The recent news reported that about 390,000 SPM holders (or 72.1% of the total) refused to further their studies, but would rather get a job. Among the reasons cited were student debt, family commitment, and the relatively high income offered. While these are valid reasons for some youths, I still urge those who have a choice, to think carefully and invest in their own future by furthering their studies.
There are no doubts that in the current age, there are many new avenues to make a living, notably via the gig economy. These include: e-hailing, food delivery, etc. As long as one is diligent and hardworking, the pay-out will also be proportional.
However, I urge youths to see the bigger picture. A good source of income without any fallbacks can be risky; Society is ever changing. Nobody knows what will happen to such careers in the future, and whether the gig economy will still flourish in the years ahead.
Therefore, youths must also focus on building up their skills and knowledge in order to stay competitive and marketable amidst any paradigm shifts in the society. Furthermore, nowadays there are many paths to choose from, including technical and vocational education which prepare students for key careers in the upcoming global Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Malaysia’s future depends on the readiness of the next generation to overcome challenges, and it is apparent that the emergent technology in the next era such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Automation will require young minds to innovate and implement.
Even if we talk about traditional businesses, there are still new ways to enhance productivity, such as the importance of modern science in the agriculture industry. Therefore, I urge youths not to be trapped by complacency, but continue to learn and be ready for the future.
MCA National Youth Chairperson
Datuk Nicole Wong