2020 was a year of turmoil, and created seismic shifts to the labour market. As we enter 2021, new jobs are on the horizon, and with it, the hope towards recovery and growth. Analysing the jobs that experienced the fastest growth in the region in 2020, LinkedIn's latest report, Jobs on the Rise in Southeast Asia dives into emerging trends, jobs and top skills in the region.
In this piece, we take a quick peek into how COVID-19 impacted the economy and job market across Southeast Asia, and what lies ahead for the region. While in its previous editions the report looked at changes in the jobs landscape over the past 5 years, this year’s report takes a 1 year view. This special report compares the roles experiencing the highest growth between April and October 2020 against the same period in the year before, to isolate the changes in the jobs landscape that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.
Read on to learn more about emerging job trends in Southeast Asia!
Consumers in Southeast Asia have gone increasingly digital
The first trend in the report is the exponential growth of digital. “COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of digital platforms in the region. In fact, 1 in 3 of digital service consumers in Southeast Asia were new to the service. And more importantly, 94% of these new digital users are likely to stick with the service moving forward. As a result, we expect that the demand for workers with tech skills will remain, from specialised engineers, to cyber security talent and data analysts.
The rapid adoption of technology has allowed companies to collect large amounts of data, and with it, the potential to unlock new solutions and products, leading to the demand in roles pertaining to processing, analysing and storing data. At the same time the scale of digitisation has also brought along the need for privacy and digital security and with it the rise of roles like cybersecurity specialists.
With the scale of digital adoption, this shift will not only alter the way work is currently done, but will also shape the jobs of the future and create demand for new digital skills.
A rise in demand for digital marketers and content creators
An interesting trend brought out in the report was that of the rise of digital marketers and content creators. This includes a growth in demand for digital marketers — professionals who seek to engage consumers effectively online, and digital content creators — those who are able to produce entertaining content across a range of channels.
On LinkedIn’s own platform, there was a 48% increase in companies posting on the platform in June 2020, compared to a year earlier.
“In 2020, the ability for organisations and brands to find new ways to communicate with customers using online media became even more important, as many faced significant disruption to their usual in-person engagement. We saw social media and digital marketing capabilities evolve and expand. Now that organisations have experienced the potential of social media, this trend is likely to continue in future.”
With evolving social media and digital marketing capabilities, brands have an opportunity to strike stronger personal relationships with a larger target audience. How they tap into this and build meaningful connections will shape their growth trajectory.
The year of ecommerce
While online travel and transport services suffered in 2020, segments such as e-commerce, online media and food delivery services experienced a significant boost. A survey by Google found that the adoption of online shopping accelerated during 2020, with the sector growing 63% to be worth US$62 billion in 2020. “By 2025 it’s expected to be worth US$172 billion. This sector drives demand for professionals with a range of skills — including professionals who are adept at online marketing and search engine optimisation.”
An advantage for the emerging markets and job seekers alike is that the roles created by this boom do not require traditional educational degrees, or advanced technological skills. In fact, the report stated that the rise of e-commerce, for example, is fueling more demand in logistics for warehouse skilled talent, which may be filled by professionals of varying skills and experience.
With the boost in e-commerce, some of the most sought-after jobs include business development and sales, customer service and supply chain.
Agility in upskilling and enhancing capabilities in these fields will be key to thriving in the uncertainties that lie ahead.
Traditional roles have evolved, as a result of COVID-19
2020 witnessed the evolution of traditional roles into online roles, especially in sectors including but not limited to finance, education and HealthTech services. “This is unsurprising, as 70% of Southeast Asia is now online. Those in these sectors, and beyond, need to have mastered the basics of technology, from communication tools, to social media platforms and basic office software. With these skills, workers will find that more opportunities will open up for them,” said LinkedIn.
Highlighting the many changes across the finance and insurance industry accelerated by COVID-19, the report shed light on the shift away from in-person cash transactions to digital payments that can be performed regardless of location or proximity.
Another sector experiencing this shift was the education sector.
“As many countries around Southeast Asia went into lockdown, many educational institutions had to shift the curriculum online. It’s likely that this will continue post COVID-19, and as such, educators with digital skills and presence will have an edge in the industry.”
While ongoing disruption and uncertainty are likely to continue in the new year, the report aims to showcase the budding opportunities for talent with a range of experience and skills. To access in-depth insights, top skills, and top geographies for the roles above, access the complete report here.