Data Science is One of the Top Most Employable Major in Malaysia
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Malaysia’s rapid expansion of regional IT hubs in recent years has engendered an acute demand for talent in key positions. This is especially pressing considering Malaysia’s goal to raise 2,000 data scientists and 16,000 data professionals by 2020. Currently, there are only 300 data scientists in Malaysia – both local and foreign.
Big data and related fields such as machine learning and analytics remained one of the hottest topics of the year, a trend that is likely to continue beyond 2020. Data scientists and machine learning specialists are some of the most highly sought-after candidates in the current IT market and positions that requires technical analytical and customer analysis will remain a hiring priority for Malaysian businesses. Due to the ongoing talent shortage in this area, companies will be more open to hiring expats and hiking salary offers for the right candidate.
One thing many of the trends today show is that industries and consumers are adopting new technologies today faster than ever before. These technological drivers of change have given rise to job creations and it is important that all stakeholders work together to prepare students for jobs of the future. Students who do their research and choose courses that have future high job demand and salary will benefit tremendously.
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Data Science is a Course with Future High Job Demand & Salary
Data Science has become a leading field of study in recent times owing to its vast use in almost every industry in all parts of the world. Companies and organizations are now hiring Data Scientists and analysts to study the vast amount of data that they possess and draw useful insights from it to contribute to the growth of the company, the retaining of customers as well as getting new ones as well as generating more revenues.
As the world is drawing closer to becoming a digital economy, data has become a big asset for almost every company as data can help them to predict the near future by analyzing it and identifying recurring patterns and then using predictive analysis to predict the upcoming events for the company.
Data is playing a very important role in the Malaysia’s growth and development. Therefore, it is obvious that Malaysia will focus on building their reserves of people involved in the Data Sciences and Data Analytics. Graduates of Data Science will find themselves in positions of strength and opportunity in their career.
Data Science in Malaysia
Malaysia has been spearheading the development of Data Analytics and is close to becoming the data hub of all of Southeast Asia. The nation is putting in efforts to maintain steady growth in the field of Data Science as well as promoting the field to get more people interested.
It is globally recognized that the world is facing a huge gap between the supply and demand for Data Scientists and the stats in Malaysia are the same. The government of Malaysia has the aim of producing around 20,000 data professionals in the oncoming future. Currently, the number of Data Scientists in the country is around 300 which is very less as compared to the demand of Data Scientists by various organizations and companies.
Work of the Malaysian Government on Data Science Development
The government of Malaysia is working with private companies and organizations to start up new projects to attract more and more people into the Data Science field as well as train them into the ways of Data Science by providing them with the required skills and knowledge.
The project to produce more Data Scientists is handled by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as the director of the corporation said that to survive in this global economy, Big data will play an important part in the growth and development of Malaysia as a nation.
As part of the projects, MDEC and other partners have been building up relationships between the major industries and universities to bridge the gap between the demand-supply of data professionals by addressing the issue directly at its core that is the education of the people in the data analytics and Data Science field in the Universities in Malaysia.
The MDEC with its aim to make Malaysia a knowledge and data-based economy has started various Information and Communication Technology related programs. The focus of these programs aligns itself with laying a foundation for a future that will involve Artificial Intelligence and make Malaysia a data-centric advance economy.
The government has also introduced many postgraduate courses in the field of Data Science, as well as many IT-related degrees, have started introducing Data Science as a specialization.
Malaysia has the aim of producing 16,000 data professionals and around 20,000 Data Scientists shortly.
Efforts of Malaysian Private Companies in the Development of Data Science
According to official reports, there are around 22 multinational companies involved in Big data and analytics (BDA) which are working in Malaysia, therefore, making constant progress towards making Malaysia a hub for Big data and analytics amongst Southeast Asia.
With various companies such as Coursera, Cloudera and Center of Applied Data Science (CADS), Malaysia has been producing Data Scientists at a better rate as these companies work together with the government and the Universities in the nation to get more people in the field of Data Science and train them with the skill and knowledge to become a proficient Data Scientist.
The training part also includes altering the curriculums for field related to Data Sciences in the universities in Malaysia to keep them updated with the latest advancement in technologies and the new methodologies being introduced to the students as Data Science is a growing field and there are changes made to it at a regular pace.
According to the officials, this partnership has resulted in the production of 70 more Data Scientists by the relations between various MNCs and startups and companies which are linked with the Malaysian government.
The Kuala Lumpur convention center holds a congregation that lasts for a week known as Big Data Week Asia which has been started by MDEC. The event is an effort by the MDEC to give a platform to the catalyzation of digital innovation ecosystems with the ever-growing possibilities and opportunities in the field of BDA.
Data Science Programmes & Initiatives – CADS and ADAX
To nurture the talent in the country for Data Scientists, there have been various programs and initiatives that have been launched to ensure that the people become aware of the possibilities of the field of Data Science.
The ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) is one such program that has played a phenomenal part in the development and awareness of Data Science in Malaysia.
The work is done by bringing together the people in the nation who possess the talent to get into the field of Data Science and spread awareness about the latest developments in the field of Data Science as well as the advancement in technologies.
Since its implementation in the year 2017, ADAX has made a big impact and change in the Data Science industry and Malaysia by training at least 1,800 employees of around 298 companies in the ways of Data Science to push them towards the positions of data leaders, data managers, and even data practitioners.
The Center of Applied Data Science (CADS) is another endorsement by the Government of Malaysia to help with the development of the digital economy of the country.
The goal of CADS, a private company established in 2015, is to gather and train people involved in the Data Science industry, be it data professionals or Data Scientists in the new technologies and also making them ready for the real world by putting them through real-life situations in scenarios that companies and businesses face.
CADS recently got its premier data professional training course accredited by the Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) to give their courses more validity.
Initiatives such as the ones mentioned above have resulted in Data Science becoming a major industry in Malaysia and also given that industry a steady growth to keep up with the world in the digital economy. The best part about such initiatives is that they focus more on improving the workforce of the country rather than the work itself, which results in the betterment and growth in the quality of the human resource in the country.
Data Science is Malaysia’s Most In-Demand Job
- Data Scientists and Big Data Specialists worldwide now and in the future, with hundreds of thousands of new job opportunities emerging globally. In Malaysia alone, by the year 2020 this need is expected to reach at least 20,000 data professionals and 2000 data scientists. Job demand as well as salary for qualified Data Scientists or Big Data Professionals in Malaysia is high
- With the rise of Big Data, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, the demand for quantitative analysts and data scientists is also on the rise, not only at FinTech start-ups, but also at large investment banks and hedge funds. These professionals write and execute complex financial models that can sift through and make sense of vast amounts of digital information. They may also design data-driven trading programmes, develop innovative algorithms using quantum computing and automate financial processes to minimise human inputs.
- A report from the recent Digital Workforce of The Future by LinkedIn, which revealed that a combination of skills encompassing Big Data, data analytics and web development registered a 21% growth in demand. In Malaysia, the top five in-demand digital skills are big data, software and user testing, mobile development, Cloud computing and software engineering management.
- Big Data Analytics Cloud and big data are anticipated to record significant growth in the next few years
- MDEC to set up an innovation lab for enterprises to test and access analytics tools that use cloud technology
- US$640.0 million projected value of cloud investments in Malaysia by 2020
- US$196.0 million projected spending in BDA in 2017.
- In 2017, Alibaba Cloud announced plans to build a cloud platform in Malaysia to enable local SMEs to succeed in the digital age
- Data science candidates need not only have research-level experience but also familiarisation with production-level ML. Solid understanding of programming languages such as R, Python and MALLET is a must.
- They also need to have hands-on experience with tools such as Tensorflow, Dialogflow and have worked on projects with large data sets. Having a profile showcasing technical skills on Kaggle and Github has become mandatory.
Data Scientist/Data Engineer Salary in Malaysia
There is a tremendous requirement for Data Scientists and Big Data Specialists worldwide now and in the future, with hundreds of thousands of new job opportunities emerging globally. In Malaysia alone, by the year 2020 this need is expected to reach at least 20,000 data professionals and 2000 data scientists. Job demand as well as salary for qualified Data Scientists or Big Data Professionals in Malaysia is high.
According to the Data Science Competency Checklists 2017 report by MDEC, Dataviz.my and Big Data, “While the highest bracket a data scientist could expect was more than RM15,000 per month, the highest bracket for data engineers and data analysts was RM8,001 – RM15,000. The skills that differentiate data scientists, namely, statistics and modelling and machine learning competencies, can add high value to a graduate’s earning potential.”
Asean Data Analytics Exchange (ADAX) CEO Sharala Axryd believes data professionals such as data engineers, data analysts and data scientists are in hot demand due to their highly valued skill sets. According to her, local data science fresh graduates can demand starting pay in the range of RM4,000-RM8,000 — making it the highest paid entry level job in the country today. An experienced professional in the field can demand up to RM15,000.
- Data Scientists: Starting salary is RM3000 to RM5000 a month and experienced Data Scientists can earn pp to RM15,000 a month
- Randstad 2020 Market Outlook & Salary Snapshot reports that a data engineer with 4 – 6 years experience earns RM7,000 – RM12,000 a month while a big data architect with 5 – 10 years experience expects RM14,000 – RM22,000.
- Robert Walters Salary Survey 2020 Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur (Salaries are yearly in ‘000 RM)
- Business Intelligence Consultant 96 – 180k
- Data Analyst 90 – 156k
- Data Engineer 108 – 180k
- Data Scientist 174 – 276k
- Michael Page Salary Benchmark 2020 reports that a Data Engineer can earn from RM120,000 to RM138,000 a year. A Data Warehouse Architect in the Technology & Telecommunications sector can earn from RM120,000 to RM144,000.
- 2020 Hays Salary Guide Malaysia – Digital Technology – BIG DATA
- (Salaries are yearly in ‘000 RM)
- Data Scientist (Hadhoop/Scala) 120 – 276
- Data Engineer (Hadhoop/Scala) 120 – 216
- Business Intelligence (Hadhoop/Scala) 120 – 216
- Data Scientist (R/SQL/MS.Excel) 144 – 300
- Data Engineer (R/SQL/MS.Excel) 144 – 240
- Business Intelligence (R/SQL/MS.Excel) 96 – 192