Malaysia’s Future Jobs that have High Demand
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With the evolution of technology, the current job landscape in Malaysia has changed drastically. In many industries and countries, the current in-demand occupations or specialties did not exist 10 or even 5 years ago. The rise of technology has led to a disruption in the way we work and live. The Digital Era has changed the way we work.
As the digital economy grows, Malaysia must be prepared to choose jobs that will be in demand in the future as well as still exist. 75 million job roles are expected to disappear by 2022 according to the “Future of Jobs Report 2018” by the World Economic Forum,. Furthermore, another 133 million roles are expected to emerge.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, automation, Internet of Things (IOT) and other technological advancement would impact all industries. The Industry 4.0 will change the kinds of jobs needed across all market sectors. Therefore, students must possess the right skills to value-add, creative, empathetic and interactive in a technology-driven job landscape.
Malaysia has a high unemployment rate among its graduates. Thus, it is vital for students to consider carefully in the early stages which courses that would lead to jobs that will be high in demand in future. Ask advise from knowledgeable and experienced counselors who can assess you, advise you with evidence based information and guide you to the best course that suits you.
You might also be interested to read these:
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- Malaysia’s 28 Top Jobs in Demand in Future with High Salaries
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What are the Jobs that are in High Demand in Malaysia for the Future?
Malaysia government’s focus was also in line with its efforts to meet the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) that requires highly skilled human capital. More new job opportunities would emerge as the digital revolution unfolded, and cited the World Economic Forum’s estimate that 65% of the workforce will work in the yet to be created job sector because it requires digital skills.
TalentCorp had listed 59 critical occupations that are hard to be filled. The Institute for Labour Market Information and Analysis (Ilmia) had recently told FMT that over the past four years, employers had found it increasingly difficult to fill positions. These included jobs as information communications and technology managers, mathematicians, actuaries and statisticians, machinery, equipment and advanced engineering professionals, and policy and planning managers.
Ilmia also said vacancies also existed for business services managers, research and development managers, and mechanical, electrical and electronic managers. Software developers, auditors, financial analysts and computer network professionals are also in short supply.
What are Malaysian Employers Looking for in Graduates
Employers are also looking at people with soft skills that cannot be replaced by technology. They want those with emotional intelligence and those who can solve complex problems.
Other than academic qualifications, employers are looking for five main qualities. These are
- creativity to connect the missing dots in their jobs
- emotional intelligence to deal with the work pressure
- judgement to analyse the large amounts of information
- mental agility to deal with multi-tasking
- good command of the English language & communication skills
High Unemployment Rate in Malaysian Graduates
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik that the data collected by his ministry through the Ministry of Education Malaysia’s Graduate Tracer Study (SKPG) – Graduate Detection Survey System in 2018 found that nearly 60% of graduates who had completed their first degree and above were unemployed after one year of graduation. “The number of graduates who have not been employed after one year of graduation for the First Degree holders and above is 30,765 persons or 59.9% of the 51,365 graduates,”
Graduates being left behind, possess outdated information and lacking in relevant skills required by the industry, thus contributing to the rising unemployment rate. World Bank comparative youth unemployment puts Malaysia as the second highest to Indonesia in the region. With the hidden unemployment segments added in, Malaysian youth unemployment is probably more like 15-18 percent.
The prime reason for graduate youth unemployment is the mismatch of graduate qualifications with the country’s workforce needs. Of 1.47 million vacancies, 86.9 percent are for low skilled jobs. Only 4.7 percent of those advertised required any tertiary qualifications. Graduate unemployment was 9.6 percent or 204,000 at the end of 2018.
The youth unemployment rate in Malaysia, at 10.9 percent officially, is more than triple the national rate of 3.3 percent and has been gradually rising over the past decade. Unemployed youth make up almost 60 percent of the 504,000 currently unemployed.
The Ministry of Education decides what courses universities offer rather than market forces. This is where the mismatches are coming from. Malaysian universities are currently overcapacity and producing too many graduates to what can be generally absorbed into domestic Malaysian workforce.
A Job Street survey found the 58 percent are choosy about what job they do or company they work for, 58 percent are considered of poor character, attitude or personality, 52 percent have a poor command of English, 49 percent have poor communication skills, and 66 percent have unrealistic salary expectations.
In light of the high graduate unemployment rate, Malaysian secondary school students need to do their research or ask knowledgeable and experienced counselors who would know what the future job demand is like for their courses of interest. Then, you are able to make the right choice and not end up unemployed like the rest.
Good Command of the English Language Increases Your Employability
In a research, commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Family and Community Development, it was found that there was very little variation in CGPA between employed and unemployed graduates. This explains why the overall academic performance did not affect the chance of becoming employed graduates. On the other hand, graduates who had higher English proficiencies were employed compared to unemployed graduates.
The study showed that having good grades did not guarantee employment for Malaysian graduates. The
graduates must have a good command of English and other soft skills such as analytical thinking, intelligence, independence, leadership, communication and computer skills and work experience.
The results showed that the chance of being employed rose with an increase in English proficiency. The only significant personality variable is leadership and technical skills and this variable consisted of constructs such as possessing analytical thinking, being intelligent, independent, having leadership skills, communication and computer skills and possessing work experience.
Most of these challenges are more pronounced for graduates who come from rural areas because they
are less exposed to speaking in English and almost all of them study in the public universities where Bahasa Malaysia is used as the medium of instruction.
In another study by the Ministry of Higher Education on the National Graduate Employability, Prospective employers complain of fresh Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) graduates lacking the prerequisite attributes; more than 50% of fresh graduates are deemed to be unsatisfactory in English communication skills, and yet, many of these young, inexperienced job-seekers expect unrealistically high starting salaries.
Currently, deficiencies are seen in the areas of communication, ICT knowledge, and professional and technical skills which have resulted in an insufficient supply of employable graduates. This situation is further aggravated by university students not pursuing fields of study that are relevant to industry
“Every year about 180,000 students graduate with diplomas and degrees from institutions of higher learning.
The most common problems identified by employers are poor command of English (55.8%), poor character, attitude or personality (37.4%), asking for unrealistic salary/benefits (33%), mismatch of skills (30.2%), choosy in job/company (27.7%), no demonstrated ability to solve problems (25.9%) and skill knowledge not indepth enough (23.8%). As the main demand of industry is to employ graduates who are GSA (Generic Student Attribute) centred, from the graph above it is obvious that these skills are lacking among fresh graduates.
Malaysian industries are currently emphasising a set of skills that the graduates should have when they apply for a job, which are divided into two separate categories comprising hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are defined as the mastery and practice of a body of knowledge whereas soft skills are the development of largely inter- and intra-personal skills.
There are several hard skills and soft skills that have been highlighted, which should be incorporated into the IHL curriculum to increase the graduate employability and employment rate. Some hard skills include
provision of temporary/vacation work, literacy, time management, research skills, computer skills, help to secure work placement and internship, contacts with employers, CV writing, providing help in job search, career fairs, and job searching techniques.
Correspondingly, some of the soft skills are team working skills, presentation skills, decision making skills,
communication skills, understanding of career area, interview practice, and career identification and planning.
Important to Choose the Right Course so that You Will Not Be Unemployed after Graduation
Choosing the right course to study after SPM or O-Levels is just the first step in the right direction of achieving a life with stable or high income. Some students have known what they wanted to be since they were young while others are no sure, even after completing their SPM & O-Levels.
Furthermore, one of the main aims of getting a university education in Malaysia is to find a stable job so that you can take care of yourself and your family. However, nowadays, with the high cost of living, just finding any job will not do. You will need to find a job that has a high salary.
With the high youth unemployment rate in Malaysia, it is important to choose your course wisely. If you don’t plan carefully, you may end up studying a course that has no job demand after you graduate. This would be an incredible waste of your time and money.
To find out more on how to choose the right course, click on this link.
How to Prepare Yourself During University to Make Sure that You are not Jobless When You Graduate
The best time to start on your future career is now. If you wait until after graduation, it will be too late as you won’t have time. After work, you will be tired and have other personal activities as well. It will take a lot of discipline to balance your work life. Therefore, the best time is to prepare yourself while you are at university. Here are some tips:
- Join clubs and societies
- Participate in on-campus activities like going for talks, events, trips, etc.
- Mix around with the international students on campus and learn about their culture. It is great for networking and future opportunities
- Learn how to communicate, lead, and how to work in a team.
- Learn how to organise events and manage your time.
- Immerse yourself in internships; be seen and heard in your team. It is important for Malaysian university students to get the right type of internships so that they were employable after their graduation.
- Use online time to update yourself with news, training, new tech, concepts and trends. Educational and visionary YouTube or podcasts inspire intelligent questions and will prepare you for interviews with future employers and engagement with colleagues.
Top 50 Future Jobs with High Demand in Malaysia
The Academy of Sciences Malaysia estimates that one million people are required by 2020 to be in the science and technology fields. This includes 500,000 in support and services comprising technicians, talent in the vocational field, science officers, nurses as well as information and communications technology (ICT) personnel; 470,000 implementers like engineers, doctors and architects as well as well as scientists, technologists and applied scientists; in addition to 30,000 in research.
Traditional white-collar jobs (medical, legal and financial) as well as digital or IT-related jobs, including content creators, data scientists and IT professionals will continue to stay in demand for the next decade.
- Programmer or Software Engineers
- Information Technology (IT) Specialists
- Data Scientists/ Data Analysts / Data Engineers
- Computer Science – Cybersecurity, Digital Forensics, Blockchain,
- Artificial Intelligence (Ai)
- Cloud Computing
- Mobile App Developers
- Database Administrators
- Network Administrators
- Financial Technology (Fintech) Specialists
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Financial Analysts
- Digital Marketing Managers/ Social Media Marketing Managers – Digital Content, SEO Specialists, SEM, etc
- Electrical & Electronic Engineers – Aerospace Engineers, Nanotecchnology Engineers, etc
- Telecommunication Engineers
- Mechatronics Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Chemical Engineers
- Petroleum Engineers
- Human Resource Managers
- Marketing Communications (MarComm) or Public Relations Managers
- Logistics & Supply Chain Managers
- Sales & Marketing
- eCommerce or e-Business
- Quantity Surveyors
- Multimedia Designers
- Graphic Designers
- Computer Games Developers
- Film, TV, Video or Broadcasting
- Hoteliers and Tourism Specialists
- Professional Chefs
- Events Managers
- Food Scientists
- Medical Lab Technologist (MLT)
- Medical Imaging
- Medical Specialists