Feeling gloomy? Asia has space for a few more IT managers

News this week from two separate recruiters gave a cautiously optimistic outlook for ex-pat IT pros looking for career development in Asia.

If you read my piece last week, you’ll know I’m a big fan of IT professionals having a well-rounded global view of the tech market if they’re going to do their job properly. To that end, the ultimate would of course be to move to Asia – or somewhere else far afield – to fully immerse into the different working environment and  a completely alien marketplace.

First, a dose of reality from some of my conversations with said recruiters recently.

It’s definitely not easy over here. The days of the glorious ex-pat package are definitely numbered and competition for the best jobs is fierce.

Secondly, the banking sector is not doing brilliantly. It’s not tanking to the extent we’ve seen in Europe but all risk is connected globally and in general the sector is not on a hiring spree, which means lots of candidates trying to jump ship to the commercial sector, according to Michael Page’s Hong Kong boss, Chris Aukland.

His firm’s latest Employee Intentions Report found IT pros in the SAR are less optimistic than any other professionals about their job prospects.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.

Hudsons released its Q3 predictions and found that around half of HK employers were looking to hire in tech, better than Singapore’s 35 per cent but not as optimistic as mainland China where over 56 per cent want new recruits.

Good communications skills are vital and specialist tech skills such as C#, .NET and Java are still in high demand, said Aukland.

For the ex-pat IT pro there are a few things to remember:

Be flexible; show yourself to be adaptable to new ways of working; prove yourself to be a good teacher of staff; and most importantly, be here, if you get that interview.

Failing that, an internal move is the best way to get over here, so start manoeuvring if you want to make it a reality. It won’t be easy but the experience will go far beyond anything you can articulate on a CV.


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