PETALING JAYA: The average salary in Malaysia still falls behind global industry average even though there is a rising trend in salaries within the technology sector in the last year.
National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom) adviser Woon Tai Hai said there is a noticeable strong year-on-year (Y-O-Y) salary growth in this period, contrasting sharply with the modest 2% percentile range growth observed previously.
“Recent findings from Pikom indicate a significant uptick in technology sector salaries over the past 12 months.
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“The continued, consistent growth of Malaysia’s digital economy and concurrent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge technologies have catalysed the creation of novel job roles and opportunities in the tech sector,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar had on Sunday said there has been a decrease in unemployment rate to 3.5% recorded in the first quarter of the year compared to 3.6% in the preceding quarter in 2022.
Sivakumar attributed the statistics to a significant shift in job-seeking trends, especially among the youth who sought employment opportunities that matched their interests and skills.
Woon said the country showcased a competitive standing in the high-range bracket when comparing the top 10% of salaries within Malaysia against 20 other economies.
“Specialised areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and cybersecurity persistently register high demand, often commanding above-average salaries when compared with other roles within the tech industry.
“Currently, we linger below the global industry average, especially when compared to these other countries – a point of genuine concern and a potential accelerator for the exodus of our prized digital talents, resulting in ‘brain drain’ for Malaysia,” he added.
Woon said the implementation of a minimum salary of RM1,500 could potentially serve as a catalyst to invigorate job creation at the entry level, providing a foundational support for the country’s wider economic landscape.
JobStreet by SEEK Malaysia managing director Vic Sithasanan said the online employment marketplace has seen a 10% Y-O-Y increase in job applications submitted.
This indicated that people are on the lookout for new opportunities and are becoming more confident with the job market.
“With the talent pool available in Malaysia, it is a matter of matching the right candidates with the right employers,” he told The Star yesterday.
According to statistics by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) as of July, there are around 580,000 potential talents for employers and businesses can employ.
Vic said this can be be partly attributed to a change in job seeker trends, particularly in higher demand industries involving technology, such as cybersecurity and digitalisation.
“It is encouraging to see a gradual decline in unemployment rates in Malaysia, and we hope to see this improve as the economy continues to stabilise,” he said.
Vic said those looking for a job should also acquire six skills sets that employers are looking for namely digital literacy, adaptability, interpersonal skills, multi-tasking, efficiency and time management.
He said there are significant changes across the employment landscape, with new roles being created due to the rise of disruptive technologies, such as AI which alters job descriptions to identify talents who have both hard and soft skills.
“There is also a higher reliance on digital skills across industries, as organisations continue to automate processes.
“With the high demand for hybrid working, interpersonal skills are especially significant in creating sturdy work relationships,” he said.