Web Development and e-Commerce: Graduate Area of Work
The internet business sector – focused on developing products and services for online consumers – has grown in size and importance to the extent that most major organisations aren’t considered complete without an online presence. It is dominated primarily by two major players: financial services businesses and online retail stores.
For financial services businesses, the internet delivers a win-win situation that benefits both the banks and their clients. Users will be able to perform basic banking tasks (e.g. monetary transfers, bill payments, etc.) round the clock without being physically present at the bank, and banks are also able to save on certain operational costs, such as on marketing or processing fees.
Likewise, retail businesses also reap cost savings when they shift their operations online, enabling them to offer more competitive prices to consumers. Online systems also help retailers manage their supply chains more efficiently. Lazada, Rakuten and eBay are some examples of major online retailers in Singapore.
Given the high level of interest in e-commerce and the online marketplace here, there are plenty of recruitment opportunities in this sector. However, they are often not publicly advertised, especially for tech start-ups.
Most start-ups in the ecommerce industry tend to start out small, so they usually hire through word-of-mouth, recommendations, or internship conversions. In other words, it might be a good idea for you to start job searching during your time in university, taking up an internship and then converting your internship into a full-time position.
Web development opportunities are also often available in larger, more established organisations, although the recruitment process may be considerably more formal and structured. Rotations are the norm before you are assigned to a position that you’re most comfortable with, and it may take 3 to 12 months, depending on the arrangement of the company.
Recruiting requirements can vary – tech start-ups in e-commerce look out for candidates with strong academic backgrounds, equipped with technical skills such as programming, coding, business analysis, and quality assurance skills. A technical degree is not mandatory, but do take modules in coding or pick it up on the side to enhance your employability
As trends and technologies vacillate rapidly, employers will look out for qualities like enthusiasm and commercial awareness – vital prerequisites to break into the e-commerce/web development industry.
Do pay attention to new regulations and certifications introduced to the sector as well – the e-commerce industry is still relatively young in many Southeast Asian countries, and many governments are still testing out ways to regulate the industry.
Other sought-after qualities include being willing to learn, quick to adapt, having an eye for detail, and the ability to deal with ambiguity.
Pros and cons
If you thrive in a challenging and fast-paced environment, this industry is for you. You will be able to see almost immediate results, and many in this industry take pride in knowing they have transformed the way people trade and transact, besides the opportunity to work with cutting edge technology.
That said, dealing with the rapid changes in technology and business processes can be tiring after a while. Issues such as scammers, cyber security risks, and cybercrime are also constant threats that you will be expected to handle.