What are the Top Skills Malaysian Graduates Need to Succeed in the Jobs of the Future?
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The IR4.0 has a big impact on the local economy and community. The Government launched the National Policy on IR4.0 (Industry4WRD) in October 2018 to position Malaysia as a total solutions provider for the manufacturing sector in the Asia Pacific by 2025. This means the IR4.0 industries would require human capital with relevant and adequate digital and data literacy
The majority of your life is filled with all sorts of technology but the truth is, your most useful tools didn’t even exist 15 years ago! Huawei, Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi and iPhones didn’t exist 15 years ago. With the rapid advancement of technology we can now order food, groceries, clothes, make-up or almost anything online and technological advancements such as driverless cars, smart homes, drones, and more.
In addition, we can communicate with our friends and family instantly using WeChat, WhatsApp, Line or other apps. Soon, we will have 5G and the world as we know it will again change. Therefore, will you be equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in the jobs of the future in Malaysia?
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Top Skills You Need to Have to Succeed in Your Future Job in Malaysia
By 2025, we will lose over five million jobs to automation.That means that future jobs will look very different by the time you graduate from your university in Malaysia. The jobs of the future will actually be more interesting and require different skills to handle them. Machines will replace many jobs done by humans in factories and physical production. Future jobs will involve knowledge creation and innovation.
Machines are actually doing you a favour. They are replacing mundane repetitive work and freeing you up to explore, experiment and find interesting solutions to complex problems.
Top 8 Future Skills You will need to Succeed in Future Jobs in Malaysia
Although no one can accurately predict what jobs will look like in the future, there are eight skills that will be essential to your future success.
- Critical Thinking: Technology may be able to automate many of the jobs that currently exist, but you probably wouldn’t trust it to do your critical thinking for you; as such your future career will require you to have excellent critical thinking skills. You’ll constantly need to be analysing various situations, considering multiple solutions and making decisions on the fly through logic and reasoning.
- Creativity: Worried about robots stealing your job? The more creative you are, the less likely you are to lose your job to a robot! While robots may be better than you at calculating and diagnosing problems, they aren’t very good at creating original content, thinking outside the box or being abstract. Yet.
- People Skills: Listen, machines are going to take over eventually and technology is going to get much more advanced, so us humans have to stick together! If you want to succeed in the future job market, you’ll need to learn how to manage and work with people (and robots), which includes getting in touch with your emotions, having empathy and listening,
- Language Skills: A strong Command of the English language is needed to succeed in Malaysia and globally. Being able to communicate well in English will increase your chances of working in Multinational Companies and increase your upward mobility in the company. All the research and technical books are written in English, so if your command of this language is weak, you are unable to learn and understand the new technologies and research. Furthermore, with the rise of China, a strong command of both Mandarin and English is an advantage.
- Mental Elasticity and Complex Problem Solving: The future is going to bring about problems you’ve never seen before in a world you’ve never experienced. In order to solve these problems, you’ll need to have the mental flexibility to think outside of the box, see the big picture and rearrange things to find a solution.
- STEM: (science, technology, engineering and maths) Most STEM jobs are super hot right now. In Malaysia, mostly high in demand would be Technology, Engineering and Maths jobs. You can check out my list of the Top 28 jobs in demand in Malaysia. As technology progresses, you’ll need to have more advanced STEM skills to keep up. In addition, it will be good if you know coding. Learn how to code.
- SMAC: (Social Media, Mobile Apps, Analytics and Cloud). Learning all of the skills in using these platforms will make you stand out in the future job market!
- Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Your future career will require you to pull information from many different fields to come up with creative solutions to future problems. However, most Malaysians tend to to be weak in this area. They have the attitude to just be good in their area of expertise and not want to learn other skills or expand their knowledge. Graduates who have extra knowledge and skills will stand out. Therefore, start by reading as much as you can about anything and everything that interests you.
Have You Chosen the Right University to Equip You with Future Skills?
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 five 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.
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. Therefore, students have to keep in mind whether the university that you have chosen will equip you to face the challenges of a technologically advanced future work environment?
Many students do not give much thought in choosing their university. They just assume that the cheapest, nearest and most convenient university will do. This is a wrong assumption and if you don’t choose the right university with the environment that will enhance your skills, you won’t do well in your future career.
Having a degree without the right job skills will make you unprepared to perform your job well, hence have less opportunities to advance in your career and continually have low salary.
Have You Chosen the Right Course that has Future Job Demand?
Choosing the right course to study 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. The Ministry of Education reported that 57,000 of 173,000 of 2017 graduates remained jobless after looking for a job for six months. The prime reason for graduate youth unemployment is the mismatch of graduate qualifications with the country’s workforce needs. Graduate unemployment was 9.6 percent or 204,000 at the end of 2018.
Therefore, if you chose the wrong course, you may end up jobless after graduating from university.