What do IT jobseekers need to keep in mind when looking for jobs in Malaysia? Here is our review of the current employment market.


Different regions across the world are reacting to employment trends in their own way, which can provide challenges for jobseekers looking to find success abroad.

Malaysia in particular – while a hotspot for digital investment – is demanding a specific set of traits in candidates if they wish to find employment. This is encouraged by the region’s competitive job market, which is testing local university graduates.

A recent paper published in the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities and produced by Universiti Teknologi MARA discussed the skills Malaysian graduates exit tertiary education with, finding that a shift in learning methods could make them more employable.

What skills do jobseekers need in Malaysia?

Researchers for the project constructed the Graduate Eligibility Model (GEM) to educate university students about gaps in their skill sets that need to be addressed before they look for work.

According to the paper, the techniques taught and assessed in Malaysian tertiary institutions lean more towards rote learning. While this can be helpful for remembering information, it doesn’t provide students with the abilities necessary for performing effectively in the workplace.

The inspiration for this project comes from Malaysia’s high rate of graduate unemployment, with over 30,000 qualified candidates unable to find jobs in their chosen field.

On top of these statistics, many Malaysian graduates are struggling with underemployment. This is where they have found a job, but it doesn’t satisfy the amount of hours they wish to work or their skill level.

The Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education found this can have negative psychological effects on jobseekers as it reduces their ability to develop further skills.

What’s being done to change this?

According to the university’s researchers, many firms are hiring overseas talent, creating plenty of opportunities for international jobseekers to get ahead. The team also believes its GEM model has the potential to help the country’s graduates get ready for the workplace.

“In view of the worrying trends in graduate unemployment, [we need] to reflect upon, research, plan, survey, construct and administer [an] employability assessment tool to help us to rectify the shortcomings or enhance the quality of our graduates as they exit university,” the team said.

Ideally, this program will focus on supplementing the knowledge taught at university with the skills jobs will require.

The government has also been increasing funding to help with the issue. A July 2013 article from The Star reported that the 2012 budget pledged $150 million to address skills gaps, which should see the market shift in jobseekers’ favour.