The Evolution of Cambodia’s Digital Jobs

Since we first began over 4 years ago, Geeks in Cambodia has seen the tech and digital scene in Cambodia develop rapidly. In 2012, the 16% Internet penetration and 5% social networking penetration was already considered a major leap forward from 2011, with a 548% growth in Internet users and 41% growth in Facebook users in just 6 months. Then, there were only 2,136, 625 internet users and 690,520 social media users.

Now, 5 years later, Cambodia is looking at a significant growth in these numbers, with over 200% increase in internet users. And indeed, after the fast paced digital wave hit Cambodia, the tech landscape has changed for various fields.

For FinTech, we went from relying heavily on cash payments to having alternative e-payment methods and gateways such as Smartluy and Wing Wallet. This then triggered a steady rise of interest in the e-commerce scene, and 2017 saw Cambodia having its first fully online commerce platform. Various other sectors such as tourism and education have also benefitted tremendously from the development of our Kingdom’s digital age, with online platforms providing digital solutions for travellers and students accelerating their learning with the use of IT.

And undoubtedly, as the Cambodian landscape shifts towards a more digital-oriented generation, the needs and requirements of the people within have also evolved, especially in the employment sector.

It was revealed in an Everjobs report that for the first quarter of 2017, the most searched for jobs were IT-related, which shows that there is a large interest in pursuing a career in this sector.

“What we have been able to observe is that both job seekers and companies grant a large interest to the digital scene,” shares Helene Banet, Marketing, Communications and PR manager from Everjobs.

“Companies as well are slowly turning toward the digital era by digitalizing their businesses. Traditional industries, like banks and MFI’s, are turning more and more digital every day by developing online banking services and mobile banking apps, which obviously needs the right teams to support those services. [For] new entrants, for instance, the banking industry, [they should] start directly with hiring a local IT team, in addition to the traditional credit officers, tellers, salespersons and marketing team.”

And indeed, this digitalization would call for new skills from its employees, as well as lead to the creation of jobs with new scopes that would not have been relevant or even thought of in the past.

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, shares this sentiment, and expresses that: “Jobs in the digital economy that exist now did not exist 5 years ago. Likewise, the jobs that will exist 5-10 years in the future cannot even be dreamed of now. A simple example is the growth of Facebook as a communications and marketing tool in Cambodia in the last 5 years. If you had told Chief Marketing Officers few years ago that it would be a full-time job to create, post and manage content on a company’s own Facebook page, they probably would have thought you were a bit crazy. But now, if you’re not using Facebook or other social media tools to spread your message, you are not in the game. It will probably be the same with something like the Internet of Things in a few years’ time. Right now many of us are aware of this concept – of connectivity between machines – but we are only now beginning to see real world applications for this in our daily lives. That is bound to accelerate in the near future so jobs related to the Internet of Things, jobs that have not even been thought of yet, will be commonplace in future.”

Chantra Be, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at EmeraldHUB, agrees that there has certainly been an evolution in the requirements of digital jobs, zooming into the field of website development.

“In the past, [there was only the] job title [of] web-editors or webmasters [which were given to those who work on] website content updates with web programming knowledge… Now, [there are] digital communication specialist who write online content or blog without programming knowledge, Digital Storyteller or Chief Digital Officer (CMO), Head of Digital Marketing, Social Media Manager…”

Indeed, there have been more digital jobs popping up in the employment sector in Cambodia, and the numbers will only increase from here. This is because as more companies start to engage in the digitisation of their services, shaping the evolution of the digital jobs in our Kingdom, traditional companies would follow suit to keep up with the advancement.

Chantra explains that this is especially so for agencies, where new digital services offered by agencies have sparked older agencies to establish a digital department to provide similar services.

Helene has a similar opinion and notes that “traditional recruitment agencies are also rapidly increasing their online presence”.

Helene also goes on to share with us more insights on skills that are sought for by employers per job: “It appears that employers request very specific skills from IT employees. Among others, [they include] web development, programming/application development, database administration. We also advise every candidate to have a good level of English, which is essential.”

To help job seekers or simply those interested in the digital landscape, Geeks in Cambodia has compiled an infographic to help you glean a better understanding of the landscape of digital jobs, along with some advice by tech players of this scene. Check it out below!