Better prospects for fresh graduates to be expected in 2021

BASED on a recent survey by Talentbank, 73.41% of almost 200 organisations in Malaysia revealed that they are willing to hire fresh graduates from both private and public universities next year.

While 21.97% of the respondents were unsure about the decision and 4.62% would prefer not to hire fresh graduates, the overall employment prospects for fresh graduates are undoubtedly optimistic.

“This is indeed good news during this period of volatility and uncertainty brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.,” said Talentbank CEO Ben Ho.

“It also means that private and public universities in Malaysia are producing graduates with the right set of skill sets needed by the industry,” he added.

Out of the number of respondents that participated in the survey, a majority (80.35%) are mid-sized and large organisations, while 33.53% are public listed companies.

The survey also revealed that fresh graduates that possess backgrounds of certain fields are more likely to land a job, mainly in the fields of accounting, business management, marketing, computing and information technology, human resource management, mechanical engineering, electronics and electrical engineering, mass communications, banking and economics.

When asked if employers would place greater emphasis on attitude or academic results, Ho said that he was not surprised to see that a majority (91.91%) chose the former while a small percentage (8.09%) chose the latter.

“These results point to a growing demand for talents who are versatile, able to pick up new skills and take on new responsibilities thrown at them.”

Mismatch of graduates vs. number of jobs

While the job market for fresh graduates may be improving in the near future, this was not the case for those who graduated in previous years.

According to Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) 2018 annual report, an average of 173,457 diploma and degree graduates entered the workforce every year between 2010 to 2017.

Unfortunately, an average of only 98,514 high-skilled jobs were created during that period.

“This suggests that the economy has not created sufficient high-skilled jobs to absorb the number of graduates entering the labour force,” BNM said in its report.

The report also highlighted that the job deficit has exacerbated Malaysia’s already high youth unemployment rate of 13.2% in 2017, which was three times the national unemployment rate at the time. – Dec 31, 2020

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