Demand for technological skills in job market to soar over next decade

Director of Michael Page employment agency Chan May Wah speaks during an interview with Malay Mail Online in Kuala Lumpur March 22, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Director of Michael Page employment agency Chan May Wah speaks during an interview with Malay Mail Online in Kuala Lumpur March 22, 2017. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — The country’s job market demand in the next decade will shift from traditional labour to high-paying jobs that require technological skills.

Michael Page Malaysia director May Wah Chan said jobs related to cyber security, big data, data protection, artificial intelligence and robotics will see a huge surge in demand.

However, she said that there is a massive talent shortage in these areas as the local education system does not cater to the existing demand, hence the need for the jobs to be outsourced. 

“The problem that we have right now is the talent mismatch. There is a high level of unemployed graduates, but at the same time we face a talent shortage,” she said to Bernama in an exclusive interview.

May said the main problem faced by local unemployed graduates is the lack of technical knowledge and exposure during their tertiary study.

“Overseas graduates have higher chances of getting employed as they have the knowledge and experience sought by companies, especially multi-national corporations,” she said.

As at February 2019, the unemployment rate in Malaysia stood at 3.3 per cent or 516,400 persons, while employment increased 2.1 per cent to 15.03 million.

She added that with the current pace of digitalisation, talent produced locally are not moving concurrently with the job demand.

“Many traditional jobs will be obsolete in the future due to digitalisation, but the young talents are not trained to adapt to the change.

“Our education system must be upgraded to cater to these future demands to avoid local graduates facing difficulties in obtaining future jobs,” she said.

May said the country has been losing high-skilled talents to countries like Singapore which offers bigger prospects such as career advancement and higher salaries.

“Ironically, the reason why some Malaysian talents decided to return home is mainly because of an elderly family member around,” she said.

She added that young graduates looking for jobs must equip themselves with strong will, proper soft skill sets such as communications and correct attitude.

“Qualifications are just the first step, but without proper quality, it would be difficult (to get jobs),” she said. — Bernama

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