Starting a career in tech? Why you should join the banking industry


The latest turmoil in the tech industry has seen tech giants axing employees worldwide. Reasons for these layoffs include the current economic conditions, global events such as the war in Ukraine, and market turmoil.

Despite the global tech retrenchments, Singapore is seeing a digital shift and tech is becoming a bigger focus of both multinational and local companies. Companies remain eager to not only retain top tech talent, but continue hiring to build their tech teams to ramp up digital capabilities.

Singapore’s shift towards digitalisation also has the support of the government, with S$200 million to be set aside over the next few years to enhance schemes that build the digital capabilities in businesses and workers in Singapore, as announced during Budget 2022.

The rise of deep tech in Singapore

With the government’s support bolstering the tech landscape, deep tech such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, blockchain and biotech, has seen exponential growth in Singapore.

The integration of deep tech into different sectors has accelerated the adoption of Web3, augmented reality/virtual reality, and the metaverse – simplifying previously tedious processes such as money transfers, real estate transactions and logistics. 

For example, to simplify the distribution of government payouts and vouchers, the Singapore government is experimenting with the issuance of programmable money through blockchain tech.

The possibilities of tech are endless and it’s a good industry to enter, considering the vast potential it holds. The global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) market in Singapore was valued at US$41.76 billion in 2021, and it’s expected to grow to US$61.06 billion by 2026.

As more companies delve into the tech space, NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng said that “there is a lot of aggregate demand for tech talent”. Hence, if you’re looking for a new job or a career switch, the tech industry could be the perfect choice.

OCBC is looking to ramp up its digital capabilities with new tech hires

As tech skills are highly transferable across industries, the use of tech has been weaved into many roles and integrated into various other industries, such as the banking industry.

For banks such as OCBC, tech is nothing new – the bank has been embedding technology in banking since the advent of computers and the Internet, from OCBC’s mobile app to its internal chatbot ‘Buddy’.

To further ramp up its digital capabilities, OCBC announced earlier in March that it plans to hire 1,500 tech talent over the next three years. The bank is currently looking to hire more tech talents to fill roles in areas such as application development, cyber security, data science and AI.

Praveen Raina OCBC Bank group operations technology
Praveen Raina, head of group operations and technology at OCBC Bank / Image Credit: OCBC Bank

According to Praveen Raina, head of group operations and technology at OCBC Bank, the bank aims to continuously invest in digitalisation and create greater value for its customers. 

“To do this, it is vital to have the right workforce – not just in terms of size, but in quality as well,” he emphasised. 

In line with this, OCBC has rolled out various initiatives, which include partnering with tertiary institutions to identify talents earlier. 

An example of this is the OCBC IGNITE internship, a one-year customised tech internship programme co-designed with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, that started earlier in March this year. It offers polytechnic students the opportunity to gain practical work experience and will have its intake doubled for the second run in 2023. 

“The programme gives students ample time to deepen their understanding of the financial sector, develop industry-current tech skills, and amass real-world work experience early, all of which will prepare them for the workplace upon graduation,” said Praveen.  

Upskilling and addressing employee pain points are as important as attracting new talent

With the rapidly evolving tech landscape, OCBC understands that the mindsets and capabilities of its people need to go hand in hand with infrastructure upgrades – which is why the bank places importance on the upskilling and reskilling of its current employees. This ensures that no one gets left behind, given the speed at which technology is changing.

Hence, OCBC has instilled programmes over the years to ‘bring its people along’ its digital journey.

For example, close to 300 of its staff have completed the Data Certification Pathway, an in-depth training in data analytics to enhance their current roles or help them get redeployed to other roles. 

Its staff working in operations are also on the bank’s Career Conversion Programmes, with about 550 of them on track to be retrained and redeployed into new or enhanced roles by the end of 2022.

keith wong ocbc employees
Keith Wong (extreme right) with his teammates in a discussion / Image Credit: OCBC Bank

Besides upskilling their employees, Keith Wong, the head of group digital office and end user services at OCBC Bank said that the bank’s culture of mutual respect allows its employees hailing from different industries and backgrounds to flourish.

“Across the bank, we have a culture where our leaders encourage new ideas, reward continuous learning and most importantly, care for the well-being and growth of our staff.”

The open and collaborative culture in OCBC has empowered its staff to drive changes, including the birth of a ‘super app’ called HR-in-your-Pocket (HIP), which enhances the employee experience by bringing all work-related matters into a unified, easy-to-use platform.

“Companies or banks typically buy a product or a service that meet basic and general employee services needs. As such, it is often very challenging or expensive to customise or tailor the product to fit our process, let alone create a great employee experience,” said Keith.

Through HIP, OCBC can address specific employee pain points through conversations with its users, and design products to empower the employee. Some of the app’s most popular features include calendar-on-the-go, and hot desk booking.  

More than 13,000 of OCBC’s employees use the platform monthly, with an average employee satisfaction score of over 4.5 out of 5 in the last year.

In addition to this, the usage of HIP allows OCBC to digitalise its processes. 

“With HIP, over 200 service requests and processes across the OCBC Group have been digitised, automated, and streamlined to date,” said Praveen.

OCBC HIP eNamecard
OCBC’s eNamecard for employees / Image Credit: OCBC Bank

Aside from this, OCBC’s engagement with its employees ensures that the needs of its employees are met. For instance, the bank identified that 63 per cent of them found the experience of exchanging physical name cards to be cumbersome. 

Hence, the company implemented an eNamecard feature on the HIP app for its employees, enabling them to exchange their name cards digitally with clients and partners through their mobile phones.

With all of these initiatives in place, OCBC can be a great choice for tech talents. The bank’s initiatives can create an engaging experience for employees, as well as bolster employees with the latest tech trends.   

The people make the difference in an organisation

HIP team OCBC
Image Credit: OCBC Bank

OCBC is calling on tech talents hailing from diverse backgrounds as the tech landscape rapidly evolves.

The bank sees huge potential and business opportunities in harnessing new technologies such as Web 3.0, Big Data and AI to curate innovative and personalised solutions. With the help of talented tech personnel, OCBC can ramp up its tech offerings and stay ahead of its competitors as more banks leverage data and analytics.

OCBC believes that it is the people that make the difference to an organisation. That’s why it also focuses on upskilling its current employees to keep up with digitalisation, while attracting new talent.

Check out OCBC’s career page to apply for the bank’s available tech roles.

This article was written in collaboration with OCBC Bank.

Featured Image Credit: OCBC Bank





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