Advancements, and requirements, in digitalisation have been creating demand for new types of positions in information technology for over two decades. There is an abundance of options for tech talent to consider, such as at companies, start-ups or the freelance way.
But as the digital space continues to be saturated, especially when considering the recent layoffs at global tech giants, with likely more to come, other leading industries in Cyprus offer solid benefits for creating and supporting innovation locally, and for building long-term careers.
Software engineers, UX designers, DevOps, product owners and data specialists are among some of the most sought-after professionals these days, here in Cyprus and abroad, particularly as digital and data-driven solutions become the norm.
These tech experts have many options career-wise, able to find jobs across all major industries, in government, start-ups, and all sorts of contract-based work. This also generally means they tend to find new work easily and jump across industries.
Though changing jobs has been a trend over the last couple of decades and more, especially for Millennials and Generation Z in the tech space, a high turnaround may also be considered not so healthy for long-term career-building. Indeed, there are many strong arguments for developing a career path within one industry, or at least close enough to it. Eventually, in the latter part of one’s career, there are also likely fewer options.
Selecting the right industry for a long-term career in Cyprus
All industries offer their set of attractions and advantages for a career, while everyone has their own set of criteria. A safe place to start, usually, is by considering a number of key factors, such as: job stability, collaboration, work impact and prospects, as well as lifestyle.
One industry that is somewhat under the radar for so many is maritime and shipping. Those based in Limassol are familiar with it, sure, as it is well-established in local society. In other cities, however, and countries for that matter, it is greatly underrated, if not (wrongly) considered old school and ‘boring’. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The maritime and shipping industry covers each of these key factors well. Perhaps more importantly for those specialising in technology-related fields is that the industry is currently going through a major transformation in its operations at sea and ashore, making it an even more dynamic and interesting space to be involved with right now and over the next many decades.
Fast-moving changes and new possibilities across the digital landscape have led companies towards embarking on major transformations to re-design their software and tools for managing crew and ships. As such, one of the industry’s focusses over the last years has been on strengthening IT and Software Development teams to assist in evaluating the current setup and to roll out new innovative solutions.
Key factors when considering a career
Job Stability. We all need job stability, as this supports and sustains our livelihoods and future.
Maritime has a long and rich history, having been central to global trade for centuries; today, it is responsible for the carriage of around 90 per cent of world trade. In Cyprus, it is one of the most important sectors of the economy, with a globally-leading shipping cluster. Cyprus is the largest third-party ship management centre in the EU and one of the largest worldwide – together with many auxiliary services and suppliers. Overall, this offers talent many options, both in terms of careers and for working with others in the local industry.
The importance of maritime to global trade, and the economy here in Cyprus, means there are extremely strong foundations and, therefore, stability, in employment. Many companies operating here are also large international groups, with extended networks and a large capacity and desire to incorporate change, such as with technology, working culture, and other aspects of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance).
Collaboration. Working autonomously and as part of a team to complete tasks and achieve common goals is food for the soul, for tech specialists or otherwise. Whether this is around people or remotely, collaboration brings us greater resources, recognition and rewards. Maritime today brings immense possibilities for cross-functional work, locally and abroad, with an established and flexible environment that promotes traditions and values that heavily revolve around people.
Working ‘plugged-in’ and remotely can have its perks – for a while. But working nearer to colleagues also offers many advantages, such as in terms of work productivity and wider social benefits, as well as career advancement. Building a relationship, trust, and solid teamwork takes time, and a good deal of personal contact. Many times, it can be not so effective, or perhaps let’s even say enjoyable, when done only virtually. Hybrid can be a nice term.
Positive Impact and Prospects. Purpose and achievement in a job are highly regarded by most. Especially for tech specialists, change and disruption are certainly key drivers. Fortunately, maritime is in an era of radical technological and operational revolution. Some of the most significant changes happening right now are in decarbonisation, automation, and digitalisation. These are massive global changes, with endless opportunities for people in which to get involved, take ownership, innovate, solve problems, and truly help make a difference on a global level.
Software developed at such companies, and especially in industries such as maritime, which is hungry for new solutions, are sure to be accepted and used extensively, sure to evolve, and sure to make a difference.
Lifestyle. The importance of work-life balance is well-known. Fortunately, in Cyprus, it is well-appreciated and a fundamental part of the culture. Logistically, it is also very easy, with many things to do in close proximity: sea, hills, activities for all. Limassol is particularly good at this and central to all cities. For instance, you can easily go for a swim or jog along the beach in the morning before work, or right after. As a port city, the vibe is also more cosmopolitan, yet relaxed.
Many companies in maritime here have international working environments, whilst encouraging team-building and a positive outlook via social events, community involvement, sports and being family-centric. Keeping people connected and engaged, among other benefits, certainly helps make work more enjoyable.
Companies also need to continue promoting and supporting talent
Finally, we should also look at the other side of the coin. There is a wealth of talent here in Cyprus, well-educated, highly-skilled and creative. Though relatively small in population, the country’s workforce certainly punches above its weight, both on an EU, and even a global level. To remain competitive and innovative, companies here, and industries on the whole, need to tap into this talent and better nurture it by providing rewarding and satisfying career options.
Specifically, the maritime industry must also become better at attracting and retaining more diverse employees with new and different skillsets, such as those in tech, digital and data areas. It must speak with a louder voice to demonstrate how and why maritime is an appealing career path for these professionals, highlighting the many new opportunities that now exist. This will also help the industry become better at successfully innovating its way through the major transformations of decarbonisation, automation and digitalisation.
These are definitely exciting times in maritime, changing rapidly for the future and for the better. New talent is needed along this journey, and will make all the difference.
Established in Cyprus since 1982, Marlow Navigation is a leading crew and ship management company, with a global network of offices and state-of-the-art seafarer training facilities in 12 countries, 14,000 crew on board over 1,000 vessels and 24,000 active seafarers.