Best Courses to Study in Malaysia that has Great Career Prospects
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At EduSpiral Consultant Services, we do our research on the job demand for the careers in Malaysia and Salary Reports in order to best advise our students on what to study based on facts and evidence. Students need to talk to the right education counsellors so that you get the right information to help you in making this life-changing decision. We have prepare a list of the best courses to study in Malaysia that has high job demand to help students choose the right career for a successful future.
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- Top 20 Courses to Study in Malaysia that has High Job Demand & Stable Salary
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- Top 10 Jobs in Malaysia
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Look at Job Demand and Trends in Malaysia when Choosing your Course
Traditionally prestigious professions still have it – those in these jobs remain sought-after today, although their counterparts in the digital industry are in high demand. Despite talk of oversupply, medical specialists, accountants, engineers, architects, pharmacists and dentists are still much needed in Malaysia.
These professionals are crucial for Malaysia to achieve developed nation status. These roles are important in ensuring affordable, quality service, especially healthcare, for the people. On the other hand, the manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and finance and insurance sectors may have too many workers.
Thanks to disruptive technology and the challenging economy, these industries (which were last year’s top retrenched fields) continue to see an oversupply of workers. There are also too many general practitioners, especially in urban areas.
The Critical Occupations List 2016/2017, which covers 10 key sectors in the country, underscores the need for accountants, engineers, software engineers, ICT professionals and tertiary level educators. This time around, however, lawyers – who were on the COL 2015/2016 – have been removed from the list, meaning they are no longer considered to be “critically needed”.
Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry advised graduates entering the job market to study employment trends. Those thinking of manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and finance and insurance, should know that these sectors topped the retrenchment list last year, it said.
In 2015, there were no retrenchments in the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, support services, education, health, humanities, social work, water supply, waste management, art, entertainment, recreation, and household products and services sectors.
But the positive trend changed last year, according to the ministry’s latest statistics.
WHILE software developer, recruiter, database developer, information security specialist, data analyst, corporate tax specialist, payroll specialist, business intelligence consultant, regulatory specialist and marketing research specialist, are LinkedIn’s “top 10” most-in-demand talents, those interested in traditionally-popular fields also have reason to be optimistic. Many crucial areas like medicine, engineering and accounting, are still thriving in Malaysia.
And, according to Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, the sales and marketing, hospitality, food and beverage line, are also hiring. He, however, says job seekers are reluctant to enter the sales and marketing profession, viewing the job as too demanding, especially with the need for English proficiency.
Multilingual talents for contact centres and customer service roles are also much-sought after, as are Human Resource professionals to help companies map long-term growth plans, he says. Meanwhile, companies involved in ICT, IT-enabled services and business process outsourcing, education and manufacturing, will continue filling key positions.
Job Demand for Engineers in Malaysia
In developed nations, there should be at least one engineer to a group of 75 to 150. Last year, Malaysia’s population stood at about 31.7 million, so with 200,000 engineers, we’re close to the 1:150 ratio. But we should target a ratio of 1:100 by 2020 to speed up our transformation to a developed nation.
There is a shortage of qualified engineers suitable for the crucial role of overseeing construction projects and infrastructure development works, according to the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).
IEM president Datuk Lim Chow Hock told StarBiz that there were only about 150,000 experienced engineers in Malaysia.
“We are still short of 50,000 to meet the requirement in the construction and infrastructure sectors. The experienced engineers are needed in the consultation and management departments,” he said. Lim added that the demand for consultation and management engineers for government construction and infrastructure projects would mitigate the impact of the slowdown taking place in the construction industry.
It is noted that in the Ninth Malaysia Plan presented by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in March 2006, the government plans to increase engineering student enrolment for public and private universities with the target annual growth rate of 12.2% and 20.8% respectively (Malaysia 2006a). In 2006, an estimated 10,571 students entered first year engineering studies in public and private universities.
Therefore with the expected growth, the government is projecting that more than 77,000 and 222,000 engineering graduates will be produced altogether from all the Malaysian universities in the next 5 and 10 years respectively.
In a 2006 Report by the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, Mechanical engineering is viewed as the field of engineering most highly demanded in the future with a projected increase of 24% from 5 to 10 years (from an estimated number of engineers of 58000 to 72000).
About 8% of the respondents indicated a demand for other engineering fields, such as biomedical, computer engineering, instrumentation and technology, marine technology, mechatronic, software engineering and process engineering. According to the report, the demand is highest for: Mechanical Engineers, next is Electrical, Civil, Electronic and finally Chemical.
Job Demand for Information Communications Technology (ICT), Computing, Software Engineering & Cyber Security in Malaysia
Organisations in Malaysia are already reinventing themselves to embrace digitisation, so it comes as no surprise that this field is observing – now and in the future – a steady and strong demand. Software development, data centres, big data analytics and cloud computing are rapidly developing areas.
Digital or IT-related jobs, including content creators, data scientists and IT professionals will continue to stay in demand for the next decade.
And, with a growing number of large-scale cyberattacks including the global WannaCry ransomware which infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this year, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity experts are high on the wanted list. Organisations need such professionals to safeguard their IT operations. According to Hays, the increasing threat of cyber security has created huge demand for security experts who can safeguard the IT systems of organisations against malicious cyber-attacks.
Meanwhile, Robert Walters Malaysia managing director Sally Raj says software developers and cyber security experts can expect significant salary raises of up to 25% when moving jobs in 2017, as cyber security professionals will be highly sought after across a number of industries, especially in the banking sector.
Job Demand for Architects in Malaysia
According to the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), the number of architects should be increased. To achieve the ideal ratio of 1:4,000, we need 7,500 architects in Malaysia. The present ratio of 1:15,000, is far below the ratio in most developed countries. It’s time for us to build capacity to compete with international firms.
Local firms are facing increasing competition from these firms, both here and abroad. Due to the current soft market in the local development sector, the demand for architects is lower. But with new infrastructure, townships, housing and building projects starting to grow again, the market is expected to improve. Demand for architects in Malaysia will start to increase by 2020.
Job Demand for Accountants in Malaysia
Under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), it’s envisaged that Malaysia will need 60,000 accountants by 2020 to transform Malaysia into a developed nation. The accounting profession is versatile and offers diverse opportunities.
It goes beyond the “accountant” title as job designations nowadays are more creative. The profession includes financial controller, chief financial officer, vice-president of finance, financial director and so forth. Malaysia is very much in need of accountants.
There’s a low number of accounting graduates registered with the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). However, in order to succeed in the accounting and finance career, graduates should be proficient in the English language.
Internal Auditors, Regulatory Reporting Analysts, and Financial Planning & Analysis professionals are among the skills in high demand across Asia, according to our latest Hays Quarterly Report of jobs in demand. In Malaysia there is a steady demand for Tax Managers, Accounts Payable/Receivable Managers, CFOs and Financial Controllers, Corporate Finance Managers, Risk Analysts and Credit Risk Managers, and Compliance Officers.
Job Demand for Finance, Banking & Investment in Malaysia
And, with financial institutions strengthening their governance structures, positions to manage anti-money laundering activities, sales and regulatory compliance, are opening up. New rules and regulations for financial institutions are being introduced, so, there’s a greater demand for risk managers and compliance professionals. Candidates who are able to reduce financial institutions’ exposure to risk will stand out as employers step up their efforts to ensure they adhere to regulatory requirements. Risk and compliance will be two hot areas where fierce competition will take place for the right candidate
First, there was the enactment of the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009 and Financial Services and Islamic Financial Services Acts of 2013 which led to stricter legal and regulatory requirements. Then, there were continued and consistent efforts to strengthen risk management, governance and effective supervision. A combination of the two has resulted in a growing demand in risk, compliance, governance and audit roles in this sector.
Skilled finance, banking & investment professionals are projected to remain in high demand in Malaysia’s accountancy & finance job market as employers grow their businesses and add more value for clients. Strong demand exists for qualified graduates in finance, banking & investment possessing critical thinking skills, innovative, interpersonal communication skills and a strong command of the English language.
Although Malaysia’s finance sector is growing steadily the supply of talent has begun to decrease. That’s not good news especially now that Malaysia needs more finance talents in preparation for the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) which is set to bolster the country’s economic landscape. TRX, Malaysia’s version of Wall Street, will bring together local and overseas financial institutions and other corporations in a single area. 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. That’s not nearly enough.
By 2020, the Malaysian financial services sector is predicted to create 275,400 new jobs, with positions relating to accounts, investments, international trade, sales and marketing and economics becoming widely available. Therefore, if you have decided on studying a degree in Finance, Banking & Investment, you have made the best choice for a solid future career. Just make sure that you choose the best university in Malaysia for you Finance, Banking & Investment studies.
Job Demand for Insurance in Malaysia
The number of insurance agents stands at around 80,000. It’s been the same for many years. The ratio-to-population is 1:375. In Taiwan, the ratio is 1:77 – that’s 300,000 agents servicing a population of 23 million. There, the insured population is 260%. In Malaysia, only 54% are insured. To achieve Bank Negara’s insurance penetration rate to 75% by 2020, we need more agents. Most graduates want to “work” for a fixed salary of RM3,000 to RM4,000. But a career in life insurance offers a stable income of RM100,000 per annum after three years in business, if you work for it. Therefore, pursuing a degree in Marketing & Sales, Finance, Accounting or Business Administration are useful courses to equip you to enter the insurance career.
Given the expected continuous growth in the insurance market, it is anticipated that the demand for actuaries in Malaysia will continue to grow in the next few decades. Future regulatory developments (e.g. requirement for certification of IBNR) and the increasing need for risk management are likely to result in significant increase in demand for actuarial services by general insurers. With only 100 qualified actuaries in Malaysia, the market for actuaries can perhaps still be considered unsaturated.
Job Demand for Human Resource Management in Malaysia
Human Resource professionals need business acumen. Malaysian businesses will be looking for qualified and experienced Human Resource professionals who are strategic thinkers and can help them map out long-term growth plans.
There is a shortage of candidates in logistics and supply chain in Malaysia. Demand for planning candidates in the supply chain sector will remain strong in 2017. It’s a niche area in which companies will need to offer generous packages to attract qualified candidates. Large MNCs will continue to drive demand for supply chain professionals as they streamline business processes within their local operations.
Job Demand for Logistics and Supply Chain in Malaysia
Supply chain includes transportation and logistics. This industry will continue to grow, as Malaysia is strategically located and has easy access to regional resources and supply chains within South East Asia.
Job Demand for Social Media Marketing Professionals in Malaysia
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said social media experts were now much sought-after as many businesses strengthened their social media platforms to become more sales-driven. Many Malaysian businesses look to solidify their social media platforms to become more sales-driven. This will create demand for multi-faceted social media marketing professionals who can not only curate, edit and write content to drive engagement and awareness on a daily basis, but also manage paid advertising designed to create leads and drive sales.
According to a Top Markets report, e-commerce adoption rates in Malaysia make up 70% of the population, and this is partly due to the government’s effort in pushing for online businesses. Job seekers can definitely look towards this field, as the sector is expected to grow by 34% this year to US$3.8bil, BMI Research reported. What job seekers may be interested to know is that Alibaba intends to set up a regional distribution hub here, which can only mean more job opportunities.
Job Demand for Medical Specialists in Malaysia
With only 7,000 over medical specialists, including 4,000 in the public service, there’s an overall shortage of specialists. It’s not just the numbers that’s the issue, but the need to maintain the high standard of specialists. On a positive note, there’s a fair distribution of these specialists nationwide. Due to supply, demand and remuneration, there may be an oversupply in urban and semi-urban areas. But in rural areas, GPs are scarce.
Job Demand for Pharmacists in Malaysia
Malaysia is producing over 1,300 pharmacy graduates yearly. The recommended ratio by WHO for developed countries is 1:2,000. Our ratio to population is 1:2,837 and 59% of registered pharmacists are in the public sector.
Household names like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca operate in Malaysia, attracted by government incentives and access to the ASEAN Economic Community (a market of US$750m). The Ministry of Health (MoH) also encourages foreign investment by offering off-take agreements to new pharmaceutical companies, like the agreement signed with Indian corporation Biocon to supply insulin to state hospitals and clinics.
The government is seeking to foster a homegrown pharmaceutical industry, for currently 70% of pharmaceutical products are imported. The pharmaceutical manufacturing Entry Point Project (EPP) ‘seeks to capitalize on the impending expiry of patents on major drugs to increase Malaysia’s generic drug manufacturing capacity’. Malaysia will produce generics of drugs with expired patents or forms contracts with foreign pharmaceutical companies to manufacture new generics on their behalf. The stage is thus set for larger companies to formulate collaborative partnerships with homegrown industry, passing manufacturing expertise and operational knowledge onto new start-ups.
According to MIDA, of the 264 licensed pharmaceutical premises in Malaysia only 77 are licensed to produce ‘modern medicines’ (antibiotics, injectables, painkillers, health supplements etc.). This proportion will need to increase in the future, and Malaysia certainly provides an ideal manufacturing environment. Malaysia has a strong intellectual property (IP) protection framework, and its membership of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S) and commitment to the latest Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) will ensure stringent quality control for new manufacturers.
The global pharmaceuticals market is approximately US$132bn. In 2015 Malaysia’s share was estimated at US$2.3bn (over twice that of Singapore) and is projected to reach US$3.6bn by 2020. This is likely a conservative projection and the real figure could be much higher, especially if Malaysia exploits the opportunity to export halal-certified pharmaceutical products to members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Job Demand in Malaysia for Health Care
Malaysia is an emerging centre of medical tourism in APAC and in 2015, Malaysia’s medical tourism industry was estimated to have earned revenues of US$350 million.
Efforts made to growth this sector are expected to highlight Malaysia’s advantages to medical tourist as a location for high quality, cost effective healthcare. Additionally, with the current international wave of interest for wellness and traditional therapies Malaysia is well placed to attract health travellers for a combination of wellness and health vacations.
According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), healthcare was the fastest-growing industry between 2000 and 2009 and thus recognised as a key driver of economic growth. In 2010, the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) was established to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020. Under this initiative, healthcare was identified as one of 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) to receive substantial government support and funding. The Healthcare NKEA focuses on encouraging areas of public-private collaboration and attracting investment in key manufacturing and service industries.
This is being driven by seventeen Entry Point Projects (EPPs), which are expected to create 181,000 new jobs by 2020. These projects span a broad range of areas, from fostering a homegrown pharmaceutical industry, to establishing a range of care services for the elderly, to constructing a ‘world-class campus for healthcare and bioscience’.
Under the ETP, conditions for medical tourism have flourished. At the International Medical Travel Journal’s (IMTJ) Medical Travel Awards 2016, Malaysia swept up an array of awards for the second consecutive year, including ‘Destination of the Year’. But how is Malaysia distinguishing itself from its regional competitors?
As noted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), within the tourism sector – Malaysia’s fifth-largest industry – the medical subsector expanded by over 20% a year from 2011-2014. Revenues from medical tourism in 2010 totalled RM380m (US$86m). Although initially projected to grow annually by 10% up until 2020, actual figures are closer to 30%.
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