Malaysia’s brain drain is large and growing in the digital field, says study

While information technology (IT) is expected to grow and supply high-paying jobs, Malaysia will have to tackle its shortfall in digital talents. This comes as digitalisation shapes Malaysia's workforce transformation in 2019, according to Kelly Services Malaysia's 2019 Salary Guide.

However, the report said Malaysia has its work cut out in 2019 to fill the rising and ever-changing jobs in the IT sector. This is because new jobs are rapidly emerging, and traditional roles are evolving into hybrids. There is also high demand for multi-skilled talents who are not only adept in digital aspects but also come equipped with soft skills such as management and communication.

One concern raised by Kelly Services is the employability of graduates in Malaysia. Employers have pointed out skills gaps such as the lack of industrial training experience and communication skills. It added,

Malaysia’s brain drain is large and growing, with neighbouring countries offering enticing opportunities to Malaysia’s skilled talent.

Among the IT roles in demand, SAP team lead (RM17,000 - RM35,000) and information security manager (RM12,000 - RM20,000) offer the highest salaries. Meanwhile, roles such as project manager (RM8,000 - RM15,000) and helpdesk tech support with foreign language expertise (RM6,000 - RM12,000) have the widest salary range.

Another sector that are set for growth in 2019 is engineering. Unveiled in late 2018, the National Policy on
Industry 4.0, or Industry4WRD, will support the sector’s efforts to transform Malaysia into a strategic partner for smart manufacturing and high-tech industries. In line with this, the government intends to nearly double the number of skilled workers from 18% to 35% by 2025.


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