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Demand for high-tech jobs on the upswing

By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 05:03 AM February 04, 2019

Are you digital-savvy, but not so confident about your communication skills? Better work on that if you’re looking for a job, as employers are now looking to hire talent with “hybrid” skills, says a new report by social networking platform LinkedIn.

According to findings of the “2019 Emerging Jobs in the Philippines Report,” the country’s top five emerging jobs are all tech-related.

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LinkedIn analyzed millions of unique, user-input job titles based on common job roles and counted the frequencies of job titles that were held in 2013 and compared the results to job titles that were held in 2017. The emerging jobs are the top five job titles that saw the largest growth in frequency over the five-year period.

Data scientist tops the list, followed by application development analyst, back-end developer, full stack engineer and sales development representative.

Such jobs, however, require soft skills related to management and communication, “making them hybrids of new and traditional roles,” says Feon Ang, vice president of Talent and Learning Solutions for Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn.

The need for hybrid talent is driven mainly by the evolution of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

Citing World Bank data, the report states that 85 percent of the Philippines’ outsourcing IT revenue comes from routine tasks which are vulnerable to automation—which gives BPO companies the opportunity to upskill employees to improve their competitive advantage.

“There are certain things an automated bot will never be able to do. BPOs can let the bots manage the repetitive and FAQs, while their call centers can train their staff to handle human interaction, like retaining customers or upselling better services,” the report reads.

The industry is also hiring those with math and statistics skills in order to build its data analytics services, the report adds, which is in line with LinkedIn’s finding that data scientist is the top emerging job in the country.

Other industries—and organizations of all sizes, from large corporations to startup—are in need of tech talent as well, says the report, with digital transformation now all the buzz among businesses.

For those seeking employment under this category, one must brush up on these five skills: data analysis, Python, SQL, R programming and machine learning.

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For application development specialists, the most in-demand skills are SQL, HTML, JavaScript, Java and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

For back-end developers and full stack engineers, these are JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, CSS and jQuery.

Finally, for sales development representatives, these are the top skills they need to develop: customer service, sales, leadership, management and marketing.

The report notes, however, that while the demand for tech talent is fast growing here in the Philippines, supply is still relatively low. Again, upskilling of one’s employees is key for companies to stay competitive; at the same time, the report recommends that human resources and talent acquisition teams be more innovative in their hiring process by focusing on a candidate’s skills, not their title.

“Digital competence, as we now know, is composed of a blend of hard and soft skills. This competition for talent will only grow fiercer, so organizations need to build an adaptable workforce. Real-time understanding of the demand and supply of skills, talent pools and talent movement is the first step towards building talent intelligence at scale,” says Ang.

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