness in your job?

For example, you are working as a writer because you have great communication and English skills. However, you do not find any meaning or pleasure in your job. In this case, you might consider to choose passion over skill when it comes to finding a job.

All in all, you can see that passion and skill occupy different parts of your life. You can find a professional work according to your skills, but you can also explore your passion freely if it gives you satisfaction in the workforce. Caro F., a team leader for Tech Companies 3YOURMIND and a coach, suggests that instead of giving confusion to yourself whether you should follow your passion or skill, you can answer these questions to help clearing the confusion.

  • What do you want out of job?
  • Do you want financial security to travel the world or maybe you want provide for your family?
  • Do you want a challenge, something that makes you grow? Or something that comes easily to you, routinely and that you can predict?
  • Do you value working environment as a contributing factor for your happiness, working with amazing people? Or do you value own space or progression more?

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong in choosing your career path because it is all up to you. Just the same as when you go to career advisors, they will only give you options and you need to choose one. The best thing you can do now is explore which one is the most suitable for your own career personality and characteristics.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

How to be More Confident at Work

Nobody wants to be a doormat in the office. But, not everybody is born to be confident. Turns out, some people feel insecure at work. They are afraid to speak up, and showcase their full potential. However, you can’t keep it that way if you want to reach a successful career path.

To achieve your professional dreams, you have to be confident in your company as well as its networks. Confidence will take you far, especially for you who has the right competence. Make sure that you are determined enough to boost your confidence.

Fortunately, a confidence boost is possible through day-to-day routine. It does not require a complete personality overhaul like everyone else thought. Take ing one step at a time can make you more confident at work.

As you realise that it is now possible to grow in confidence at work, do these following tips as your new actionsdaily actions:

1. Speak up your curiosity

Some people keep their questions in mind, because they are afraid that other people will think that they are stupid’s judgements. Well, it is the opposite. Curiosity shows that you are always eager to learn. You want to take new tasks, or you can join the next client meeting.

This attitude will immediately boost your confidence, and you will feel more empowered. The reason that people lack of confidence is that they don’t know everything (or anything). Ask, discuss, or propose something to your boss and colleagues. Consider the information as your ammunition.

2. Assess yourself thoroughly

Everybody has both strengths and weaknesses. First, you can focus on your skills that might help your company to reach success. Write it down, along with some skills which you may possess in the future.

Secondly, you should also identify your weaknesses, such as your low confidence. Address your weakness, and make an exact plan to reduce or eliminate them. The magic phrase is: “Believe in yourself!”.

3. Let people know your success

It may sounds like bragging, but some people really would not know your success without your own statements. You have rights to be do that, in order to celebrate your achievements. Even a little success should be appreciated, such as you landed a huge client.

A job well done is a great confidence boost. Thus, you should always remind yourself about it by telling other people! You can do it in small doses. Just get into the habit of self-rewards and self-acknowledgement. Those are the right ingredients to boost your confidence at work.

4. Simply increase your knowledge

As mentioned above, your lack of confidence usually caused by the thought that you know nothing. So, push yourself to learn more. From read more books, to attend more seminars. Confidence grows when you act on what you know!

How to Feel Ecstatic to Go to Work Again

There are times when you feel really excited to go to work. Perhaps, it was your first day at work or you just got back from a nice holiday. On the opposite, there are times where you hesitate to go to work: whether to call-in sick or slacking off in the office.

It is not easy to stay ecstatic to go to work, especially when you have been working at the company for a long time. The key of feeling this way is your contribution to your company’s overall mission. You may have reasonable salary, but feeling ecstatic to go to work is always more than about money. Ensure that your current role fits into the context of the company’s goals. The more you feel important to your company, the more likely you are excited to go to work. Keep that in mind!

Apart from this essential perspective, you could do these things below to increase the level of excitement to go to work:

1. Build a good relationship with your colleagues

Nothing makes you feel more hesitant to get to work than having enemies in the office. Nurture positive relationships with every single person at your company. Certainly, it is easier said than done, since the office is such a busy place.

In this case, you need some efforts. Always greet and chat with your colleagues when you get to work. Connect with them, and you will absolutely feel the positive energy. Remember, isolating yourself can’t do any good. Be as friendly as you could be.

2. Be early

Being unprepared is one of many reason you lost your spirit to go to work. Make sure you have enough sleep on weekdays, so every time you are awake, you have the required energy to face the day. In this case, it is also important to wake up early, in order to arrive early to the office.

Get to work at least 10 minutes early. Those few minutes would be crucial to increase your chances of being happy at work. You have time to greet your colleagues, drink your favourite beverage, and more importantly, you could write down a to-do list today.

3. Challenge yourself each day

Everyone will get bored if things get monotonous at work. Raise the bar by challenge yourself, or your team, everyday. Not only it will do good for your company, it will also bring back the excitement for yourself on a regular basis.

They say the ultimate goal is to be better today than yesterday. Thus, try to get more work done than you did yesterday.

Don't Find a Job, Build a Career

How many times you have applied for a job? Perhaps, countless. Moreover, more and more people are job-hoppers nowadays. They are always looking for better prospects outside their current office.

Well, is it really good for you? Many people also think that they can’t find the job they love. Every job demands you to do a hard work, probably making you put your personal life aside, and there must be moments when you feel the job is not suitable for you. Also, who will ever be satisfied with their current salary? People always want more!

So, instead of only finding a job (which feels bad at some points), let’s look at the bigger picture. Does your current job (or the job you’re applying for) able to build you a career?

It’s important to build a career, instead of hopping from one job to another. It’s even worse if you keep changing your profession. Nobody would hire someone who had years of experience on unrelated jobs, because it’s pointless.

Here are why it would be better to reach career contentment than landing an insignificant job:

1. Career is just like stepping stones that should always lead to bigger things

People say that career ladder doesn’t exist anymore. That’s why they are always looking around for other opportunities. When they are working at the new company, they felt unfilled and apply for new jobs again. People do that on repetitive mode, resulting a series of unfulfilling jobs.

The truth is, it’s not always the other company that leads you to a better career. You can’t always count how successful you are by how much money you can collect this year. Happiness and the overall emotional well-being are also involved with career contentment.

2. Being a master of one

It’s always nice to do something that you love, but love is not a constant term. You might love it today, yet you might not tomorrow. Just choose one thing that you decide to be your thing. If there’s a moment where you, say, hate it, remember that you always need to learn to love what you do.

3. A great career could be the best thing in your life

It’s important to validate the career you want as early as possible. No, you don’t need to try various industries. You can do some research about different industries. Find something that’s clearly a good fit for you. Think wisely on every single step of your career.

In fact, a career is not just a way to earn a living. You are also able to discover yourself and feel important in this big, big world.

Fresh Grad's Reflection on Job Hunting

Job hunting is a daunting process for many graduating students because most of us had went through the conventional route to obtain a degree. The major decisions we had made during the 16 years of Singapore’s education are probably limited to the choosing of secondary school, junior college/polytechnic and the courses to pursue in universities.

 We are so used to judging our success with a common yardstick, i.e. GPA. A high GPA means you are a successful student. Holding an appointment within a CCA means you have leadership. Therefore, having good grades with an excellent CCA track record would land you a good job. To an undergraduate, a good job may simply mean a high paying job in a big international organisation.

Once we step out of the university, the standards which we are so used to judging ourselves no longer apply. No one cares about your GPA after you have graduated. The only yardstick to reflect most of our achievement is now relegated to the comparison of salary.

[more…]

 

Step 1: Identify career goals

Unless you believe that only job titles and salary are indicative of your career success, there are no common yardsticks which we can benchmark ourselves against our peers. In fact, I believe the competition does not exist between you and your colleagues but it is within yourself. How do you constantly improve and outdo yourself? And what are the indicators which we ought to use to grade ourselves?

 

The answer will differ according to individuals.

You will probably have an answer once you have a clearer picture of what you want to achieve in 20-30 years’ time. It took me a year to get a better idea of what I want to pursue in my career. So set aside a year before you graduate to think about your career.

  •   Find your interest. Start reading widely. Talk to your friends. I realized that I am reading more as compared to my times in university. Reading exposes you to unfamiliar topics and thoughts. Investment papers, personal finance, biographies, science magazines, philosophy etc.
  •   Seek a mentor. A good way would be to look around your organisation or those around you. Are there anyone who are 20 years your senior whom you would like to emulate?
  •   Be accountable to your family. As much as we would like to pursue our interest, we need to be responsible for our family finances as well. Would your career choice impact your family’s financial well-being?

 

Step 2: Identify skillsets to develop

Once you start to have an inkling of what you want to achieve in your career, the decisions which you make will be slightly more straight-forward. First, identify the competencies you need to achieve what you set out to do. Then find a company which will offer you the opportunities to develop them.

  •   All jobs will enable you to develop competencies. Are they relevant? Are you consciously identifying, learning then applying them?
  •   Take a look at the Harvard Competency Dictionary for a list of the competencies.
  •   Self-directed learning. Start working on these competencies now. Time is too short for us to be good at everything, but it will be even shorter if you don’t act on it now. Take ownership of your learning and growth.

 

Step 3: Which company?

Hopefully, the above questions are answered before you graduate. Rather than casting your net aimlessly, your job search will be more directed. Have you ever wondered about the reasons why people advise that you ought to stay at least 3 years in the job, besides the risk of being labelled as a job hopper? It is because these competencies need at least 3 years to be developed. So the crucial question to ask when you approach a company is whether it can offer you an environment to learn for at least the next 3 years? That will also determine when it is time to move on.

  •   Determine the breadth of exposure and depth of the company’s expertise. What is the background of the management team? Is the company able to expose you to a variety of assignments or will you be doing the same work day in day out? Is the company competent in the work it does? If you want to learn, then obviously go for the best you can find.
  •   Coaching culture within the team. Does the management team place emphasis on training of junior staff? Is there a methodological approach in development and training for the next 3 years?
  •   Ethics and ethos. Does the company engage in work which you aren’t comfortable with? How far are you willing to stretch yourself in this aspect?
  •   Salary should not necessarily be the top priority at this point in time. Nonetheless, it can be a contributing factor to job satisfaction as well. Does the salary commensurate with your job scope? If the salary is too little, you feel overworked and frustrated. Remember Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory? Challenging work gives positive satisfaction while salary is a hygiene factor which does not generate positive satisfaction, but its absence would cause dissatisfaction.

 

Other issues to look at once you have settled down in your job

 Once you have secured a job, you can focus on the other pertinent issues.

  • Insurance. Look into insuring yourself. Then insure your parents for their medical needs. Go for coverage that is sufficient and not excessive.
  • Investment. Start reading up on where the money which you are saving can be parked, rather than in a POSB Saving Account. Do think about making quick bucks from the stock market. Even if you manage to do so, you are not going to be always so lucky. More importantly, look beyond the ROI of your financial investment. Continue to invest in yourself through courses and training, it will be one of your best investment
  • Part-time job. Find a part time job that can offer you experience relevant to your aspirations. Or even better still, start a ‘part time’ enterprise! Do not look for a part time job that merely trade your time for money.

 

These are the wisdom that I had gathered from talking to friends and mentors about job search. I hope these points will get you thinking and guide you in your next steps. To those who are graduating, your first job only comes once in a lifetime. Steward this opportunity well. To those who are already in the workforce, it’s never too late to go back to the drawing board and make the switch.

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Tan Ming Hui graduated from Nanyang Technological University in 2011 from Mechanical Engineering. He is now a Management Associate at PSA.

What was your job hunting experience like? Share it with us today.