Amy (not her real name), a starry-eyed SPM school leaver is still in the dark about what course she should pursue for a brighter future in today’s digitally-driven world. Many SPM school leavers find themselves in the same boat as Amy. Needless to say, choosing the right course to study after secondary school is one of the most important decisions in life!
According to Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management, Human Resource Adviser, Geh Thuan, “with the advent of Industry 4.0 where artificial intelligence (AI) will replace many present jobs, anything related to data analytics, information technology and robotics are good fields to venture into”.
Here are five emerging careers in Malaysia based on a report by professional networking site, LinkedIn.
1. Data Scientist
Dubbed ‘the sexiest job in the 21st century’ by Harvard, a data scientist backs every proof and findings with data. Demand for data science skills is growing rapidly as it is crucial for large enterprises and companies to extract knowledge and insight from data to make business decisions.
Apart from having a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Statistics or Social and Physical Sciences and technical skills, for example, Python Coding (the most common type of coding language), data scientists are also required to have excellent communication skills to share their knowledge with non-technical teams at the workplace.
This means even Arts stream students who generally have non-technical skills can pursue their interest in data science with strong communication and business skills. According to Hays Recruiting Experts: The 2019 Hays Asia Salary Guide, candidates with a background in data science are expected to remain in strong demand in Malaysia over the coming year resulting in higher salary demands. Based on 84 job advertisements in the past three years, the average salary for an entry level data scientist in Malaysia is RM3,000 monthly (Source: indeed.com.my).
If you are a person who generally enjoys solving logical puzzles and numbers with excellent communication skills and willing to work hard, then you may be a perfect fit for courses in the field of data science.
The Workplace Learning Report published last year by LinkedIn identifies essential engineering soft skills in addition to technical engineering skills – effective communication, creativity, adaptability, collaborative and leadership skills are crucial to prospective employers.
2. User Experience (UX) Designer
The term ‘UX’ is credited to Donald Norman of Apple Computers who sought to explore all aspects of a user’s experience, including industrial design, graphics, interface and physical manual interaction. A ‘UX’ Designer is essential to product development to make a product useful, usable and enjoyable for its users. Some of the key responsibilities of a UX Designer includes product research, interpreting data and qualitative feedback, creating user stories and story boards and conducting usability tests and finding solutions to user problems (e.g.: functionality).
The average salary for a user experience designer in Malaysia is RM40,000 per year (Source: PayScale Malaysia). UX designers are sought after by employers in various industries such as tech companies, businesses in e-commerce, finance and manufacturing industries.
3. Full Stack Engineer
According to LinkedIn, full stack engineers are now in high demand in Malaysia dubbed as ‘one of the region’s highest start–up densities’. Basically, a full stack engineer is responsible for developing, implementing and testing software programs for a company. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in information systems or computer science is required. Some employers may even require a master’s and several years of work experience.
Soft skills highly sought after in this area include good communication and collaborative skills, as well as a keen desire to learn as technology is ever evolving! The average salary for a full stack developer in Malaysia is RM5,228 per month (Source: indeed.com.my).
4. Drive Test Engineer
This type of engineer is responsible for developing, testing, and supervising the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and even automobiles or aircrafts.
5. Content Writer
LinkedIn listed content writer with the highest demand in Malaysia due to the rise of social media. Generally, content writers have a journalism or publishing background to craft stories that engage and appeal to a wide audience of readers.
Apart from having a knack for words, essential skills required to become a successful content writer include the ability to master different styles of writing, strong research skills, sound knowledge of WordPress and SEO to provide quality content, the ability to deal with short deadlines and networking skills.
Content writers nowadays are required to be tech and social media savvy to market their written content and generate an interest in the product/services of an organisation. Although the average salary for a content writer in Malaysia is RM2,515 per month, prior working experience in a newspaper or publishing house may result in a higher salary (Source: indeed.com.my).