Honest, multitasking graduates in demand amid economic uncertaintyRAIHAM MOHD SANUSI
SHAH ALAM - Graduates from higher education institutions must possess a combination of technical and soft skills to increase their chances of securing job offers, especially with attractive starting salaries, according to Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman.
"Employers typically seek candidates with a blend of these essential skills.
"In addition to job-specific technical skills, graduates should also focus on developing crucial soft skills.
"These include time management, organisational abilities, effective oral and written communication, especially in English, and strong teamwork.
"Moreover, creative problem-solving, critical and analytical thinking, and adaptability are among the critical skills that employers expect from new graduates," he told Sinar when contacted.
Syed Hussain emphasised the importance of equipping graduates with these skills.
His comments came in response to the Higher Education Ministry's target of increasing the percentage of graduates earning a premium salary of RM4,000.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin reportedly said that the ministry is introducing a premium salary project after successfully producing 40 graduates in electrical and engineering disciplines who earn premium incomes.
In a related matter, Syed Hussain pointed out that employers are also looking for graduates who can make an immediate contribution to the company's growth.
"As the job market evolves rapidly with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, universities must adopt more practical teaching methods to prepare students for the workforce and meet changing skill requirements," he said.
When discussing the qualities and results expected from graduates, Syed Hussain stressed the significance of self-presentation skills.
"These skills encompass personal style, such as dressing neatly, grooming, and wearing pleasant scents.
"They are especially important for roles where employees represent the employer, as they influence how customers perceive the values displayed by the employee," he said.
Syed Hussain also pointed out that employers are seeking employees who are honest, able to express their opinions, including during disagreements, and adept at listening and understanding the employer's expectations.
"The current economic uncertainty also demands multitasking employees who can handle multiple tasks effectively, reducing the need for extensive training," he added.
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Starting salary: RM2,500
4-7 years of experience: RM4,100 - RM6,100
- Logistics and Transportation Sector
Starting salary: RM1,500
4-7 years of experience: RM3,000 - RM5,000
- Financial and Banking Sector
Starting salary: RM1,800
4-7 years of experience: RM2,500 - RM5,000
- Halal Sector
Starting salary: RM2,000
4-7 years of experience: RM3,000 - RM4,500
- Audit Sector
Starting salary: RM2,500
4-7 years of experience: RM3,500 - RM5,000