In today’s ever-changing job landscape, the concept of job security has taken on a new meaning. With the rapid advancements in technology and automation, employees are finding themselves at the crossroads of adaptability and uncertainty.  Particularly in Singapore, the surge of tech, like AI and robotics, is reshaping roles, intensifying the need for upskilling.

Analysing 433 occupations across six ASEAN countries, Oxford Economics found that nearly 21% of Singapore’s full-time workers could face job displacement within the next decade due to increased technology adoption, including AI and robotics. This figure is higher than in other Southeast Asian nations and underlines the pressing need for individuals to adapt their skills to the evolving job landscape.

Recent statistics show that 2 in 5 employees (41%) are afraid of losing their jobs and are considering changing their employment in the first half of 2023. This represents a 5% increase from the statistics recorded in 2021. The fear of job loss, coupled with the desire for better career prospects, has given rise to a growing trend—the pursuit of upskilling.

What is Upskilling? What Does it Mean by Upskilling?

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Upskilling refers to the process of learning new skills or enhancing existing ones to improve one’s competence, employability, and career prospects. In today’s rapidly evolving job market, upskilling has become increasingly important for professionals across various industries. It enables individuals to stay relevant, adaptable, and competitive in the face of technological advancements, changing job requirements, and industry disruptions.

Upskilling can take many forms, such as taking courses, attending workshops or training programs, obtaining certifications, pursuing higher education, or engaging in self-study and online learning platforms. The skills acquired through upskilling can be technical, such as coding, data analysis, or digital marketing, or they can be soft skills like communication, leadership, or problem-solving.

In a rapidly changing job landscape, upskilling is not just a luxury but a necessity. By continuously investing in their professional development and acquiring new skills, individuals can future-proof their careers, remain competitive, and position themselves for success in an ever-evolving job market.

What is The Difference Between Upskilling and Reskilling?

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While upskilling and reskilling are related concepts, they differ in their scope and goals. Understanding the distinction between the two is crucial for individuals and organizations seeking to enhance their workforce’s capabilities.

Upskilling refers to the process of acquiring additional skills or knowledge within one’s current role or industry. It involves enhancing existing competencies or learning complementary skills to perform better in the present job or prepare for future advancements within the same field. Upskilling enables individuals to stay relevant, efficient, and competitive in their current roles by adapting to new technologies, processes, or industry trends.

On the other hand, reskilling involves learning entirely new skills to transition into a different role, job function, or industry. It is a more significant shift that involves acquiring a completely new set of competencies, often due to changes in the job market, technological disruptions, or personal career aspirations. Reskilling equips individuals with the necessary skills to pursue new career paths or adapt to evolving job requirements that may render their current skillset obsolete.

The Upskilling Imperative

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In a bid to stay relevant and equipped with the skills demanded by the job market, employees are increasingly recognising the need for continuous learning and development. A staggering 91% of new recruits in Singapore now prioritise upskilling opportunities when considering job offers.

This shifting mindset underscores the importance of upskilling as a means to enhance employee productivity and security in an ever-evolving professional landscape.

The Singaporean government’s SkillsFuture program, fueled by grants and subsidies, is propelling lifelong learning for employers and employees alike. With over 660,000 participants last year, this initiative cultivates crucial skills such as digital expertise, data analytics, AI, and automation, fostering adaptability in an ever-changing job landscape.

By creating a collaborative environment, Singapore positions itself as a global hub for skilled talent, ensuring both individual growth and economic advancement in the face of rapid technological evolution.

1. Empowering Mid-Level Executives

The Future of Jobs Report anticipates 75 million job displacements and 133 million new roles globally by 2022, highlighting a rapid shift in the employment landscape. For mid-level executives in Singapore, these statistics hold immense relevance.

With local employers seeking talents equipped with skills for emerging roles, failure to bridge the skills gap can jeopardize career prospects. Thus, the imperative for continuous upskilling and reskilling has become crucial to maintaining economic relevance and job viability, whether currently employed or seeking new opportunities.

2. Fortifying Job Security Through Upskilling

Upskilling serves as a powerful strategy for fortifying job security through various avenues. According to the World Economic Forum, it significantly enhances employability by equipping individuals with adaptable skills that align with evolving industry dynamics, consequently rendering them valuable assets to employers and diminishing the risk of job displacement.

Moreover, upskilling acts as a shield against the looming threat of automation, as evidenced by a McKinsey & Company study. This study highlights that individuals armed with advanced digital skills and the capacity to collaborate with machines are notably less susceptible to the impact of automation on their careers.

The widening of an individual’s skill set is yet another aspect that contributes to job security. By expanding their repertoire, upskilled individuals become versatile and capable of fulfilling diverse responsibilities, reducing dependence on a singular job role and enhancing resilience in the face of ever-changing job demands.

3. Paving the Path to Better Career Prospects

In a competitive job market, possessing the latest skills and knowledge can be a game-changer. Upskilling allows mid-level executives to position themselves as valuable assets to their current and potential employers.

In the dynamic landscape of business, where innovation is paramount, companies seek individuals who can readily adapt to new challenges and contribute fresh perspectives. Thus, promising career prospects and robust salaries await individuals in emerging roles.

Some up-and-coming jobs include:

  • Data scientists, with an average annual salary of S$96,000, are sought after for their expertise in data analysis.
  • Cybersecurity engineers, earning around S$102,000 per year, play a pivotal role in protecting digital systems.
  • Blockchain engineers, with an average salary of S$126,000 annually, are in demand for their proficiency in secure transaction technology.
  • UX/UI designers, commanding about S$75,000 annually, shape engaging digital experiences.
  • Digital marketers, earning around S$60,000 per year, steer online campaigns in an evolving digital market.

These roles not only promise growth but also showcase Singapore’s commitment to technology-driven fields.

Evidence in Numbers

Concrete statistics support the benefits of upskilling. According to a study conducted by the World Economic Forum, upskilling initiatives can lead to an impressive boost in productivity, with potential gains of up to 20%.

Moreover, research indicates that employees who actively engage in upskilling are more likely to remain with their current employers, fostering loyalty and stability within organisations.

Here are the benefits of upskilling or employee training:

  1. Enhanced employability: Acquiring new skills makes people more appealing to employers, reducing the risk of job loss.
  2. Future-proofed careers: Continuous learning keeps employees adaptable to industry changes and emerging technologies.
  3. Increased job security: Versatility in skills makes employees indispensable to organisations, boosting job security.
  4. Higher earning potential: Specialised skills can lead to roles with better pay.
  5. Alignment with national initiatives: Participation in training programs aligns with ongoing learning priorities.
  6. Access to emerging industries: Learning new skills opens doors to growing sectors.
  7. Strengthened industry relevance: Regular training keeps employees updated and credible in their fields.
  8. Boosted employee morale: Training shows investment in growth, improving job satisfaction.
  9. Increased innovation: Learning fosters creative thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  10. Support for lifelong learning: Continuous education aligns with personal growth and development.

Compelling data underscore evidence of upskilling’s success in Singapore. Randstad’s 2022 Workmonitor report revealed a clear desire for professional growth, with 91% of workers surveyed expressing interest in development opportunities. However, only 22% reported receiving training from their employers in the past year.

This focus on upskilling aligns with the Labour Market Report Q4 2022, which noted an “unprecedented” 227,800 increase in overall employment during the year, rising by 2.9%. Furthermore, Q4 2022 alone witnessed a rise of 43,500 jobs, reflecting a five-quarter consecutive growth trend in employment.

These statistics collectively underscore the positive impact of upskilling initiatives in fostering career growth and stability in Singapore’s evolving job landscape.


As the professional landscape continues to evolve, upskilling has emerged as a potent strategy for employee productivity and security. For mid-level executives navigating the uncertainties of the job market, embracing continuous learning not only enhances their skills but also reinforces their job security.

The commitment to upskilling not only empowers individuals but also strengthens organisations, fostering a culture of innovation, adaptability, and growth. In this dynamic era, the pursuit of upskilling isn’t just an option—it’s an imperative for success.