The uncertainty has been amplified by the pandemic’s impact on the economy and the delivery of knowledge in the new norm with educational institutions scrambling to ensure the marketability of their graduates.
A survey by consumer trends research firm Wunderman Thompson Intelligence (WTI) of 500 Malaysian youths in January found a high percentage of Gen Z respondents expressing worry about future job prospects, their preparedness for the future, the economy and the costs of living.
Deciding what to study in their tertiary journey has become more of a challenge for students who will have to make sure that the three to five years invested in obtaining a degree bears fruit.
Despite the emphasis on technology, conventional courses such as business administration, computing, engineering and hospitality remain popular among local and international students in higher education institutions here, according to the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities and Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) – the official gateway for international students.
While stressing on the importance and relevance of technologically-driven knowledge, academicians and employers remind students to look beyond paper qualifications as practical skills are just as crucial in tackling the challenges of IR4.0.
The Malaysian Employers Federation has advised students to be digitally savvy and to master the skills of agility, creativity and critical thinking.
Conventional courses are still relevant and will continue to be the cornerstone of the economy, according to educationists.
The key is to ensure that the knowledge is updated and adapted to a technologically-driven future.
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