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LinkedIn: Data scientists, content writers and UX designers grow in demand in MY

Digital competency is a skill in high demand, but so are soft skills, according to the 2019 Emerging Jobs in Malaysia Report by LinkedIn. The findings underscore the demand for jobs which require hybrid skills, primarily to help organisations in Malaysia navigate their digital transformation journey.

LinkedIn analysed millions of unique, user-input job titles from the last five years, and found that while the top five emerging jobs are all related to technology, many of them require management and communications skills. Their actual roles are varied and diverse, reflecting a labour market that values talent with a hybrid set of complementary skills.

According to LinkedIn, the top five emerging jobs are:

  • Data Scientist
  • Full Stack Engineer
  • Drive Test Engineer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Content Writer

“Our Emerging Jobs Report highlights the reality that new jobs are emerging more rapidly than at any other time in history. Traditional roles have evolved into hybrids that did not exist five years ago. While the top emerging jobs for Malaysia are all related to technology, many of them require soft skills such as management and communications skills, making them hybrids of new and traditional roles,” said Feon Ang, vice president of talent and learning solutions for APAC at LinkedIn.

Foster and develop the right talent

The demand for digital talent is fast growing, but is comparatively low in supply. LinkedIn’s data speaks of how Malaysia, like every other country, is facing a challenge in building its digital workforce. While data scientists ares the fastest emerging job, and also as the most in demand, digitally skilled professionals including full stack engineers or user experience designers are increasingly sought after by companies across industries.

While demand for a diverse range of tech skills dominate, digitalisation has given rise to hybrid workers who also possess soft skills that enable them to understand data, communicate clearly and manage projects. The challenge for companies is to identify and hire talents with these hybrid skills, or provide opportunities for existing employees to learn via upskilling or reskilling.

Recognise emerging specialisations

In the telecommunications sector, the high demand for drive test engineer is due to their key role in ensuring network connectivity, with Malaysia having a high penetration of mobile usage amid an increasing push for wider telecommunications coverage.  Meanwhile, user experience designers are breaking out of technology companies and spreading across companies in the e-commerce, finance and manufacturing sectors. These industries seek to establish a bigger digital footprint by hiring talents with technical, analytical and customer-focused skills to improve the customer experience.

The rising demand for content has led to jobs such as content writers. This emerging job is in high demand in Malaysia as brands recognise that compelling online content is key to pulling in and driving engagement among the large local social media population. 

Hire for skills, not job titles

The global and local talent shortage has made it necessary for HR and talent acquisition teams to evolve and innovate the way they hire. As skills commonly associated with these emerging jobs evolve, hiring based on a candidate’s title is no longer adequate and accurate in filling these gaps. Soft skills like adaptability, collaboration and leadership have emerged to be of increasing importance for professionals, even for roles that are seemingly too technical.

As such, the study says:

-Data Scientists need to communicate their insights creatively to help consumers make sense of interesting data; -User experience designers need analysis skills to help companies make their users’ experiences better;
-Content writers need to be adept at storytelling to ensure their content resonates with their audience.

“Digital competence, as we now know, is composed by a blend of hard and soft skills. This competition for talent will only grow fiercer, so organisations need to build an adaptable workforce. Real-time understanding of the demand and supply of skills, talent pools and talent movement is the first step towards building talent intelligence at scale,” added Ang.

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