The job scene in Malaysia is changing rapidly. We are fast transforming into a high-income nation and skilled graduates are vital to move the economy forward.
While many expect graduates from tried-and-true fields such as health sciences to be in demand, the truth is that careers in medicine, pharmacy and dentistry have taken a back seat as job appointments today are slowly moving towards a contract basis.
So what are the most sought-after jobs by employers?
Based on the Critical Occupation List (COL) 2016/2017 by TalentCorp and the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA), here are the hottest courses that may give you an edge over the rest when it comes to employability.
A field that involves designing and improving machines, structures, materials and processes, Engineering graduates excel in logical thinking and solving complex problems.
There are many fields of specialisations in Engineering, such as Mechanical, Aerospace, Electrical & Electronics and Chemical Engineering – all which have been identified as critical and in need of talent.
In-demand jobs include mechanical engineer, electronic engineer, telecommunications engineer, quality assurance engineer, industrial engineer and process engineer.
#2. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
A dynamic field that has become a necessity in today’s digital age, Computer Science and Information Technology graduates are skilled in problem-solving and deductive reasoning.
As businesses turn digital or risk being disrupted, they are now in urgent need of ICT professionals to develop and support new tools that solve complex business problems, covering areas such as analytics, business automation, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
Top jobs include systems analyst, software developer, database analyst, network analyst, technical helpdesk analyst and test engineer.
Studying Business provides you with a firm understanding of the fundamental areas in business. It encompasses knowledge of how businesses work, as well as the science behind running and managing a business.
Marketing and sales, international business, management, economics and human resource are among the many branches under Business. In all 10 key economic sectors in Malaysia, there is a huge demand for talents coming from this course.
Top jobs include sales manager, marketing manager, management consultant and human resource manager.
Sometimes classified as a major under Business, Finance is a field that revolves around managing money and wealth, ensuring that individuals, companies and governments make sound investment decisions and apportion their money effectively to get the best bang for their buck.
Knowledgeable in allocating funds and managing risk versus reward, Finance graduates have a wide range of career options in various industries, including banks, securities trading companies and consultancies.
Critical jobs include research analyst, corporate finance adviser, financial planner and finance executive.
Often called the “Language of Business”, Accounting deals with recording financial transactions so that they can be easily presented in analyses and reports, which are used by businesses to make strategic business decisions.
As a graduate from this course, you will develop attention to detail, deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills. The skills you acquire in this line of study are exceedingly practical. No matter which sector a company is in, accountants and tax consultants are always relevant.
In-demand jobs include auditor, tax consultant, financial controller, management accountant and GST specialist.
Communication studies combine aspects of both social sciences and the humanities. It relates to disseminating information to the masses (read: a large number of people) all at the same time via various media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online channels.
This course covers a vast area, from Corporate Communication and Advertising to Public Relations and Broadcasting. Skilled in delivering high-impact messages to the public, Mass Communication graduates are highly versatile.
Critical jobs include communications manager, producer, scriptwriter and customer service manager.
#7. Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Logistics expertise is used in a variety of local industries from manufacturing of industrial and consumer goods to service and merchandising. The study of logistics involves tackling the processes of planning, implementing and controlling procedures for efficient transportation and storage of goods.
Graduates of this course will have expertise in transport planning as well as inventory and warehouse management.
Jobs in demand include logistics manager, supply manager, warehouse manager, distribution manager and procurement officer.
#8. Graphic Design and Multimedia
A field that brings thoughts, stories and ideas to life, Graphic Design and Multimedia is an exciting field that allows you to ignite your imagination.
With so much information being created each day, creative designers are vital in attracting and engaging audiences to stand out among the noise. Whether you’re honing your craft in creating appealing visuals, designing easy-to-navigate websites or producing 3D animated characters, your talents will be sought after in this thriving industry.
Critical jobs include web designer, graphic designer, animator and 3D artist.
Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing and constructing buildings and physical structures. Honing their skills in design and visualisation, architecture students learn to creatively use materials and technology to achieve functional yet aesthetically pleasing structures.
The employment outlook for these building planners and designers is bright, with substantial demand in the housing, education and health sectors.
Top jobs include architect and interior architect.
#10. Actuarial Science
A course that’s arising in popularity, Actuarial Science applies statistical and mathematical knowledge to figure out risks in individuals, businesses and governments. You will get to master subjects like statistics, economics, finance and probability theory in this field.
Actuarial Science graduates are well-versed in statistics and probability, and can find opportunities in insurance, pension funds and companies looking into big data and analytics.
In-demand jobs include actuarial science mathematician, product actuary, data scientist and predictive analyst.
The road ahead is not always clear. However, now that you know of the jobs currently most in demand in Malaysia, we hope this will serve as a guide for you to use in deciding the right path towards your future.