The upcoming year looks set to be an exciting year for the Philippines. With the economy expected to remain strong and projected to grow at 6.1% this year, and employment rates hitting an all-time high of 95.46%, employees and employers alike can look forward to new opportunities for growth and career advancement. However, while opportunities are abundant for those ranging from fresh graduates to seasoned employees, it is still important to stay relevant in an ever-changing landscape, both in terms of professional skills and knowledge of the relevant industries. Here, you can find some insight and advice about the sectors to look out for in Philippines for 2020, and the skills you need to stay ahead of the curve.

Business Services

Over the last 12 months, there has been a 10% increase in the number jobs posted in the business services sector. These include Technology, Sales, Marketing, Finance and Procurement. With more and more businesses looking to get in sync with the digital age, skills such as Digital Marketing and Business Partnering are becoming increasingly sought after. Furthermore, as businesses in the Philippines continue to look outward, candidates who can speak multiple languages, particularly mandarin, might be looked at more favourably in time to come. This ability in particular may open you up to future leadership roles that are in high demand in this sector, such as Regional Sales Manager.

Other posts to look out for in this sector include Software Engineering, Digital Marketing Management, Finance Business Partner and Account Management. Even if you are already working in this industry, do not be afraid to switch to other jobs with similar functions, as the current trend shows that there has been an average salary increase of at least 25% for those who do.

For employers in this sector, it would be good to note that while salary is important, professionals tend to give greater importance to overall packages. These include perks like health insurance, vehicle allowance and bonuses.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Retail

One of the major reasons for the Philippines’ positive economic outlook is its Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Retail industries. This sector accounts for 23% of the entire services industry and is seen as one of the major drivers of growth for the Philippines. This trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon as more companies are either entering the market, diversifying or growing their businesses globally.

Similar to the Business Service sector, the expansion and modernisation of these businesses means a greater demand for talent with digital and business partnering skills. One aspect that is being increasingly sought after is that of data analysis. The ability to spot trends and patterns through layers of data is now an invaluable skill that may give you an edge over other candidates. In addition, the global expansion of many FMCG companies from the Philippines means that candidates with overseas experience are also highly valued, with roles such as Country Head currently in demand.

For those looking to enter the industry, it would be good to note that the top functions are currently Marketing, Sales, Digital and Human Resources. Specific roles that are being looked out for are Head of Marketing, Human Resource Business Partner, Head of Country Sales and Director of Digital Transformation. Many of these roles are mid- to senior-level hires and they are mainly expected to boost digital agendas in e-commerce.

Industrial and Manufacturing

Currently, manufacturing in the Philippines takes up a majority of the country’s industrial sector and contributes nearly 25% of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This sector boasts higher employment, output and income compared to other sectors in the Philippines. With the government aiming to further invest and upgrade this sector, there are plenty of opportunities in the near future.

As with the aforementioned industries, the industrial and manufacturing sector too is looking to expand regionally, and hence, there is a rapidly growing demand for professionals who can speak multiple languages (particularly mandarin), and locals with prior experience working in the Asia Pacific region. However, potential employees should take note that this growing demand also means that professionals from provincial cities will be expected to relocate.

Roles that are in high demand at the moment include Procurement Director, Reliability Engineer, Plant Manager, Operations Manager, and Human Resource Manager.

Employers should note that there is high competition for talent in this industry, and top professionals tend to look for around a 10-15% salary increment. The option of working from home is also highly valued amongst employees and allowing for flexibility would be seen as a plus by prospective employees.

Technology and Telecommunications

The past few years have seen a rapid growth and maturity of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry in the Philippines. In fact, a majority of statistics point to the fact that Technology and Telecommunications is still a growing sector in the country. With the number of start-ups in the Philippines also on the rise, there is no reason for anyone to look past this sector as a source of great opportunity and good prospects. Furthermore, the recent introduction of a third telecommunications provider is expected to bring more Filipinos working overseas to come searching for careers closer to home.

As technology becomes more prevalent in the Philippines, the need to hire graduates with a good education pedigree has also risen. Fresh graduates would do well to keep an eye out for opportunities in this sector. Roles such as Software Engineers and Managers, Developers, Project Managers and Human Resource professionals are currently in great demand. While being tech-savvy is important, candidates with experience in Sales, Finance and Marketing are also being sought after greatly. Skills that are looked out for most in this sector are People Management, Business Partnering and Digital Marketing and Analysis.

As more start-ups enter the market, it is bound to get more competitive, and so professionals who are aware of their worth can afford to be more selective about where they choose to work. Something that employers would do well to keep in mind. Employees in this sector generally tend to expect a 25-40% salary increase for switching to different jobs with similar functions.

Summary

Philippines looks set for a bright 2020 and employers and employees alike can look forward to a host of opportunities in these sectors:

  • Business Services
  • FMCG and Retail
  • Industry and Manufacturing
  • Technology and Telecommunications