【115 years of Hong Kong Recruitment Market】— Eight Fastest-Growing Jobs Benefitting from Government Policy and Technology
New technologies create new jobs, but government policy and the social environment also play a part in shaping trends in the job market. While it’s never easy to predict the most popular jobs for the upcoming year, some jobs do look to have rosier prospects than others.
1. Data Analyst
Big data is now used in almost every profession and industry, including finance, retail and healthcare. Data analysts, equipped with analytical minds and a set of advanced tools, sort, repackage and interpret extremely large data sets to reveal trends and patterns in user behaviour. It’s reported that revenue for data analysis in the Asia-Pacific Region will grow from US$3.8 billion to 2015 to US$7 billion in 2019. There is a dearth of professional data analysts in Hong Kong. Enter ‘Data Analyst’ on any job website and you will find a slew of related openings, some of which don’t even require any prior work experience from applicants.
As well as interpreting data, analysts design and write programmes for data processing. A capacity to play close attention to detail is essential. Since the duties involve plenty of interaction with humans as well as numbers, data analysts are required to have strong communication skills, too. College graduates are mostly hired as programmers or business intelligence (BI) analysts with a starting salary of HK$16,000 to HK$20,000, and progress to become data analysts or data scientists after acquiring experience in the field.
2. Fintech Professional
Derived from the words ‘financial’ and ‘technology’, Fintech is a fast-growing industry which covers many areas, including payment systems, big data analytics, apps, platforms, and cybersecurity. In Hong Kong, both start-ups and traditional financial institutions use Fintech products.
Recent years have seen substantial growth in Fintech that has been made possible by government policies like the Fintech Facilitation Office and the HK$2 billion Innovation and Technology Venture Fund. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Insurance Authority (IA), also have their own dedicated FinTech platforms to strengthen communication between regulators and the Fintech community.
3. Cybersecurity Expert
According to the “Hong Kong Security Watch Report” released by the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre (HKCERT), there were over 7,800 security events in the first quarter of 2018. Cyberattacks come in a wide variety of forms, including web defacement, phishing, malware hosting, botnet command and control centres (C&C), and bots. Not so long ago, a local airline announced that personal information of 9.4 million customers had been leaked in a data breach. The data scandal came as a great shock to the market, and the airline’s shares sank. In a similar vein, the WannaCry ransomware attack has claimed a lot of victims, be it companies or individuals.
Cybersecurity also relates to smartphone usage. The devices are used to do so much business it’s important they are securely protected from unauthorized access. Cybersecurity is a top priority for the government and many large businesses, so professionals in this field are in great demand.
4. IT Systems Specialist
Information technology is part of almost every aspect of our life. For instance, many international banks have started to apply robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to their customer inquiry systems. This is down to the innovative work by data analysts, software developers, and AI engineers, who all fall in the category of IT specialist.
In the home, robots with AI capabilities may take over jobs like plumbing, piping, wiring, and repairing cars in the future.
5. Content Provider
Mobile devices (mobile phones, mobile watches, smart glasses, etcetera) make sharing information faster, more convenient and more personal. In the age of information, even the most exciting news needs to travel fast to make it into the day’s headlines. To stay ahead of the game, a content provider, as well as being a good writer, must know how online marketing works, and how to make good use of multimedia authoring tools. The provider can have several income streams, including advertisements, downloads, and subscriptions.
6. Environmental Consultant
According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong’s environmental industry provided 0.3 per cent of the city’s GDP, employing over 44,000 people in 2016. The six major business areas of the industry are (1) water conservation and pollution control, (2) air and odour pollution control, (3) energy conservation, (4) waste treatment, disposal and recycling, (5) noise control and mitigation, and (6) environmental consulting services.
The growing level of environmental awareness in the city is reflected in the government’s Green Bond Grant Scheme (GBGS), and Hong Kong Stock Exchange requirements that listed companies must publish their environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports annually, so their performance can be assessed. To ensure full compliance with environmental laws and regulations, businesses have started to hire environmental consultants, and this is driving the demand for this group of specialists. The competition for environmental expertise is fierce, as experts in the field are in short supply. The average starting salary for an assistant consultant is HK$15,000. A consultant can earn HK$20,000 to HK$25,000 a month, with a senior consultant taking home HK$40,000 to HK$50,000 a month.
7. Logistics Staff
The trading and logistics industry, one of the four pillars of Hong Kong’s economy, accounts for over 20 per cent of GDP, and employs about 750,000 people. In 2017, the total cargo and airmail throughput of Hong Kong International Airport exceeded five million tonnes. Hong Kong’s port was ranked the fifth busiest container port in the world in the same year. In the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2016, Hong Kong ranked ninth out of 160 regions worldwide, and second in Asia.
Although e-commerce is phasing out physical stores, it is also creating growth opportunities for the air cargo industry, as the online shopping boom has resulted in more goods that need transporting. According to Airports Council International, the 8 per cent expansion in total cargo handled at all airports worldwide, and the 10 per cent growth in international freight in 2017, were mainly driven by e-commerce. Online retail accounts for less than 10 per cent of total retail sales worldwide, indicating that there is still huge potential for e-commerce as a future growth driver for the air cargo industry.
8. Practitioner in Healthcare and the ’Silver Hair” Industry
Our aging population, and its rising life expectancy, have put pressure on the healthcare system. But the market for providing essential services and products for the aging population is growing, and that will increase the demand for healthcare practitioners. Before making the most of this golden opportunity, the shortage of frontline healthcare staff must be dealt with, and quickly. We need more registered nurses and physiotherapists, who are crucial to geriatric care. We also badly need more health service managers in hospitals and healthcare institutions. Their knowledge of healthcare rules, regulations, and laws, and their ideas about how senior healthcare management can be improved, are essential.