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Digitalisation will redesign Malaysian employment environment

According to a recent report, the most recent edition the Malaysia Salary Guide for 2019 unveiled by an American office staffing company, has highlighted the growing need for digital skills among workers as a result of the digitalisation wave that is sweeping across the nation.

The report shows that demand for digital talent is fast growing despite a comparative shortfall of supply, a sign that Malaysia is facing challenges in building its digital workforce.

The report, which studied a wide array of employment sectors, notes that the banking and shared services sectors have been seeing slower growth since the last Malaysian elections.

Alternatively, the engineering and information technology sectors are expected to grow in 2019.

Commenting on the report, the Managing Director and Country Head of Malaysian branch of the firm noted that as a growing number businesses in Malaysia embrace the 4th Industrial Revolution and digitally transform their businesses, there is also a widening skill gap in the Malaysian talent pool. This is despite the fact that digital competency is a core component of many current jobs.

The 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 upskill themselves to remain competitive in this evolving employment landscape.


The report noted that the engineering sector in Malaysia is in the right position for growth despite the suspension of some major infrastructure projects and slowing growth in the manufacturing 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% to 35% by 2025, there is a clear interest in developing this sector.

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

Information technology (IT)

It is expected that the implementation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data will be the result of the expansion of Malaysia’s digital ecosystem. In addition, spending on IT products and services is projected to reach RM65.2 billion.

This paints an optimistic picture of the career paths of IT professionals who are 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.

Banking and Financial Services

2019 will be a year of significant change for the banking and financial services sector. Despite this, the report suggests the sector will see a continued trend of job creation high skilled positions such as financial analysts, prioritizing professionals equipped with the relevant digital competencies.

Moreover, as a result of the signing of a collective agreement by the members of the Malayan Commercial Banks’ Association, various employee groups in local banks will also benefit from adjusted salaries in 2019.

The report also indicates that Human Resources (HR) professionals will continue playing an increasingly important role in the growth of Malaysian businesses.

It was noted that, in the current era, firms face challenges in identifying the right person for the job, as skills deficit continue to be a concern, particularly when it involves digital marketing, e-commerce and big data.

HR leaders should not only improve their hiring processes but must also work closely with their business heads to implement and execute training initiatives to develop their workforce in order to drive business growth.

The Salary Guide was created with the intention of providing both employers and employees with key insights across a wide array of industries and to help them navigate through an increasingly competitive job arena.

Leveraging historical data compiled by the office staffing company, the Guide provides insights on the various sectors in Malaysia and the key jobs to watch for in 2019.

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