The relationship between humans and digital technologies has been documented extensively in the past decades but has yet to be reviewed through the lens of the current global pandemic crisis.
As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) drives economies into recession, many jobs are at risk. However, not all jobs are equally affected—some sectors like the technology industry are thriving or even growing faster in the pandemic. As digital transformation accelerates, old skills are likely to depreciate and become obsolete faster.
This has no different from what is happening in Malaysia as to how important it is to consider the role of digital to survive in businesses. Findings by Malaysia Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC) prove that Malaysia's digital job vacancies have almost tripled from June 2020 to April 2021. The most popular jobs were in software development, data science, IT services, and e-commerce.
Strong Demand for Digital Talents
The massive spike in demand for digitalisation is entirely reliant on the talent supply to make the shift happen. However, you cannot just snap your fingers one day and make your company digital. You need the people to make it happen. Digital talent refers to employees who are proficient in at least one of the many digital skills demanded by the industry. As more non-tech industries embrace digitalisation, companies in market research, cosmetics, music, and tobacco have been actively hiring digital talent over the past year. At the same time, the information communications technology and financial services sectors are struggling to meet the strong demand for digital talent in their respective sectors.
About data extracted from the LinkedIn Talent Insights (LTI) platform, the most in-demand skills in Malaysia include technical subjects such as automation, big data, and cloud computing, as well as creative subjects such as web development and various programming languages. There were more than 240,000 digital talents in Malaysia that had LinkedIn profiles as of April 2021. Digital marketing executive, data scientist, full-stack, or software engineer, and interestingly, YouTuber are among the most popular job titles.
What Skills Do Digital Tech Companies Look for Today?
Fast-growing digital skills in Malaysia have outgrown up to 30% in the past year. These include computer science, IT, Python, and Adobe Premiere Pro. So, the demand surge has made it difficult to source new talent especially fresh graduates, because there was no surplus of high-quality talent in the first place, even before the pandemic. The demand has outweighed the supply, and thus there is a lack of talent. This is why junior-level talent should also start to pick up some of the in-demand digital skills like analytical skills, software development, various programming languages, and cloud computing.
Reskill and Upskill for The Digital Economy Jobs
Like any industry, developing a career in digital marketing requires a mix of skills, from hands-on digital knowledge to social and networking abilities, promotional savvy, technical skills, and much more. In response to this development, MDEC has established the Digital Skills Training Directory, which lists courses that have been reviewed and endorsed by a panel of digital industry experts to guide you in selecting courses that meet your career needs for digital economy jobs. These courses are to be taken up by either job seekers or those employed to enhance their careers. MDEC also works with 11 universities and five polytechnics as part of the Premier Digital Tech Institutions initiative to help secondary school leavers or pre-university students who are wondering what courses to pursue in university.
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