More Filipinos turning to digital careers

By: /INQ.net April 10,2019 - 11:49 AM

Many Filipinos, even those aged 50 and above, are increasingly drawn to digital career options as a potential fallback to augment income when they reach retirement age.

This is based on the 2018 Manulife Investor Sentiment Index (MISI), which revealed that more Filipinos were participating in digital jobs, whether on part-time or full-time basis,  compared to most parts of Asia.

MISI—which surveyed middle- to high-end income Filipinos aged at least 25 with personal income of more than P30,000 a month and an education attainment of at least high school level—showed that 19 percent of respondents were engaged in full-time digital jobs while 34 percent  participate in these part-time.

This is higher than the Asian average of 14 percent in full-time digital jobs and 30 percent in part-time digital jobs.

The Philippines ranks third in terms of digital job participation, after Indonesia with 30 percent in full-time and 44 percent in part-time digital jobs, and Thailand with 19 percent in full-time and 43 percent part-time digital jobs.

While the primary objective of doing digital jobs is to earn income, many also cite “flexible working hours/places,” and “getting satisfaction from an interesting job” as other key reasons, the survey showed.

Freelance work and e-commerce top the list of prevalent digital jobs in the country, accounting for 71 percent and 55 percent, respectively, of full-time digital jobs. These are followed at some distance by sharing content to attract audiences and generate revenue, and creating a start-up company to develop new technologies, which account for 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively, of digital jobs.

About 27 percent of the respondents also said they were interested in taking on digital jobs in the future. MISI also shows strong interest among those 50 years old and above, to pursue digital work, either on a full-time or part-time basis.

About 48 percent of the respondents above 50 years old were keen on doing such digital jobs, said Melissa Henson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Manulife Philippines.

Henson said other digital work would include projects that people could do during their free time like doing online surveys, encoding or administrative work through digital channels. These can also include services on online platforms or selling things online.

“Digital transformation provides more job opportunities, flexibility and options for Filipinos to bridge the retirement savings gap. However, Filipinos should still save and invest regularly to prepare for retirement,” she said.

“Most of those who are working digital jobs part-time are concerned because they feel that income is unstable. A lot of them are freelancers so there’s no regular monthly income…They feel they need to save now, or increase insurance coverage or seek advice how to manage their retirement,” she added.

About 80 percent of digital workers are enrolled in mandatory retirement but only two-thirds felt they had enough for their retirement, Henson said.

It was earlier reported that a typical salaried Filipino typically fell short by about P4 million to maintain living standards after retirement due to low personal savings set aside for old age.

But while there is a retirement savings gap, there is rising awareness among people to augment what they have and prepare for retirement, Henson added.


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