SINGAPORE - Banking is out, IT is in - at least for professionals looking for positions with faster-rising salaries.
In its 2016 Asia Pacific Salary Budget Planning Report, global advisory Willis Towers Watson revealed that salary increases in the banking industry are set to be well below those in the tech sector next year.
This is due to a shortage of tech talent in the financial sector, which is helping salary budgets for talent in digital roles hold steady amid broader weakness across other industries.
"The data, allied with what we're hearing on-the-ground, shows that as traditional banks move services online in the hope of staying competitive, they are competing for the same pool of skills as the traditional high-tech sector," said Mr Sambhav Rakyan, data services practice leader, Asia Pacific, at Willis Towers Watson.
The report is based on about 4,000 responses from a half-yearly survey compiled by Willis Towers Watson across 22 Asia Pacific markets, focusing on salary movement and review practices in a range of industry sectors and job grades.
According to the survey, wages in the high-tech sector in Singapore are expected to grow by 4 per cent in 2017, higher than the 3 per cent rise projected for the banking sector.
In fact, the findings show that banking jobs are set to experience the second slowest rate of salary growth among the 17 industries across Asia Pacific covered in the survey.
According to Mr Greg Kuczaj, Asia Pacific head of Willis Towers Watson's global financial services practice, the results show that banking is no longer the industry of choice among top-tier university graduates.
"There is continued attraction and retention pressure from non-financial services firms, such as those in high-tech or fintech, as the pay premium in financial services has decreased to where it is no longer a major attraction," he explained.
The report also noted that tech firms are increasingly attracting talent away from the financial services industry at mid- and senior-level positions, as the high-tech industry offers less regulation and scrutiny, innovative work environments and competitive rewards packages.
Mr Kuczaj recommended financial services firms to look beyond using pay to attract and retain talent. "Career opportunities, organisational reputation, security and leadership effectiveness are all critical drivers of attraction and retention," he added.