The six hottest programming languages in Singapore banking technology

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Banks continue to hire for IT jobs in Singapore – Citi, J.P. Morgan and Standard Chartered are among the global firms building out their technology hubs in the city state.

But Singapore technology roles aren’t as secure as they once were as banks also offshore some roles to lower-costs markets like India. So if you’re perusing an IT banking career in Singapore, you need to know which skills are still likely to land you a job.

We’ve compared the amount of Singapore-based vacancies to the number of local IT candidates on our database across six key programming languages to produce the chart below.

If you know the languages towards the left of the chart your job search could be fairly straight forward as you will face the least competition from other tech candidates. For every job requiring C#, for example, there are a mere 4 CVs on our database which have C# skills.

HTML5: 1 candidate for every available job

As financial institutions in Singapore, in particular private banks, invest more in mobile apps and other online customer platforms, HTML5 is the top-ranked language in our chart. While Western markets have a plentiful supply of HTML5 candidates, in Asia demand has only spiked over the past 12 months and talent is suddenly thin on the ground, says Vince Natteri, director of search firm Pinpoint Asia.

C#: 4 candidates for every available job

Banks in Singapore use C# on a large number of projects, in particular data simulations and modelling, but finding people who know the language and have finance-sector experience can still be challenging. “There’s now a rising demand for candidates who are skilful in C#, especially in investment banking, to fulfil an ever increasing need for analytics,” says IT recruiter Richard Liu.

C++: 6 candidates for every available job

If you’re skilled in C++, the go-to language for high volume/high frequency trading, you still enjoy a large number of job openings and a moderate amount of competition from other candidates in Singapore. “We’re seeing a lot of requirements for low-latency developers and since the best-written C++ program is still faster than the best-written Java program, C++ is more in demand,” says Natteri. “There’s a particular shortage of C++ developers with knowledge of semaphores.”

Python: 29 candidates for every available job

Recruiters say previous skill shortages in Singapore have eased up over the past year as overseas candidates who know this language have entered the market. But the amount jobs requiring Python is still on the rise. “It’s an open-source language, which makes it easy to edit and localise code and programs that are shared globally,” says Lynne Roeder, managing director of recruiters Hays in Singapore. “There’s increased demand for Python in the banking sector in Asia since firms want to share and edit applications with their offices around the world.”

Java: 43 candidates for every available job

Java has long been a dominant language in investment banking, but that also means there are plenty of skilled Java people in Singapore. Java also boasts a high candidate-to-vacancy ratio because some jobs have recently been offshored away from Singapore, leaving a glut of candidates on the market. “There are still lots of candidates with Java for historical reasons as there used to be more of a need for it. It’s very versatile but not as efficient as C++ or other object-oriented programming languages. Banks with legacy systems still need Java candidates in high volumes,” says Roeder.

SQL: 51 candidates for every available job

The number of jobs in Singapore requesting the database language SQL is high, but the problem for candidates is that so many of their competitors also possess the skill. Moreover, it’s frequently required as an add-on to other programming languages. Front-office development jobs often demand SQL alongside Java as part of a broad programming skill-set, for example. “Most applications need a database for storage so it’s quite natural to see lots of candidates with SQL skills,” says Natteri from Pinpoint Asia.

Image credit: Medioimages, Photodisc, Thinkstock

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