12 Most Sought-After Jobs in Malaysia for 2019
Wondering what career path to take before you choose what to study? Take a look at some of Malaysia's most in-demand jobs in 2019.
Updated 18 May 2022
Malaysia's increasingly demanding job scene today is rife with competition from highly-skilled graduates. We know how important it is to secure your hard-earned spot in the workplace when you graduate with flying colours, so you'll want to make sure you're studying the best course for a rewarding career.
Need a guiding hand to help you decide what to study? Take a look at some of Malaysia’s most in-demand jobs for 2019, based on the annual Critical Occupation List (COL) 2018 / 2019 report by TalentCorp Malaysia and the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA).
#1. Computer science
Thanks to the rapid advancement of technology, there is an urgent need for professionals skilled in solving complex computing problems.
Cybersecurity, in particular, has been highlighted as one of the areas with skill shortages. With the advent of social media and the danger of fake news jeopardising lives, the field needs cybersecurity experts to monitor the digital landscape. So if you’re intrigued by cryptography and cybercriminals, this could be your dream career.
Good news if you’re a budding engineer! Both engineers and engineering technicians continue to be highly sought after, thanks to the high demand from various industries, especially the manufacturing, construction, and scientific and technical sectors.
Although engineering graduates of all fields are in demand, industrial engineers are crucially needed for jobs related to Robotic Process Automation and Business Process Mapping.
Money makes the world go round, which is why finance professionals are crucial.
With a reported need for finance managers, credit managers, and audit and risk management managers, the banking industry will welcome those who will be able to fill these large money-related shoes. At the same time, financial analysts have been highlighted as one of the top trending jobs in the digital industry.
The noble profession of teaching needs more lecturers as well as early childhood teachers, so those seeking a career to mould the minds of the future’s best and brightest are in luck.
There is a need for lecturers and educators who are learned in emerging fields of technology, such as data science, forensics and cybersecurity, as they are predicted to be popular in the future. Take note that you’ll need to have a Master’s Degree to qualify as a university lecturer.
The early childhood education industry also chimes in with a need for educators well-versed in handling infants and children to ensure their physical, social and emotions are cultivated.
Number crunchers retain their high position on the list, as the call for accountants soars higher each year.
Accountants these days do more than basic debit / credit entries — they’re also required to make recommendations and provide strategic advice to the management. Taking on the role of an accountant also requires an excellent command of language to better interpret accounting standards correctly.
It's also a good idea to master specialised tasks, as talents are needed in the Islamic banking industry. The hotel industry is also on the hunt for accountants who can handle their internal operations.
#6. Actuarial science
Actuarial science graduates are often sought-after for their data analysis skills.
The Actuarial Society of Malaysia confirms that appointed actuaries are critically-required, specifically in strong growth areas such as general insurance. The robust demand is due to insufficient supply of experienced candidates.
In addition to the traditional industries of insurance and banking, these math whizzes are also needed to fill data scientist jobs that trending in the digital space due to Big Data Analytics.
Who said a communications degree is useless? Careers in advertising and public relations are booming, so go ahead and flaunt your skills in copywriting and campaign planning.
The Public Relations Consultants' Association of Malaysia (PRCA) have stressed the critical need for advertising and public relations managers due to the uptick of managing digital assets and social media. Additionally, public relations managers have to take on roles with more depth in communication strategies and how to deal with stakeholders.
Don’t forget to sharpen your language skills as being proficient in English and Malay (both written and spoken) will give you an advantage.
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#8. Graphic & multimedia design
Calling all creatives! Companies from various sectors are reporting a shortage of graphic designers and creative designers.
In addition, we are also seeing a growth in the digital content industry in the form of animation and video games development. This is good news for those with niche talents who are skilled in 3D modelling and digital art.
#9. Culinary arts
From plating edible works of art to managing a motley crew of chefs, the ability to cook up a storm is a critical vocation. Particularly, those capable of whipping up pastries and general dishes are needed in work kitchens.
Part of the reason why the hotel industry is suffering a shortage of talent is due to the misconception that a career in the industry is “dangerous, dirty and demeaning (3D)”. To address this, companies are expanding local recruitment efforts and increasing wages.
Industries such as manufacturing, mining and quarrying are in need of chemists specialising in research and development, as well as petrophysicists.
The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Environmental Scan also reports that pharmaceutical chemists are a critical occupation. They are primarily needed to formulate drugs and test for drug efficacy and safety.
#11. Occupational Safety & Health
It may seem an obvious and simple task to ensure every work environment meets safety and health standards to reduce potential occupational hazards, but this actually calls for specialised (and much-needed) knowledge.
The report states that jobs in occupational safety and health are hard to fill due to the small number of applicants. Those who apply sometimes lack the required credentials, certifications (e.g. Certificate of Occupational Safety, Health Green Book) or job experience.
Time is money in the world of business, which is why the many months needed to hire new talent dents a business’s success.
Specific business majors that are in demand include human resources and marketing. Various industries, especially finance, insurance, transport and manufacturing, are seeking middle and senior level candidates in the human resources sector. Similarly, marketing managers are also crucial in the current business climate that’s fast-paced and highly competitive.
We hope that you have a clearer idea of your future career with this list of Malaysia’s in-demand jobs. While it's good to think about a well-paying job that's critically needed, remember that your passions and interests also come into play! Good luck and all the best.