As such, employees should continuously upskill and reskill to stay relevant in current circumstances, JobStreet MD says
By S BIRRUNTHA & SYAHMIE FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by TMR FILE
THE digital industry has offered 97,909 jobs in the first half of 2021 (1H21) and the number is expected to increase until the end of this year, according to the National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom).
The association noted that the number of jobs in the digital industry remained high, where the listings on JobStreet platform reached 135,451 in 2020.
JobStreet MD Vic Sithasanan said employees should continuously upskill and reskill to stay relevant in current circumstances.
“Our platform foresees that percentages for ‘digital first’ skills and expertise would increase even more due to rising demand for digital tools and processes.
“Hence, there is an urgent need for people to upskill themselves with knowledge of digital technologies coupled with digital literacy and transferable skills,” he said at the launch of the Economic and Digital Job Market Report (Malaysia) 2021 by Pikom and JobStreet yesterday.
However, the report by Pikom revealed that the salary forecast for the digital industry would only grow 0.1% this year and 2% for 2022 as a direct impact of the pandemic including the Movement Control Order, economic uncertainties and job losses.
It has predicted a downward trajectory for the growth of the domestic information communication technology (ICT) and digital industry as a whole.
The report also emphasised that the digital industry as well as those companies providing ICT and digital products and services have been greatly impacted by the global pandemic.
“The salaries for entry level and junior executive positions in the IT industry have been on a slight upward trajectory of 2% predicted for 2021. Meanwhile, there’s only a 0.2% increase in salaries for senior positions.
“There is also an issue of an oversupply of talent in the local job market, with many university graduates working in the ICT and digital space.
“This could cause brain drain as those with the relevant skills prefer to work and settle overseas where the demand for their skills is greater and the salary offered is higher,” it said.
It added that the internal brain drain could cause a shortage of talent and a halt in innovation for local ICT and digital companies, resulting in a loss in competitiveness as these companies will no longer be able to meet market demands.
Meanwhile, the report also highlighted regional comparisons of the digital industry with other countries.
Malaysia is ranked seventh in the purchasing power parity ranking, which compares the salaries of digital and ICT professionals in Malaysia with those of other countries.
Thailand surpassed Malaysia in this ranking, which means the average salaries of ICT professionals working in Thailand are higher than those working in Malaysia.
Other Asean countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines are also following closely behind in this ranking.
On the bright side, the cybersecurity sector in Malaysia has not been affected much by the pandemic and has been growing steadily with many demands for talents and professionals in this area.
Pikom has advised workers in the ICT and digital sectors to keep their skills up to date as these are essential in ensuring employability and can help with re-employment when necessary.
Nevertheless, it noted that the digital industry growth would still largely depend on the improvement in the 2H21, especially in terms of the pandemic, economic recovery, as well as other non-economic factors.