Singapore Makes the List of Top 10 Best Cities for Digital Talent

Singapore Makes the List of Top 10 Best Cities for Digital Talent
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 30 May, 2022

In this new normal, remote working is now the most popular way to work. But according to a survey in Jobstreet's Decoding Global Talent 2021 Report, respondents in Singapore are more willing to work a combination of fixed and flexible modes versus the global average. One-third of the respondents in Singapore desire to work only three days remotely.

Technology plays a big part in one's ability to work offsite. People who work with tech the most, the digital sector, actually prefer to work remotely because their job doesn't require them to be in the office daily.

In Singapore, the digital infrastructure is quite advanced, and the transition to work at home is easy. It's no surprise that digital workers selected Singapore as one of the best cities for their line of work.

Digital Talent Sees Singapore as One of the Best Cities for Work

The Decoding the Digital Talent Challenge report surveyed 9,000 digital talents (IT, automation, analytics, or digitisation) about their attitudes towards remote work and their ideal workplace. Among those who were willing to move to a different location for work, 10% of the respondents chose Singapore as their home base of choice. The report was a collaboration among the Boston Consulting Group, The Network, Jobstreet and JobsDB.

Singapore only came second to London, as more digital workers found its efforts to build a digital economy and support digital skill-building as attractive factors for career growth. Its ability to successfully maintain low COVID-19 caseloads also made it more attractive to employees.

However, behaviours towards working abroad are changing. In the 2018 release of this report, 67% of respondents were open to moving elsewhere for work. But due to various reasons, including stricter entry restrictions, increasingly nationalistic immigration policies and the pandemic, that number has declined to 55% in 2022.

Although fewer digital workers are willing to move abroad for a job, more of them are open to working for an international employer. The report found that 68% of digital workers are willing to work remotely for an employer that does not have a physical presence in their country, which is higher than the 57% average across other jobs. It might be more favourable for employers, too, as visa limitations will not apply to remote workers.

Tech Sector Thriving Despite Pandemic

Thanks to the accelerated need for digital transformation, digital workers have been the lucky ones who emerged from the pandemic more in demand than ever. In Jobstreet's Singapore Job Report for 2021, computer and IT specialisations spent SGD 78,000 on job ads between Q1 and Q3 2021.

The BCG report found that digital roles are the most attractive reskilling target for workers. Twenty per cent or more of people currently working in other professions are willing to learn new skills if it would lead to a job in digitisation, automation, IT or technology. If you're interested in a career change in the tech space, check out these tech skills that you can add to your CV.

Tech is booming everywhere, in many parts of the world. If you're looking for a career that can take you places, this may just be your ticket.

Top Cities for Digital Workers

Here are the other top cities for digital talent, according to the BCG's global survey.

  • London - BCG's survey ranked London #1 among the best cities to work in. Its status as a global financial centre and as a major hub for business and culture has made it a top-of-mind location for immigrants. The city's tech landscape remains robust – attracting more tech investment than Berlin, Paris and Stockholm combined in 2020, despite the height of the pandemic. Its mayor, Sadiq Khan, calls London "the global tech capital of Europe."
  • Amsterdam - Amsterdam is renowned for good work-life balance, with employers open to flexible work hours, including the option of a four-day workweek. While learning Dutch is recommended, English is a primary business language, making it easy for the 180 nationalities who have settled there to get around in the city. Amsterdam also boasts of Europe's fastest broadband speeds and a solid digital infrastructure, making it a key tech hub for life sciences & health, fintech, enterprise software and travel/tourism industries.
  • Berlin - According to the study Allianz Real Estate's Cities That Work, Berlin is the highest-ranked German city, rated above Munich and Frankfurt. With its deep history and rich, open culture, Berlin is highly attractive and accessible to international workers. It also has a booming tech sector – according to the Wired UK, the city attracted USD 2.4 billion of tech investment in 2020 alone.
  • Tokyo - Tokyo rose four notches higher since 2018, in line with the trend of Asia-Pacific countries becoming more popular for overseas work locations. For anyone interested in working here, you're in luck. Tokyo-based think tanks found that Japan needs about four times more foreign workers to achieve its economic growth targets. In terms of tech, Tokyo has famously been home to numerous high-tech ventures, including the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based services, and cybersecurity sectors.
  • Dubai - Last year, expat community InterNations rated Dubai as the third-best city for expats to work and live in. They found the local people friendly towards foreign residents, even if you don't speak the local language. It is home to the Dubai Internet City free zone, which is a knowledge economy ecosystem that aims to support the development of the ICT companies in the UAE.
  • New York - New York dropped six spots lower from 2018 because, at the time of this survey, it was still struggling with the impact of COVID-19, making it seem less hospitable than other cities. Regardless, the InterNations survey found that expats living in NYC are happy with their job and career prospects here. The city's tech sector thrived throughout 2020 and 2021, with 62% of NYC tech executives planning to hire talent in 2022. Cybersecurity, AI, and cloud expertise are the top tech hiring areas in the city.
  • Sydney - Expats ranked Sydney fourth in the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2021. Most respondents say they're happy with local leisure options, the local climate, the quality of medical care and the urban environment. Australia's tech sector rose during the pandemic, thanks to more businesses going online and low borrowing costs. In August 2021, tech firms including Google, Atlassian and Afterpay formed the Tech Council of Australia to help transform the country into one of the region's leading tech hubs.
  • Abu Dhabi - The second UAE emirate in this list, Abu Dhabi rose nine places from its 2018 rankings. The pandemic impacted the UAE less severely than other countries, making it more appealing to workers who are willing to work abroad. There was increased optimism in the tech sector despite the pandemic, with more start-ups coming to base themselves in Abu Dhabi due to funding availability from its technology hub, Hub71.
  • Barcelona - Barcelona is a major business hub, thanks to its location as a bustling port city. Expats are drawn to its mild weather, vibrant culture and rich history, which make it an exciting place to live. It ranks fifth in the most attractive cities for digital experts, according to the Government of Catalonia website. The Catalonia region is Southern Europe's leading startup hub, with 1,500 startups in various tech sectors including cloud computing, big data, IoT and AI.

Check out our Career Resources page to learn more about tech jobs and how to pursue a career in digital work. It also offers expert insights and advice that could help you on your career journey. Get access to JobStreet wherever you are with its app available on Google Play and the App Store.

Job & salary trends

Browse top search terms

Did you know many candidates preparing a resume also research their industry by exploring top search terms?
Did you find this helpful?

Subscribe to Career Advice

Get expert career advice delivered to your inbox.
You can cancel emails at any time. By clicking ‘subscribe’ you agree to Jobstreet’s Privacy Statement.