Surviving 2012: ICT Job Market by PIKOM

According to Malaysia Technology News, the job market for the rest of 2012 is 50% - only 50% of job applicants will be able to get desirable jobs or only 50% of employers are able to recruit the right candidates.

The report accounted that this slow-down is partly due to the quality of local graduates who lack in terms of soft skills, English language skill, analytical skills and even independence when it comes to comparing with graduates who hail from overseas.

It blames the Malaysian educational systems for being non-creative and too conventional - for failing to live up to trends.

Generally, the average monthly salary of ICT professionals in Malaysia was RM 6,240 in 2011. Given the prospect of the economy, it anticipates a 9.0% rise in the average salary of ICT professional in 2012, which would average out to RM 6,800 per month.

But let's not forget that only 50% of job applicants will manage to get jobs as desirable. This means that even though the industry is paying people well averagely, it still couldn't help with solving 50% of unmatched employments. Once again, this points the finger to the quality of local graduates. Then just hire foreign graduates; if they want to work here.

The report gives an indicator that a fresh graduate in the ICT industry has the average salary of 2,238 in 2011. The industry with the highest pay for fresh graduates are semiconductor, manufacturing, oil & gas and logistics.

A senior executive should be earning RM 5,039 monthly, while middle manager RM 7,837 and senior manager RM 12,166.

The industry which rewards employees well are oil and gas, telecommunication, retails, manufacturing and banking with oil and gas being the champion.

Employees are encouraged to look for companies with employee size of more than 100, location at Klang Valley in order to secure jobs whose pays will equal these average pays.

The top jobs to target are:
  • Project Management
  • ERP/business applications
  • Software Development
  • System Administration
  • IT Security Analyst

The top skill sets are C#, C++, .Net developers, SAP certification, IT audit and security consultants, data warehousing, business intelligence analysts, senior Oracle and SQL DBAs and Cisco certified engineering disciplines.

Comparing with neighbour countries, the results showed that more advanced Asian economies, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, recorded average remuneration which was 3.10 times and 2.52 times more than the average remuneration earned by Malaysian ICT professionals in 2011.

The differentiation is even higher when comparing with developed countries. The respective salary is 4.08 times as high in the United States, 3.18 times in Australia and 3.06 times in New Zealand for a Senior Software Engineer / Developer/ Programmer. Surprisingly, the rate in the United Kingdom is only 2.78 times the average salary in Malaysia.

An interesting point to take note is the comparison between those in the vendors versus those in the end-users market which it found that there is no clear cut distinction in salaries earned by ICT professionals in the ICT industry segments and ICT user industries.

The average monthly salary earned by junior ICT executives in ICT industry segments was RM3,275, which was 3.6% higher than their counterparts in the ICT user industries comprising banking, insurance, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas sector etc. Similarly, in the managerial category, the earning capacity of ICT professionals in the ICT industry at RM8,623 per month was higher by 7.2% than those working in the ICT user industries, who on an average took home RM8,045. In the senior executive level, however, ICT professionals in the ICT industry segments were 5.9% lower than their counterparts in the ICT user industries.

This strongly suggests that Malaysian market do not reward innovators as much as in the USA. Good paying employees must play by the books and by trends - do not think too much out-of-the-box because this is essentially a 'consumption-based' economy.

There is an indication that the number of job applications for local jobs has slowed down and people are attempting to look for jobs elsewhere.

Pikom proposes the industry to migrate from 'consumption-based' economy to 'creative-based' economy. To do this, a few things are needed to be done.

1.) Review educational systems. 2.) Economy needs to improve so that hiring power will be increased.

44% of respondents felt that their companies would be hiring fewer people and replacing or filling essential positions in the next 12 months. Only 23% are confident their company would be expanding their businesses, hence hiring more people.

The report also highlighted certain accounts of Malaysia's economic outlook for the rest of 2012.

The Malaysian economy grew at an average rate of 5.1% in 2011. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has projected an economic growth of between 4% and 5% in 2012. Leading private sector research based institutions such as CIMB Investment Bank and Goldman Sachs, however, have forecasted a lower estimate of 3.8% due to the on-going Eurozone debt crisis and other fragilities that are poised to significantly affect Malaysian economic growth. Nonetheless, PIKOM is optimistic of sustained growth for the Malaysian economy at no less than a rate of 5% in 2012, mainly as a result of the nation’s expanding trade with China and India.

Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised downwards its original forecast for China and India, nevertheless, it has projected impressive growth rates of 8.25% for China and 7.0% for India for 2012. Indeed, such growth rates for the two Asian trading giants are advantageous to Malaysia.

PIKOM has projected at least 9.0% growth in average remuneration offered to ICT professionals in 2012. It should be noted that the ICT sector is still being plagued by the shortage in the supply of ICT graduates especially those deemed employable and who have skills sets compatible with industry needs.

Download the full report.

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