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How To Successfully Pull Off A Dramatic Career Switch In Singapore

Looking for a career switch in Singapore? Here's how you can charter a new career path for less than S$1,000.

Last year, Singapore recorded its sharpest fall in total employment in more than two decades. Luckily, things in 2021 are looking brighter, especially as job sectors like finance and healthcare are hiring new talent. If you're considering switching careers, keep reading to find out how to pivot into some of the most in-demand job sectors in Singapore.

Invest Today And Earn Financial Returns Later

Switching careers is easier said than done. However, it’s important to think long-term and view potential expenses (i.e. career coaches, workshops, and courses) as an investment in your future. In order to have a fighting chance at securing a job in a new field, you need to show that you have what it takes. Besides a financial commitment, you will also need to invest enough time to make it work. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most in-demand industries in Singapore.

Data Analysis

This industry has already gained traction since before the pandemic. As data is often considered the ‘new oil’, it’s no surprise that jobs related to data analysis, such as data scientists, are high in demand.

While it certainly helps to have a related degree, it’s not always necessary, as many other jobs and industries require a very similar skill set. In order to succeed in data analysis roles you will need the ability to gather large amounts of data, simplify complex matters and have a feel for the story that the data tells. This set of skills is also used in marketing roles as well journalistic jobs.

Yes, there surely is a lot more to it. However, it’s important to remember that you will also learn on the job. Nobody starts out knowing everything. The important part is showing that you have a keen interest in the field and that you have taken some first steps towards acquiring the knowledge. One way of doing that is by taking courses, such as Generally Assembly’s Data Science Bootcamp. Don’t shy away from the challenges – your effort will be rewarded.


Another industry that offers great long-term job prospects and is sought after by Singaporeans is the banking and finance industry. If you don’t have a finance degree or MBA, don’t lose hope just yet.

Do you have analytical and problem-solving skills? Are your interpersonal skills above average? If so, then you might have a future in the financial industry. After all, open and clear communication is one of the most important abilities in this field.

If you are looking to learn more, you can consider doing a MSc in Applied Finance (MAF) from the Singapore Management University (SMU). This course will equip you with the necessary skills as well as the practical experience to be successful in this space.


It’s perhaps a less obvious choice, but the healthcare industry is becoming increasingly popular among Singaporeans switching careers. There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you do need to have some training and that this industry might not be for the faint-hearted. The good news is that there are numerous courses and classes that help you to gain the necessary skills.

For example, both NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies and Nanyang Polytechnic offer classes, courses and even bachelor degrees in nursing and related specialities. If you are serious about this switch and have an eager mind that wants to learn, then a career switch to the healthcare sector might be for you.

Other Career Switch Tips

Regardless of what industry you plan on switching to, it’s crucial to identify the skills you will need to break into your new career as well as those skills that you already have.

If you don’t know where to start, consider speaking with a career coach, who will help you analyse your academic, professional, and technical skills. This can help you to identify gaps on your resume and plan the right steps to reach your goal. Be sure to give yourself enough lead time to go through the following steps:

1. Do your research: Before jumping head-first into a new role, make sure you do your due diligence and find out as much as you can about the job, including salary, job scope, future prospects, and more. Additionally, you'll want to factor in the costs needed to successfully transition into your new career path.

Cost Breakdown To Switch Careers In Singapore

Career coachA coach will help you identify your professional needs and goals. Some career coaches even offer a first complimentary 30-min session.S$100
Half-day courseIntroductory classes, such as at the General Assembly, start already at S$220 (Design your Data Bootcamp).Starting at S$220
2-4 day intensive courseIntensive courses are available for a variety of jobs and industry. They are usually split across several weekends and cost on average less than S$1,000.S$950
CV and portfolio designYou can get both copy and design help from freelancers to create a CV and portfolio that will stand out.Starting at S$100
Personal website (to showcase your work)A personal website isn’t always necessary, but it can give you an edge over the competition. Keep it simple and professional with an About, Portfolio and Contact page. Wordpress and other website providers make it easy enough to create your own page. Design support starts at around S$200.S$100 - S$300 (Hosting/Domain - S$100 / year and design - from S$200)
Interview coachingMost career coaches also specialise in job interview training. If you are nervous, it might be a good way to practice for your interview.Starting at S$150

2. Identify the skills needed for the job: Although it’s different from your current or old job, there might be a lot of transferable skills. Find out what areas you still need to skill up.

3. Take a class or course: Once you are sure about your choice, it’s time to get serious. A class or course that is closely-related to the job is the best way to get an authentic feeling for what the role will be like. The length of these courses ranges from half a day to several months – pick what works best for you.

4. Upgrade your skills: After your research and the course, you will have a very good idea of what you are good at and what you still need to master to get a job in your new chosen industry. Be it reading, self-learning, workshops or side-projects – there are different ways of acquiring these skills.

5. Market yourself: When you feel ready to challenge yourself with the job interview, you need to first renew your CV, update your job site profiles, create a portfolio (if possible) and perhaps even build your own professional website.

The Importance Of Additional Educational Qualifications

Don’t underestimate the advantage that a university degree or a specialised course of study can give you. Gaining a suitable qualification can open up new job opportunities and career prospects. If you need financial assistance to take the leap of faith and invest in your education, there are many low-cost borrowing options such as education loans and personal loans available in Singapore.

For more information about investing in your career, read these articles next:

Pooja Khandelwal

Pooja is a Content Marketing Lead at ValueChampion Singapore. She is responsible for planning and executing sponsored content projects and building relationships with media partners. In addition, she evaluates financial products for consumers based on quantitative and qualitative analysis. Pooja holds degrees in Economics and Psychology from Rutgers University. Her prior work experience includes founding and leading a content marketing consultancy and working at eCommerce, AI, and B2B SaaS startups in Singapore. Pooja has contributed insights to Tech in Asia, Yahoo!, and many other publications. Connect with her on LinkedIn to collaborate on content.