By Ariani Mohd Nor
GOMBAK, 17 October 2020: At least one in five fresh graduates in Malaysia remains unemployed, a figure that constitutes some 25% of university degree holders still out of job upon graduating, a webinar was told recently, based on a research conducted by TalentCorp Malaysia.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has further worsened the situation given the imbalance between job supply and job demand resulting in so many fresh graduates remain unemployed.
A webinar held online yesterday (16 October) by IIUM Career Services team on Google Meet was to help and encourage students to plan and think of their future careers.
Hosted by Assistant Manager of Graduate & Emerging Talent in TalentCorp Malaysia, Madam Siti Noratikah Kasmoi, the programme focused on graduate employability skills that can help students prepare for their future job scopes.
Madam Siti Noratikah outlined three steps to make an industry-ready graduate; self awareness, market awareness, and personal branding and experience.
On self-awareness, Siti Noratikah told the audience that students must be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. Making a comparison of cats and lions Siti Noratikah said, “Sometimes, we think that we’re lions but in reality, we’re just cats,”
She said, “If there’s no effort to know or recognise yourself, all efforts to upgrade yourself will also fail.” Through self-awareness, she said, individuals can recognise their needs in order to thrive in the industry.
Siti Noratikah advised the students that they need to know what the market would want from them in terms of industry requirements and job scopes.
They were told that they must also be aware of job market in terms of the demand and supply of fresh graduates.
“Students should know which companies thrive in the market depending on their respective strengths and weaknesses so that they can prepare themselves as early as during their internship period.”
Siti Noratikah also advised future interns to make sure that their employers provide them with allowances during their study period.
Due to the current imbalance of today’s job demand and market supply, she said, students should know how to make themselves noticed by the industry.
As the job demand grows, companies will have to look for those that stand out from the rest and have qualities that no other companies will possess. Thus, she said that students need to “top-up” their experiences during university to cater for the job market.
“Skills such as leadership and entrepreneurship are in demand in almost every company,” Noratikah stressed. “Students who are able to balance between their academics and soft skills are indicators of those with good work ethics.”
Siti Noratikah ended her webinar wishing students, especially those in their first year, to start planning for their career.
The programme was part of IIUM Career Services’ “JUMPSTART!” to empower students’ readiness in university life. More than 90 students attended the webinar. ***