Today marks the last day of webinars and satellite events under the #MyDigitalWorkForce Week, which aimed to address the uptick in demand for digital jobs and the requisite skill development.
The buzz however, isn’t quite over!
#MyDigitalWorkforce Week, which began as a five-day event that runs from August 24-28, 2020, is now to be extended until September 4, 2020, to ensure adequate support is provided to job-seekers. This is specifically for Malaysian youths and the unemployed.
The #MyDigitalWorkforce Week, which packed this entire week with a slew of exciting and impactfull activities, even included the very popular Digital Jobs Expo. This platform, already curating more than 5,000 digital jobs that are made available in more than 100 companies, is one of the main driving factors for this extension. Its list of prospective careers in the digital economy includes roles in related tech-based industries. Some of the organisations that took part are DHL, Motorola Solutions, AirAsia, Lenovo, TNG Digital and DIALOG.
Jobs available are tech and non-tech jobs – the latter are at tech businesses, of course!
“Closing off registrations at this stage may mean fewer Malaysians can benefit from the Digital Jobs Expo. The jobs that are being actively curated on this platform are digital- and tech-based roles along with non-digital positions within tech-related businesses. Additionally, RM1 million worth of free training has been availed for this content-packed #MyDigitalWorkforce Week and we are happy to see members of the workforce, even students, being able to benefit from this,” shared Dr. Sumitra Nair, Vice President, Digital Talent Development, MDEC.
While 5,000+ jobs are what MDEC has collated and is now sharing to a hungry workforce, there are other opportunities for the workforce to tap into. This includes career prospects that are shared on LinkedIn and MyFutureJobs.
This event is in line with MDEC’s strategic priority to increase the number of digitally-skilled Malaysians who are then able to contribute to Malaysia’s digital economy. Currently, Malaysia continues to accelerate towards being a digital society as it fast approaches the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
If you haven’t stopped by #MyDigitalWorkForce Week yet for the one of the 20 webinars, 60+ speakers, 5000+ jobs or 40+ satellite events, it is time you visit mydigitalworkforceweek.my/.
Do it now, and benefit from the extension of this mega event until 4th September 2020!
COVID-19 accelerated tech adoption and already, Malaysia’s unemployment rose from 5% to 5.3% in a month, from April to May this year. The nature of employment has consequently shifted from full time to part time jobs or to gig-economy jobs.
The shift has also brought to light that so-called ‘low-skilled’ workers are vital to keep our lives going; During the lockdowns around the world, these workers were our frontliners to maintain delivery and take care of our basic needs. There is an argument that eventually, automation will take over many of these jobs.
While there will always be services provided by low-skilled workers, most newer jobs may call upon different or higher skill sets. Being able to reskill and upskill to keep up with the times is key to sustaining the economy of a country!
I’ve said this before – Creating jobs alone is not enough. Just as crucial is ensuring that workers are equipped to handle the shift in skills demanded by employers and the overall job market. And any mismatch of jobs to skills, reflects a gap in Malaysia’s education and a rapidly changing economy.
Digital All The Way
So, what exactly are the skills demanded looking like these days?
MDEC’s recent analysis among various job search sites (LinkedIn, Jobstreet, Monster, Indeed and Jobstore) show an increasing demand for digital jobs.
Industries Are Going Digital
The results were that across all portals, there is an average of 3,895 IT-related jobs. Also, as mentioned just now, the total number of IT-related jobs advertised in all 5 portals, minding the possibility of duplications of course, amount to 20,000! And finally, do note that about 77% of IT jobs advertised on these portals are for experienced positions.
Hardly a surprise at this stage, the IT-skew tells you a lot about the general direction that industries are moving in – digitalisation.
Emerging Jobs Are Digital
Echoing this is LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report Malaysia. The top 10 jobs all have a digital component; Data scientist, data engineer and data analyst emerge in the top 12 jobs, reflecting the government’s commitment to securing Malaysia as a leader in big data.
LinkedIn also reports that e-Commerce is fueling demand for hard and soft skilled talent in the internet economy! Online platforms need technical talent to build apps and online sales portals for instance. But also, they need those who can leverage such platforms and engage online customers – jobs like digital marketing specialists and community managers come to mind.
Non-negotiable Skills In This Digital World
Besides the skills demanded above, the structure of working has changed – from full time to employment contracts, gigs and flexible arrangements. So, graduates must get used to pitching for gigs and working for multiple clients at the same time. Soft skills like storytelling, writing skills and presentation skills are becoming essential skills to secure gigs.
Graduates must be agile and develop problem solving skills. Transferable skills will be key to landing and keeping a job.
MDEC’s Long Game
Well, in case you wondered how MDEC has been and will continue to support students and the workforce through the transitions demanded of them, let me quickly share three avenues you can immediately tap:
MDEC’s Let’s Learn Digital is a partnership with Coursera that offers access to 3,800 courses, free until September 30th! That is a huge opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn specific skills in demand.
GLOW or the Global Online Workforce, a national programme, is designed to enable Malaysians to be a part of the global online workforce and earn income. Go to glowmalaysia.com and mdec.my for more information.
#mydigitalmaker is a movement to prepare Malaysian students as we head towards IR4.0, to future proof their education and careers.
Essentially, technology and innovation are changing jobs and skill-demands. Clearly, three parties have their respective roles to play in moving education forward – educators, employers and the government. Their roles will be elaborated in the closing installment of this two-parter.
For now, I have one more avenue for you to tap if you were a student, fresh grad or member of the Malaysian workforce. It is #mydigitalworkforce week which is coming up in the second week of August. It aims to bring the talent supply and demand to focal point, to facilitate matching. Why we are organising this is because MDEC understands the need to explore ‘place and train’ as a new norm, so that people with baseline skills can be upskilled to requirements.
‘Full time’ jobs are probably a thing of the past.
Besides accelerating digital adoption for businesses and
individuals, COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the nature of employment and
how we perceive success through the jobs we have.
The reality is that workers need to be flexible and agile as
the work structure has been disrupted and future jobs will either be on contract
basis, part-time or temporary, according to a recent news report in Free
Malaysia Today. It proceeds to state that among emerging jobs, 9 out 10
jobs are related to STEM learning, creating an evident shift in the skills
was perhaps the first joint step between both government and private sectors,
to restart the economy and preserve jobs. However, as we brace for eventual recovery,
creating jobs alone, is not enough. Just as crucial is ensuring that workers
are equipped to handle the shift in skill demand by employers and the overall
Opportunities to digitally reskill or upskill are here.
With the need for greater digital adoption among businesses,
governments and communities, major players in the digital ecosystem who are
leading this change, have been the first to present opportunities to upskill
and reskill, to ready talents for future jobs.
Huawei Malaysia for instance, just launched the Huawei ASEAN
Academy, to empower digital talent in Malaysia. It is expected to
provide more than 3,000 information and communications (ICT) courses,
and groom 50,000 Malaysian talents over the next five years.
To address the issue of unemployed workers and presenting them with opportunities to digitally upskill or reskill, a partnership between MDEC and Coursera called ‘Let’s Learn Digital’ was launched recently. SAP Malaysia earlier also collaborated with MDEC as part of the latter’s #DigitalVsCovid movement, for SAP to nurture talent, build a future workforce and grow the digital ecosystem.
The pandemic bares the inherent limitations of training and placing.
Physical distancing also translated to effects on the
education supply chain, affecting education systems and delivery as they were.
Technical and vocational education and training generally requires
attendance. The current limitations
imposed by connectivity and access plague this process of upskilling. Also,
once trained, placement is a separate process to training. There isn’t a
guaranteed conveyor belt from education and training to placement.
The deeper issue of matching graduating talents to tech or
digital jobs linger, needing urgent attention, that pertains to the over 300,000
graduates who enter the job market annually. These graduates come from every
conceivable type of educational institution from the polytechnic and university,
to the TVET institution.
The challenge is not the size or speed of the conveyor belt of
education to employment, but its relevance. Training and placing workers has
long been the proverbial ‘cart before the horse’ in the quest to create gainful
Perhaps it is time to revisit and invert
this approach, as we face pressures to respond quickly to business needs which
are knock-on effects of the pandemic, to face the new
global economy ahead.
Leverage strengths to meet demand for digital skills.
According to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020
(GTCI 2020), Malaysia has moved up two spots, to the 26th position out of 88
countries. The country outperformed high-income economy countries, such as
China, South Korea, Spain and Portugal.
In a recent news report, MDEC’s CEO, Surina Shukri aptly
stressed that these achievements reinforce the fact that Malaysia
is on the right track to develop industry-ready digital talent as the
global economy explores a new norm. Are we then, leveraging this advantage at a
Though Malaysia ranks well on the GTCI, another reality has
to be considered as well; Digital business models and platforms are profoundly reshaping
how businesses work. Even as far back as 2018, the World Economic Forum projected
that while nearly a million jobs may be lost, another 1.75 million will be
created. Is Malaysia preparing for this burgeoning demand?
In the local context, even in pre-pandemic times, SMEs had
already been expressing
a dire need for digitally skilled talent, which are not in ready supply. According
to MDEC’s CMO Raymond Siva in a webinar by Marketing Magazine titled The
Survival Guide for SMEs Post MCO-Lockdown (Focus: Agencies) last week,
a quick survey conducted by MDEC on 5 job portals which included LinkedIn,
SeekAsia and Jobstreet, showed that there were close to 5000 digital jobs
vacant, pre COVID-19. With digitalisation and innovation in the new normal,
these numbers could be far higher.
Place and train, not train and place.
As unemployment numbers in March rose to 610,000,
the need to resolve the glaring gap between talents graduating and the digital skills
sought, take centre stage.
“MDEC is currently assessing the demand and supply in the digital
job market, specifically to identify the roles and skills requiring attention. Immediately
evident are the businesses looking for coders, programmers, developers,
designers and data scientists, to serve game industry, global supply chains,
e-Commerce and cross-border trading. Job matching is top-of-mind for both the
government as well as the private sector”, expressed Siva.
“MDEC will be organising a campaign next month to bring the talent
supply and demand to a focal point and drive activities that will facilitate
matching. The aim is to also explore ‘place and train’ as a new norm as it will
better match the skills needed to the people already available or with a
baseline skills that can be upskilled to requirements ”, said Siva.
COVID-19 may have created socio-economic vulnerabilities,
but the digital economy and ecosystem offer an equitable remedy to relieve the
economy. Full time jobs may be a thing of the past, but skilling, reskilling or
upskilling an individual for new roles in employment is here to stay; and for
those who are agile and adaptable, opportunities abound.
Teachers are a critical part of any
child’s education journey. With the COVID-19 situation, teachers have had to
swiftly switch to online education. In this new normal, teachers not just have
to deliver lessons online, but more importantly, they must ensure that lessons
are conveyed in ways that keep students engaged and excited about learning.
In line with MDEC’s commitment to develop
digitally skilled Malaysians and in conjunction with Teachers Day, we went in
search of teachers who set a benchmark when it comes to educational technology
(edtech in short). Criteria for selection included a proven track record in
innovating the delivery of STEM education, being a STEM or digital tech
advocate amongst fellow teachers beyond their immediate circle, self-starters,
life-long learners, actively engaging with industry to improve their teaching
and learning methods, and are active participants in national and global edtech
forums. We call these teachers Cikgu Juara Digital (Champion
Digital Teachers), and they are indeed champions in their own right.
For a start, 25 Cikgu Juara Digital
have been identified and will be given rigorous training on advanced problem
solving and critical thinking skills, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Social
Media engagement, content creation, etc. These teachers will go on to inspire and teach
teachers in their respective communities, and over time, we hope to have a
thriving movement of Cikgu Juara Digital around the country. Here
are 5 of these Cikgu Juara Digital, who have significant
following on their blogs, YouTubeChannels and social media platforms.
Cikgu Abdul Rahman bin Ali Bashah, SMK Jenjarom, Selangor
Cikgu Abdul Rahman, fondly known as Cikgu Aman has been a teacher for 10 years and is passionate about cultivating the love for STEM amongst the students of this semi-rural school. With the support from sponsors and his own savings, Cikgu Aman managed to secure a classroom and turned it into a maker space, where students get to work on digital projects like coding, robotics and 3D printing. Over and above his day job as Teacher at SMK Jenjarom, Cikgu Aman is also the founder of a Telegram group comprising 52,000 teachers to provide peer-to-peer support on digital education. He also has a blog which is called cikguaman.com, and more recently his own YouTube Channel. To-date, Cikgu Aman has attended more that more than 150 training sessions by Microsoft and his blog boasts a long list of awards and achievements.
Cikgu Norhailmi Abdul Mutalib,
SMK Jerlun, Kedah
is a Science teacher who is another avid edtech blogger and YouTuber. His
digital content creation journey started when his students shared with him
their struggle to find Malaysian educational content online. That was back in
2012. Since then, the blog has gained an impressive 35 million views, and has
been recognised as the Best Educational Blog by the Malaysia Social Media
Awards in 2014 and 2016. His YouTube channel has more than 13,000 subscribers
and his most popular video entitled “Kasut Kelopak Jantung”, a
short film based on a novel written by Ghazali Lateh, has gained an impressive 618,000
views. He is now committed to equipping all his students with content creation
skills which he says are vital for the future. When asked when he finds the
time for his blog and YouTube videos, Cikgu Hailmi shared “I do it on my free
time, and maybe because I’ve done it for almost 10 years, so I don’t need to
spend more time on it. Just write, and post”.
Cikgu Mohd Razif Abdul Razak,
The Malay College Kuala Kangsar
who famously known as Cikgu Siber is no alien to the world of digital learning
and teaching. He is the founder of the cikgusiber.com blog, which
is very well known by STEM teachers across the nation. The platform which has 15,000
followers, shares best practices and resources in edtech for teachers. In his role as MCKK’s IT Coordinator, Computer
Science and Design and Technology Teacher, he has won numerous awards such as
Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) in 2019, International Invention &
Innovation Tech Exhibition (ITEX) Gold Award in 2017, and a string of other
awards. When asked how he juggles his time between his role as teacher with his
activities to support other teachers and participate in competitions, he
responded that he works closely with a team of fellow teachers who are equally
passionate to drive the digital education agenda.
Cikgu Julie, SMK Kuala Perlis , Kuala Perlis, Perlis
Cikgu Julie has had always had a deep desire to bring digital
transformation to her school which is in a fishing village. Hence her decision
to pursue a degree in Education Technology in university. Cikgu Julie was
recognised as the State ICT Teacher Icon in Perlis
last year, owing to her active contribution to her school and teaching
community. She is also one of the founding members and
administrators of the Digital Classroom community of teachers. This virtual community of
teachers was formed late last year to mobilise teachers nationwide to embrace
digital education and currently has more than 52,000 teachers as members.
Cikgu Goh Kok Ming, SKJC Chi
Seng 2, Rantau Panjang, Perak
Goh, who is a Mathematics graduate of the Institut Perguruan Malaysia
(Malaysian Teachers’ Training Institute) in Jitra, Kedah and also a Master’s degree
holder is an avid user of EdTech to expose his students to the world outside
the classroom. He uses Virtual Reality to expose them to attractions globally
and Skype Classroom to meet children from other countries. At the same time, he
is a firm believer in preparing his young students for the future of work by
introducing 4th IR technologies such as robots to the classroom, teaching
them how to surf the net safely and creating digital content. When asked how he
funds these tools, he shared that he tries to secure sponsors or sometimes forks
out his own money. Beyond that, he is also an active guest writer in various
edtech blogs. To spice up the learning process, Cikgu Goh uses app smashing, a method
of using multiple apps at the same time to complete a task or project. In his
case, he combines Minecraft Education Edition and Kahoot! Cikgu Goh is also one
of three #Teach Sustainable Development Goals (#TeachSDGs) Ambassadors in
Malaysia. There are only 60 such Ambassadors worldwide in this movement of
global-minded teachers. Given his deep awareness of global issues, he often
encourages his students to come up with solutions using digital technologies to
address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Many of us may have a stereotypical view of Malaysian teachers as
being left behind and struggling to keep up with latest educational trends.
Hence it is comforting to know there are teachers who are trailblazing and
leading the way for other teachers to adopt and embrace digital education.
Their stories are highly inspiring and I would urge everyone to follow and
share their stories with teachers in our respective communities. Hopefully in
time to come, we can inspire more teachers to overcome their fear of technology
and embrace this new normal of education.
MDEC is working closely with the Ministry of Education and
teachers nationwide to support their digital upskilling, be it to deliver
online education as well as to cultivate digital innovation and creativity
skills amongst the nation’s future talent pipeline. More information about our
efforts can be found in www.mydigitalmaker.com .
MDEC has also compiled a list of e-learning resources for school
children on www.mdec.my
as part our DigitalVsCovid19 campaign.
About the #mydigitalmaker movement
#mydigitalmaker movement is a joint
public-private-academic initiative launched in 2016 to cultivate digital
innovation and creativity amongst Malaysian school children. To-date, close to
1.3 million Malaysian children have learnt some form of “digital making”, such
as coding, robotics and 3-D printing via this movement and its member