Malaysia sees rising need to prioritise digital skills

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — 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, said Kelly Services Malaysia’s 2019 Malaysia Salary Guide.

In a statement today, the workforce solutions firm said the newly-launched guide also emphasised on the rising need for digital skills to be prioritised across almost all job sectors.

Kelly Services Malaysia managing director and country head Brian Sim said a growing skill gap could be seen in the Malaysian talent pool, as more businesses embraced the 4th Industrial Revolution and digitally transformed their businesses.

“This issue is being addressed by both the Malaysian government as well as organisations through various policies and initiatives, but workers must also take the initiative to up-skill themselves to remain competitive in this evolving employment landscape,” he said.

In terms of employment sectors, the engineering and information technology (IT) sectors are expected to grow this year despite the challenging economic climate, while the banking and shared services sectors have seen slower growth since the general election last year.

The report said there was a clear interest in developing the engineering sector, with the support of government initiatives such as the Industry4WRD policy as well as the government’s goal to double the number of skilled workers from 18 per cent to 35 per cent by 2025.

“Talents in this sector that possess both technical knowledge and soft skills will continue to be highly sought after by employers across different industries.

“Accordingly, top jobs from this sector in 2019 will include head of production and project managers,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the expansion of Malaysia’s digital ecosystem will see the implementation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, while spending on IT products and services is projected to reach RM65.2 billion.

The report said this augured well for IT professionals who were equipped with the skill set to leverage these technologies in 2019.

“Much like the engineering sector, soft skills such as communication and management will play a decisive factor in the growth of IT professionals, as employers are increasingly seeking individuals with hybrid skills to take on new roles and assist the business in their digital transformation journey

“Positions like SAP (systems, applications and product) team leads and information security managers will likely see a rise in demand this year and are also among the highest paying jobs of 2019,” it said.

The Malaysia Salary Guide, created with the intention of providing both employers and employees with key insights across a wide array of industries, offers insights on the various sectors in Malaysia as well as the key jobs to look out for in 2019. — Bernama

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