I posted a question on Facebook to find out what people thought were the popular career trends in Malaysia. At first, the responses seemed quite weird and random – ranging from E-liquid mixer to keyboard warrior. But then a certain pattern started to emerge from the answers.
Most of the jobs were internet-related. People mentioned IT jobs, social media jobs and digital enablement jobs like Digital Marketing, Digital Product Managers and Digital Payment Developers.
Some other career trends people mentioned were customer service, politicians, and analyst or fund managers. One person even mentioned that more people in Malaysia were choosing permaculture as a career option.
I interviewed four of the Malaysians who responded to my question on Facebook. Two of them agreed that digital jobs are in demand, while the other two mentioned fund managers and politicians as popular jobs.
Digital Enablement Jobs
Dilip Khumar is a 38 year old IT Project Manager who is of the opinion that the current career trend is towards digital enablement. “Much has been spoken about how internet connectivity is going to change how things are done. Now we are seeing the actual trend.”
“There is greater reduction in manual work and automation is a trend. Legacy jobs are transformed with digital know-how. A marketer is now required to be digitally aware. A programmer is now required to be an application developer for the marketplace. A salesman is required to be e savvy.”
When asked why he thought digital enablement jobs are popular or are in demand, he replied saying, “It is the advent of how we will be all digitally connected more and more. Automation will lead us further into transformation of legacy jobs to digital enablement. Some jobs may not even be there any longer.”
Lydia Arshad is a 35 year old Business-IT Project Manager in the telco industry, managing an all-digital telco product. She thinks that Digital Product Managers, Digital Marketing and App/Web Developers are the popular career trend as they are in demand.
“Because as we are going in this digitalization of everything which used to be offline, and everyone is on social media, marketing products on these digital platforms is essential.
Making everything available online and self-service makes things easier for consumers as we don’t have to be physically there to perform errands or transactions. This saves a whole lot of our time and effort.”
Lydia believes the most rewarding career path is “a career path which enhances your capabilities and growth significantly, at the same time, having a great working environment with work-life balance.”
Fund Management and Asset Management
My next interviewee would rather not be named so let’s call him John. John’s job involves looking after relationships between valued clients, delivering custom solutions to large corporations and financial institutions.
John believes the most financially rewarding career path is currently in the area of fund management or asset management. “The fund management industry has been steadily growing as more companies and institutional investors are requiring advice on strategic asset allocation.”
Joe Chin is a writer, copywriter, editor, performing artist and massage therapist. He mentioned politician as the new career trend, so I probed him further about why this is becoming a trend now. This is what he said:
“Popular. Competence is sorely needed but no one seems to be demanding enough for it from within. The new federal administration appears to pay some respect for competence but I doubt it is the new culture.”
According to Joe the most financially rewarding career path has to do with financial investments – “in the capacity of investor, not just another worker in a financial organisation.”
However, he also adds that a rewarding career path should include forms of rewards other than financial which may vary depending on the individual.
Dilip, Lydia and John had a similar view that many jobs in the future will be taken over by automation and robotics. However, all of the interviewees were confident that their jobs will still be relevant in the future.
They predicted that robotics and automation will take over a lot of the manufacturing jobs and customer service jobs, while other jobs such as managerial level jobs will still remain relevant, but in general job performers will be forced to work more closely with automation.
Coming from a more artsy background, Joe had a slightly different vision of the jobs of the future. He said, “They will be creative with a bend on problem solving. In order to solve the problem of environmental degradation, for instance, inventions will arise in the form of equipment or alternative recycling methods. By the same token, new careers will emerge based on the needs engendered by such problems.”
“Also, careers will be chosen based on their perceived popularity (for popularity’s sake, as opposed to financial) or ability to bring personal fulfilment.”
In conclusion, I managed to gather that tech-savvy jobs and financial investors are the best bet when it comes to having a financially rewarding job. However there are also other opportunities opening up such as in the areas of politics and permaculture which thrive on the more idealistic impulses of the younger generation.
For more articles like this, read 4 Ways a Japanese Company Works Differently from a Malaysian One and 4 Reasons Why You Should Change Your Job.