English language among top 5 job skills needed, say Malaysia’s employers
Having a strong command of the English language increases the chances for Malaysian graduates in getting a good job in a multinational company (MNC) as well as finding work abroad. In addition, it is the language of international communication, business, research, academia, media and the internet, therefore having a strong command of the English language is important for socialising and entertainment as well as your future career.
Having a strong command of English assist graduates to acquire top-class and reputed jobs like posts in the financial services, computing & technology, engineering, travel and tourism sector, eCommerce operations, international business, etc. With the growing time, foreign countries are also increasingly hiring new talented recruiters for their massive business. So, the capability of communication in English is considered a huge asset for the ability to work abroad because knowing English is the priority. To interact with international clients, convince them for deals, building lasting business relationships with them, all such things required a good understanding of the English language.
Furthermore, employees who speak more than one language are inclined to make more money. For instance, if your firm requires a person to go abroad for business purposes and you know the English language very well then you may stand a chance to get a trip to a foreign country on behalf of your company.
It is essential for graduates ‘career growth to possess the ability to express the English language fluently in both written as well as oral form . As it is stated above, English being the most commonly used language in the corporate world; the knowledge of English is one of the most important employability skills.
In the corporate world, the ability to communicate will enhance your chances for upward mobility. One needs to be able to network, socialise, give public presentations, and express ideas & opinions clearly.
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Top Reasons why English is Important for Malaysia’s Graduates’ Career
English, we all know that is a leading international language in every subject such as diplomacy, science, business, the internet, etc. English is the only language that connects people from different cultures, religions, and boosts your confidence if you travel to foreign countries. Therefore, we can say it is crucial for both professional and personal life.
English language among top 5 job skills needed, say employers. Based on a survey conducted by JobStreet.com in 2021, a staggering 75 percent of Malaysia’s employers indicated that they found the quality of graduates to be only average.
They listed down five reasons why Malaysian fresh graduates are not hired:
- 72 percent ask for unrealistic salaries/benefits
- 64 percent are choosy about the job or company
- 64 percent have poor character, attitude or personality
- 59 percent have poor command of the English language
- 53 percent have poor communication skills
English is Important for Employability in Malaysia
Employability of graduates is a concern in many countries, including Malaysia, and the high unemployment rate among graduates is often attributed to their lack of English proficiency and communication skills. These two distinctive elements are often collated, and it is important to find out which is more important to employers.
The study examined the employers’ views on the importance of English proficiency and communication skill for graduates to be employed in the Malaysian private sector. The data were from semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 employers in the private sector who were in the position to recruit staff. The 21,433-word interview transcripts were analyzed.
The results revealed that employers in the Malaysian private sector view language proficiency and communication skills as separate qualities. The employers are willing to consider employing candidates with average English proficiency if they have good communication skills, except for jobs which require more communication in English such as customer service and marketing.
The results also revealed that good communication skills can increase employability and opportunities for career advancement. The findings highlight the communication skills that universities need to emphasize so that their graduates have the necessary skills to perform well in employment interviews and in their work.
To hold and enhance their competitive-edge, Malaysia has to develop a skilled workforce with the requisite cognitive, analytical, problem-solving, decision making, communicating and interpersonal and management abilities underpinned by a good command of English.
English as the worldwide lingua franca in science, scholarship, communication, trade and global affairs and diplomacy. An overwhelming majority of academic books, research documents and high-impact research journals, particularly in the critical Stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programmes are overwhelmingly available only in English.
The outcry from both the public and private sector is that the country’s universities are not nurturing graduates with English language skills as well as the mental building blocks to think constructively – a quality of workforce that industrial and service sector employers are in dire need of.
As the private sector’s demand for better skilled workers increases, many top firms are almost exclusively recruiting returning Malaysian graduates from select overseas English-medium universities
The National Graduate Employability Blueprint 2012-2017 has highlighted the serious mismatch between the supply and demand of graduates in the labour market, and emphasises that the employability rates for graduates “remain poor and unimproved.”
The Malaysian Employers Federation also pointed out that unemployment among graduates in the country is a serious problem. In a 2013 Jobstreet survey, employers stated that there was a gap between their expectations of graduates and the quality of graduates produced by the country’s universities.
Nearly 70 percent of employers think that the quality of the country’s fresh graduates is average, and they were lacking in cognitive skills as well as in the ability to write correctly and communicate orally in English. Poor command of English was singled out as the primary reason for their growing yearly decline in their employability.
Proficiency in English is among the top 5 skills prospective employees need to be hired and to progress in their careers, says the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).
MEF president Syed Hussain Syed Husman said the association’s 2021 survey of salaries of executives and non-executives showed that the top five skills needed for candidates to be hired were critical thinking, English proficiency, interpersonal skills, flexibility and adaptability skills.
English is a Pathway to a Successful Career
Many Chinese Independent High School students in Malaysia have a strong command of Mandarin but are weak in the English language. If you are already strong in Mandarin, then you only need to improve your English language so that you can have a successful career. Being good in both languages, you will be able to command high salaries in future.
The university that we choose is important as well. Star Newspaper has reported that those who have a good command of the English language has a 25% higher salary and fast promotion opportunities than those who don’t.
Choose an English-Speaking Environment during your University Studies
It is important to choose a good university with an English-speaking student environment that can prepare you well for a successful future instead of choosing a cheap university so that you can just get the degree qualification. If you are not well equipped, even with a degree, you will get low salary for the next 60 years of your work life.
Why English is Important for you?
Whether you are looking for a new job or planning to travel the world, studying English can help you progress in life both personally and professionally. You can compete in the global job market, increase your career skills and start to meet people around the world. English is the most commonly spoken language in the world. One out of five people can speak or at least understand English!
English is the language of science, aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. Knowing English increases your chances of getting a good job in a multinational company within your home country or of finding work abroad. Global companies such as Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Fast Retailing, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, Technicolor, and Microsoft in Beijing, have mandated English as their official corporate language.
Most of the Scientific Papers and Journals are written in English
In the last century, the number of scientific papers written in English has started to outweigh the number of papers written in the native language of the researcher. In the Netherlands, for example, the ratio is a surprising 40 to 1. For this reason, having a knowledge of English is incredibly important to those working in the scientific field.
English is a Language of the Business World
Whether you’re a business owner, student or employee, English is incredibly important in the business world. English is considered to be one of the most important business languages due to being the de facto language of the United States and the official language of the UK, Australia, Canada, India and South Africa.
Therefore, it has become almost a necessity for people to speak English if they are to enter a global workforce. Research from all over the world shows that cross-border business communication is most often conducted in English and many international companies expect employees to be fluent in English.
English allows you to Enter into Top Global Universities Easily
Since English is spoken in so many different countries there are thousands of schools and universities around the world that offer programmes in English. If you speak good academic English, there’re lots of opportunities for you to find an appropriate school and course to suit your needs.
English is Widely Used in Media and Communication
Many of the world’s top films, books and music are published and produced in English. Therefore, by learning English you will have access to a great wealth of entertainment and will be able to have a greater cultural understanding.
An estimated 565 million people use the internet every day, and an estimated 52 percent of the world’s most visited websites are displayed in the English language. Hence, improving your English is important as it gives you access to over half the content on the internet. As well as this, some of the world’s largest tech companies are based in English speaking countries.
English may not be the most spoken language in the world, but it is the official language of 53 countries and spoken by around 400 million people across the globe. Being able to speak English is not just about being able to communicate with native English speakers, it is the most common second language in the world. If you want to speak to someone from another country then the chances are that you will both be speaking English to do this.
English Enhances your Career Mobility
“For recruitment and advancement in careers, English is emphasised and those with a good command of the language receive better starting salaries, faster progression, global postings and assignments,” he told FMT.
He said the private sector needed staff with a good command of English to be able to competently perform their tasks in a globalised marketplace.
His comments come in the wake of former second finance minister Johari Ghani stating that a good command of English was important for youths from B40 low-income households to progress in their working life.
“English will help employees to better communicate with their colleagues,” he had said. He added that fresh graduates with poor English were finding it hard to secure jobs now as bosses wanted staff who could communicate across borders.
“Knowledge of English is needed for well-paid employment, and sound education.
“The reason Malaysia is popular with overseas students and businesses is the use of the English language. So, ironically, it is a national asset which many are unaware of,” he added.
English proficiency vital for employment
English proficiency is very important for those looking for employment.
The language plays a vital role in getting a job offer from an employer.
Malaysian Employers Federation president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said having good English proficiency allows employees to expand their knowledge and develop a better career path.
However, many Malaysians still have a poor grasp of English despite learning it for 12 years from primary to secondary school.
Teachers and lecturers often encourage students to use the language and improve their proficiency. But it is not an easy task. Without the willingness and motivation to learn, improvement is hard to achieve.
The importance of English has grown significantly as more and more jobs require proficiency in the language.
Many youth understand the value of learning the language, yet are hesitant to use it in public as they can’t comfortably speak and write in English.
They are aware that being proficient in the language can help them make a good first impression and improve their chances of getting the job they are applying for.
Many companies consider good English proficiency as a major criterion when hiring.
According to the Malaysian Employers Federation’s 2021 salary study involving executives and non-executives, it was found that English is among the top five job skills that employers look for.
The value and relevance of English in the employment market cannot be overstated.
It is the language of the business world and most job interviews are conducted in the language.