So you want to be in tech… but which industry?

In an era of globalisation, the world is more interconnected than ever as technology advances at a mind-boggling rate. This means employment – and startup – opportunities can be found almost anywhere.

But that’s also the problem. With so much happening so fast, how do you know which trends to follow when picking a career? If you’re unsure of where you want to work, or what degree to study, simply follow the money – to the industries attracting the most investment in 2017, such as healthcare, consumer tech, and green energy. All that’s left is to figure out what industry suits your personality, because at the end of the day, it really does pay to do what you love.

For the altruistic:
Elderly Care

Given Asia’s ageing population – not just in Singapore, but also countries like Japan – the number of people involved in the elderly healthcare service will increase exponentially. From 2015-2017, Asia Pacific’s med-tech industry grew 10%, and biotech output accounted for 65% of overall growth in manufacturing in 2015. With Singapore as a gateway to Asia, it is an incubator where med-tech startups can grow and extend to the rest of the region. Even if you’re not into med, other related industries – from pharmaceutical to psychology and physiotherapy – will also certainly see growth.

Green Energy

In an age of climate change, green energy is definitely a growth industry. Despite the continued low prices for fossil fuels, renewable energy – especially solar – is seeing a growth in global capacity averaging 42% annually over the past 5 years. In 2016, Singapore announced more than $900 million of new public sector R&D funding for the next five years for Urban Solutions and Sustainability. Meanwhile in the US, jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business.

For the Visualiser:
Virtual Reality

Based on the industry’s current strength – thanks to the introduction of VR hardware like the Oculus Rift – the market is set to grow exponentially. Its global market size is $1.7 billion this year, and will shoot up to $24.5 billion by 2020, according to Statista. The industry’s revenue already shot up 50 times in value between 2014 and 2017. Riding the wave, Singapore itself launched $2.2 billion worth of ICT tenders in digital, data and web services, and IT infrastructure in 2015.

Video Games

Thanks to VR technology, the video game giants like Sony are already introducing VR compatibility with their new releases. Not only will this drive consumer sales, the ongoing technological innovations and new ideas are creating more opportunity for advertisers to make more money from video games through multiple revenue channels. Following suit, Singapore is also promoting a shift to a high-tech creative economy in sectors such as animation and game design.

For the High-flying Type:
FinTech

There are more options to pay than ever before. Companies that use online payment options like Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Alipay, or Paypal have a major edge over competitors. Singapore’s Monetary Authority has committed $225 million until 2020 to grow the FinTech industry, so it’s clear that opportunities in financial technology have the capacity to go global easily. However, with FinTech’s growth, there will be increased attacks against applications, digital wallets, and the like, so another growth industry that rides the wave in tandem with the development of FinTech would be cybersecurity.

Drone

With tens of thousands of new drones flying around airspaces worldwide – owned by everyone from hobbyists to mine-hunters to the military – drones are a huge growth market. The global market for drones is estimated to grow from $2 billion today, to $127 billion by 2020, according to a PWC study. Thanks to their wide range of applications, each industry has diverse needs that require different functions – ie. AI that can defeat human pilots in combat, or aerial 3D cameras that can assist in future Hollywood blockbusters, with business set to boom by over 6,000% in the next decade.

No matter which industry you’re in, the good news is there’s a drastic rise in non-technical entrepreneurs starting tech businesses, thanks to tools like Bubble and Zapier. As a result, business acumen, sales skills, and industry knowledge are becoming more important than pure coding ability.

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