What are the Future Jobs that Malaysian Students Need Know so that You Can Choose the Right Course?
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.
Between 3.3 million and 6 million jobs are expected to be created in Malaysia by 2030, but with the new age of automation Industrial 4.0, preparation and training are fast becoming the critical factor as the new workforce would need new skills.
The world is changing and changing fast, but what does that mean for your education and career? Find out which jobs are growing and what degrees those jobs need.
Whether you are fresh out of school and considering your degree options or are looking to switch careers, this article is for you. Learn what new jobs will be around for decades to come so that you can prepare yourself by choosing the right course to study. This will help you plan your education and training for long-term benefits as well as ensure that you don’t become jobless when you graduate.
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The Best Jobs of the Future for Malaysian Students to Consider
There is no question that technology is the driving force behind many of the new jobs in the coming years, and the reason that some jobs will no longer be needed. Subsequently, if you are considering a university degree today, it may be worth considering courses that will lead you to careers that will be around in the future.
This is the logical choice if you would like to concentrate on a degree that leads to good employment and a well-paying career – but it should not stop you from studying something you are passionate about. Education should make you happy as well as securely employed.
By having a view of emerging job trends, it is hoped that students would be inspired to draw up study plans and select career choices and pathways as early as schooling years up to university level that will ensure success in future careers and work environments.
Below you can find 20 of the best jobs of the future for Malaysia students after secondary school to consider. Some of these jobs are already available today, but they are tipped to stay around for decades yet.
Coding is fast becoming one of the most sought-after skills for technology companies and between researcher groups. There is no doubt that coding is going to pave the way for new jobs in the future.
The software industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world with work opportunities in many areas including, but not limited to, telecommunications, defence, electronics and, of course, software development and computing. With a Software Engineering degree, you will be qualified to design, program and create software for literally anything you can think of.
Software Engineering is the field of studying, devising and building a practical solution to a problem. Through software engineering coursework, students learn to create and maintain computer programs and applications.
The objective of a software engineer is to understand a problem within a computer and create software that eases the problem. To work as a software engineer, students should pursue at least a bachelors degree from a top private university. Courses in a computer science undergraduate program may include computer fundamentals, data structures, principles of programming languages, software engineering, and computer architecture.
Software Engineering is an Engineering profession concerned with the processes, methods, and tools for the design and development of high quality, reliable software systems. This involves the study and application of software specification, design, implementation, testing, and documentation of software. Target systems may range from simple software applications to mission-critical real-time systems.
Software Engineering includes the design and implementation of specific, reliable, efficient and secure software systems for a multitude of purposes. Of course, you also have to be able to write or code software if you are going to be able to build the systems around it. ‘Software’ are the programs that we all use on our computers – but Software Engineering goes so much deeper than that. Software engineers usually design a program to fulfil a certain need or solve a problem. Every time you use your email, or an app on your smartphone or a computer accounting system you are using software.
Software Engineering is concerned with the design and implementation of reliable and secure software systems, which have the functionality required for the intended purpose. Software Engineering is also sometimes referred to as “software programming”. Software Engineering is a booming industry with no shortage of opportunities to create unique and life changing programs.
#2: Blockchain developer
You may have heard about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in the past few years or you may be familiar with “blockchain,” the record-keeping technology behind bitcoin. Intended to be a framework for cryptocurrency Bitcoin when it was first created in 2008, Blockchain technology today is fast penetrating into applications beyond the financial sector.
Blockchain has been experimented in asset management, intellectual property management, logistics, medical records, supply chain, the sharing economy, and more. Blockchain has been described as the most disruptive invention since the Internet. The significance of Blockchain is in its ability to create a trusted record system which is distributed between multiple parties. Put simply, it uses computer systems to create trust in digital-economy transactions. It is a ledger of data that cannot be manipulated.
Blockchain has the potential to revolutionise almost every industry in the modern economy – and higher education is no different. As more students wake up to the digital ledger’s potential, Malaysia’s universities are taking note and adding the subject to their offerings.
Details from the Michael Page Malaysia Salary Benchmark 2020 highlights that fintech is growing at an accelerated rate in Malaysia therefore demand for tech-savvy professionals with experience in e-money and blockchain technologies is strong. Demand for professionals in Blockchain is rising rapidly and this is an opportunity for students interested in computer science to specialise in this field.
#3: Virtual Reality Specialist
Immersive technology is increasing in demand everywhere, and that means job potential for graduates in Virtual Reality. As Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Technology (VR) transform the way we shop, play games and even construct military strategies, private universities in Malaysia are fielding increased demand from employers and aspiring students to produce graduates with the skillsets to work in this field.
In the next 30 years, virtual and augmented reality applications and devices at the everyday consumer level will likely be used commonly just like smartphones are used so widely today.
In order, to design and create those virtual reality environments, developers will have to employ specialists who can absorb abstract descriptions of environments and transform them into actual digital experiences. These specialists will have advanced skills in 3D conceptualization, be highly detailed oriented, and be receptive to new and advancing technologies.
#4: Cybersecurity Analysts/Experts
As technology advances, the number of computer systems in Malaysia and globally has increased dramatically, and the dependence upon them by individuals, businesses, industries and governments have grown. This means that there are an increasing number of systems at risk. Serious financial damage can result from cyber attacks and sometimes even physically.
These cyberthreats take many forms such as application attacks, malware, ransomware, phishing, exploit kits). Unfortunately, cyber adversaries have learned to launch automated and sophisticated attacks using these tactics – at lower and lower costs. As a result, keeping pace with cybersecurity strategy and operations can be a challenge, particularly in government and enterprise networks where, in their most disruptive form, cyberthreats often take aim at secret, political, military or infrastructural assets of a nation, or its people.
Computer security, also known as cyber security or IT security, is the protection of computer systems from the theft and damage to their hardware, software or information, as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide. Cybersecurity refers to a set of techniques used to protect the integrity of networks, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access.
Asean’s cybersecurity spending is forecasted to grow 15% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2015 and 2025. In addition, Malaysia is one of the top three Asean countries that are expected to contribute 75% of the cybersecurity services market share by 2025. In addition, Malaysia targets employing 20,000 cybersecurity professional by 2025.
With so much data that needs to be protected from theft or damage, governments and businesses need trained professionals in Computer Security or Cyber Security to ensure sufficient protection. A degree programme in Cyber Security or Computer Security is not easy to study therefore students should choose top universities in Malaysia with a proven track record in information technology education and having won awards as evidence of their capability. The best universities in Computer Security or Cyber Security will ensure that graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle the complexities of the job which will result in an excellent career.
#5: Data Scientist
Data science is a combination of different disciplines such as data inference, algorithm development, and technology so that we can solve analytically complex problems. Huge amounts of raw information, streaming in and stored in enterprise data warehouses. We will need advanced systems and capabilities to sort out the data and analyse it to be used to create value for business.
Data Science or Data Analytics is a combination of various tools, algorithms, and machine learning principles with the aim to find hidden patterns from the raw data. A Data Analyst explains what is going on by processing history of the data. While a Data Scientist not only does the exploratory analysis to discover insights from it, but also uses various advanced machine learning algorithms to find the occurrence of a particular event in the future.
A Data Scientist will look at the data from many angles, sometimes angles not known earlier. All these make Data Science very valuable to companies who want to target large groups of people or customers and analyse the data and behaviour so that they could come up with business strategies.
Malaysia’s national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) has unveiled a plan, supported by seven public and private institutes of higher learning (IHLs), to increase the number of local data scientists from the current 80 to 2000.
Statistics show that there will be about two million job openings for data professionals and that the demand for people with this knowledge and skill will outstrip supply by a ratio of two to one.
#6: IoT Specialists
Primarily, IoT is not about the Internet. It is about the physical objects around us that are connected to the Internet. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
IoT is more than just having Internet connectivity on everyday appliances. Essentially, IoT is a convergence of smart devices that generates data through sensors to create new information and knowledge to boost human intelligence, productivity and quality of life.
IoT is defined as “Intelligent interactivity between human and things to exchange information and knowledge for new value creation”. It is a complex yet complete solution compassing three main technology components, namely connected things with embedded sensors, connectivity and infrastructure, and last but not least, analytics and applications.
A thing, in the Internet of Things, can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a farm animal with a biochip transponder, an automobile that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when tire pressure is low — or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the ability to transfer data over a network.
According to youth in Malaysia, the most exciting technologies expected to have the largest impact on their future lives will be Internet of Things (IoT) based on survey findings released by Microsoft.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is ranked as the top technology that Malaysian youth expect to have the biggest impact on their lives. In recent years, the confluence of power devices, cloud and data has enabled bold visions on how IoT can be an integrated part of our digital future.
#7: AI jobs
Artificial intelligence is an evolving field that requires broad training, so courses typically involve principles of computer science, cognitive psychology and engineering. In addition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the attempt to build artificial systems that have intelligent behaviour.
There are two main directions of research. One is to understand natural intelligence by the use of computer models. The other provides techniques and technology for building systems capable of intelligent decisions and actions. Thus AI is both a science and an engineering discipline. Applications of AI range from ‘smart’ controllers for household devices to computers that can converse in English, play games, conduct intelligent web searches or act as the brain of a robot.
Leading technology giants Facebook, Google, Amazon are all excited about Artificial Intelligence. Google CEO Sundar Pichai emphasized in 2017 just how important AI is to the future of the company, stating, “I’m really happy with how we are transitioning to an AI-first company. The Google Assistant is one of our first steps towards that future…Advances in machine learning are helping us make many Google products better… Beyond that, we continue to set the pace in machine learning and AI research.” — Alphabet 1Q17 Earnings Call
In addition, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shared at the Code Conference in California “It’s hard to overstate how big of an impact AI is going to have on society over the next 20 years.”
#8: Cloud Computing Specialist
Malaysia is facing challenges in building its digital workforce, as reflected in the fast-growing demand for digital talent despite a comparative shortfall in supply. The country needs to focus on creating ‘new collar’ workers, a workforce that is equipped with skills in Cloud, AI and other emerging technologies.
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home.
Cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.
We have to face new types of jobs, environments and technologies. Education has to move together with such advancements therefore students need to choose courses in line with these developments or be left behind by making the wrong choice.
#9: Fintech Professionals
In the past 10 years, we have seen a rapid development in technology-related financial services globally. In fact, investments in Financial Technology or FinTech – an umbrella term that encompasses all institutions that provide and employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries – has been steadily increasing, with the industry receiving USD 17.4 billion in investment in 2016 and a whopping USD 31 billion in the following year.
In Malaysia, some of the biggest names in the financial industry are taking steps to facilitate FinTech providers, leading to a future of rapid expansion. With the interest in the FinTech industry in Malaysia growing at such a pace, there is a strong requirement for Fintech graduates & professionals to take up roles.
Primarily comprising start-up firms, the FinTech industry specialises in disruptive innovation that many experts believe democratises finance, makes it more accessible and takes a lot of the guesswork out of financial decision-making for both personal and commercial users.
By blurring the lines between technology and finance, FinTech players such as robo-advisory and asset management firms, online lenders, online banks, peer-to-peer lending platforms, mobile payment firms and online remittance firms like InstaReM are redefining financial services, reconstituting the financial landscape and possibly even pushing traditional financial models towards obsolescence.
#10: App Developers
Understanding of databases, especially distributed databases, Master/Slaves and fault-tolerance
With more and more mobile phones and smart devices being used to manage personal finance, make payments and send and receive money, the demand for mobile apps and solutions, along with those who can create them, is absolutely booming.
In Malaysia, the Smart Phone Penetration is 75.9% while the Mobile Banking Population is at 40% with more opportunity for growth. The mobile banking transaction volume in 2017 1.02 Billion and the value was RM48.3 Billion. This translates to a huge demand for mobile app developers, especially Android engineers.
Skills/experience required include:
- Knowledge of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning
- Programming languages: C#, C++, Java, Python
- Analytical skills
#11: Financial Analysts
Worldwide, the financial services sector records the highest earnings and drives a country’s economic growth. The Financial sector stands as one of the largest sectors in Malaysia with more than 300,000 people employed. The role of the financial sector is envisioned to continue growing to be a key driver and catalyst of Malaysia’s economic progression. This sector is projected to be more competitive, dynamic, inclusive, diversified, and integrated, with the ability to offer world class financial services, in terms of breadth, depth and quality to serve the needs of Malaysia.
As FinTech start-ups continue to grow, so will the demand for financial analysts who can manage and create budgets, assemble financial reports, run business studies, conduct analyses and make forecasts about future revenues and market trends. For some firms, they may also provide advisory inputs on areas such as stock splits and bond issues.
There is a demand for top graduates in banking and finance in Malaysia. Salaries for banking & finance graduates in Malaysia can be very high. The country is said to require 40,000 qualified financial talents by 2020 yet about 56,000 new finance industry jobs will be available in the next 10 years.
As the Malaysian population becomes more educated and affluent as well as age, there are more cases of Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions. With education and a higher income, Malaysians are more open to visiting Physiotherapists to find relief from these conditions.
According to the Malaysian Physiotherapy Association, currently there is an estimated 2,759 practising physiotherapists in the country which is only 0.88 Per 10,000 population. Therefore, there is a demand for more qualified and trained Physiotherapists.
The job of a Physiotherapist can be very satisfying as you have the power to bring physical relief to people who are in pain with hands-on treatment. In addition, you also provide emotional support and self-help strategies that will empower your patients to improve their own health, strength and quality of life.
#13: Robotics Engineer/Specialist
Between 3.3 million and 6 million jobs are expected to be created in Malaysia by 2030, but with the new age of automation Industrial 4.0, preparation and training are fast becoming the critical factor as the new workforce would need new skills.
By 2022, an operational stock of almost 4 million industrial robots are expected to work in factories worldwide. These robots will play a vital role in automating production to speed up the post-Corona economy. At the same time, robots are driving demand for skilled workers. Educational systems must effectively adjust to this demand.
The World Robotics 2020 Industrial Robots report found 2.7 million robots already working across the world. Sales of new robots remain high with 373,000 units shipped globally in 2019, a drop of 12% from the previous year – but still the third highest volume ever recorded.
The study of robotics is a very new field and is a combination of various areas of study. The focus will vary from university to university and students will need to research and look at the subjects to see which one would fit their future career goals. A robot is the product of a combination of Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Computer Science or Ai.
#14: Electrical & Electronic Engineer
Electrical & Electronic Engineering covers research, design, development, manufacturing and management of complex systems for many different uses. The computer, tablet or smartphone you purchased recently is a creation of Electrical Engineering design.
Furthermore, robots are comprised of sensors, actuators, microprocessors and sophisticated feedback control systems, all designed by Electrical Engineers. Wireless communication and the Internet are just a few areas electrical engineering has helped flourish, by developing better phones, more powerful computers, and high-speed modems. As we enter the 21st century, the technology that surrounds us will continue to expand and electrical engineers are leading the way.
Imagine the infrastructure that allows you to call anywhere in the world on your mobile phone. Think about the electricity wires that connect your house to the power grid and think about the small electronic devices that you are probably carrying in your pocket or bag. Those who study will never be out of a job.
Studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering puts you at the centre of a vibrant and fast-moving discipline of relevance to industries such as electronics, information technology, manufacturing, energy generation and supply, transport, and communications. Graduating with a Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree accredited by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) offers you a quicker, more direct route to Professional Engineer status and opens the doors to working overseas because of the Washington Accord. Electrical & Electronic Engineering jobs are high in demand with excellent salaries, therefore, it will provide incredible opportunities for a great future should you choose the right university to prepare you well.
#15: Digital Marketer
According to We Are Social’s new Digital 2019 Q4 Global Digital Statshot report produced in partnership with Hootsuite, a wealth of new data has contributed to impressive growth across various aspects of digital across the globe. The number of internet users around the world is rapidly approaching 4.5 billion, with the report estimating that implementation of 5G networks will create new digital milestones as mobile data usage reaches unprecedented speeds.
In Malaysia, four-fifths of the country’s 32.25 million population are now online, with 78% being active social media users. These statistics led to Malaysia being ranked 26th in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking in 2019 with a 79% Internet penetration rate – one of the highest in the Southeast Asia region. There have also been promising moves by Malaysia’s government to keep this momentum going, such as the two key initiatives announced to further boost Malaysia’s digital economy that include developing more tech talent.
With digital marketing now an integral part of any industry, the need for professionals with suitable skills has become a priority for most businesses. However, the rapid evolution of digital marketing has created a “digital disconnect” where professionals are yet to reach the expected level of digital skillsets. This has led to a shortage of suitable talent in the technology jobs market, including digital marketing technology.
Digital marketing is the act of engaging consumers of a certain product through the use of electronic devices such as smart phones, computers, digital billboards, tablets, game consoles and more. Digital Marketers will use multiple online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Search, Email, etc. to engage with their audience. The degree course prepares students for interactive marketing skills through creativity and application of modern digital media to promote sales and profits.
#16: Human Resource Manager
Successful companies realize that workers are as crucial an asset to a company’s success as capital or material holdings.
Attracting the most qualified employees and matching them to the jobs for which they are best suited is important for the success of any company in Malaysia. It is more cost effective to hire the right staff than to take in staff who are not matched to the position and waste the company’s resources in the hiring process and remuneration.
Therefore, today’s human resource professionals are increasingly working with the organization’s top executives on strategic planning to create the conditions that enhance employee performance and to contribute to the overall operations and performance of organizations striving to succeed in the competitive business world.
Human Resource personnel participate in activities of the company related to recruiting and hiring, training and development of staff, determining staff compensation and benefits, employee relations including handling grievances, ensuring occupational health and safety, and other activities geared towards strengthening their organization’s entire workforce.
Almost every company in Malaysia need at least one Human Resource staff to take care of the needs on their employees. Medium and Large companies will have a dedicated Human Resources Department to ensure their staff are well compensated, motivated, trained and receive the correct amount of benefits due to them.
Presently, Malaysia has about 7.5 million Accountants. The country requires another 60,000 Accountants. All Accountants have to abide by a strict code of ethics and maintain high professional standards. All practising accountants must register with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).
Accounting is the study of how businesses track their income and assets over time. Accountants complete many tasks besides preparing financial statements and recording business transactions including computing costs and efficiency gains from new technologies, participate in the set up for acquisitions and mergers, quality management, developing and using information systems to track financial performance, tax strategy, and health care benefits management.
In 2019, Malaysia’s animation scene hit a milestone, says Hasnul. Local animated productions such as Ejen Ali, Upin & Ipin and BoBoiBoy made about RM90 million in total.
According to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) — the government-sponsored agency central to the nation’s digital content success, the total digital content industry in Malaysia now stands at RM 7 billion ($1.68 billion) with exports doubling since 2014 to RM 1 billion ($2.4 million). It reports there are now over 100 homegrown studios that have produced more than 65 original IPs and seen their work travel to 120+ countries, with an export value of RM170 million (over $32.2 million). Malaysian students can take advantage of this rapid growth in animation to fill the increase in job demand.
3D animation is basically animating objects that appear in a three-dimensional space. They can be rotated and moved like real objects. 3D animation is at the heart of games and virtual reality. Additionally, it may be used in presentation graphics. Students will develop a vision as an animator, studying concept development, storyboarding, 2D and 3D character animation, editing, graphic processes, sound recording, visual effects, post-production, marketing and distribution. Students wanting to study animation should choose a top private university in Malaysia that has a proven track record, experienced lecturers and adequate facilities & software.
#19: Game Designer/Developer
More people are now playing video games than ever before and according to the Newzoo Global Games Market Report 2021, by the end of 2021 the industry is estimated to generate revenues of $175.8 billion and there will be 2.9 billion players worldwide. The Asia-Pacific region by far accounts for the most players worldwide (55% of the global number), which makes sense as the region is home to roughly the same share (54%) of the world’s online population.
The games market will continue to grow in the following years, exceeding $200 billion at the end of 2023. The Games Industry is growing at an incredible rate and shows no sign of ever slowing down. Almost everyone plays games in some form or another whether on the PC, console or on their mobile devices. The Game Industry is generating more revenue than any other entertainment medium out there so the potential for game developers out there are enormous and is constantly growing daily!
Game developers are amongst the most highly skilled creative talent out there in the creative industry. To be a successful game developer, one not only has to figure out the problems of making a fun and entertaining game but also has to solve the complex production and marketing problems related to the industry. Hence, there is a need for people who are trained and competent in the workflow of Game Development with very specialized fields of study.
#20: Hoteliers and Chefs
As the Covid Pandemic comes to an end, people around the world are set to start travelling again. Before the pandemic hit, tourism was big business, accounting for more than 10 percent of global GDP. The share was even larger in tourism-dependent countries. However, keep in mind that you will only graduate in 4 years times from your hotel management or culinary arts degree, by that time, the tourism industry would have recovered and will need hoteliers and chefs.
Humans will always need human interaction which can never be replaced by technology. Hence, hoteliers and chefs will always be in demand now and in the future. Although, the environment may be more technologically advanced, hoteliers will provide the much needed human touch and chefs would feed our desires.
The demand for well trained hospitality management & tourism management and culinary arts professionals will continue to increase in Malaysia as well as globally therefore providing excellent opportunities for jobs. A degree in hotel management could set you up for a successful career at an airline, large hotel or restaurant chain, an exhibition or conference center, a major event venue and more.