BANDAR SUNWAY – Just a decade ago, the household idea of a successful career was limited to primarily doctors and lawyers. However, the landscape has shifted drastically since then, with tech careers now at the forefront for any public or private initiatives.
Some of our readers may be interested in dipping their toes into formal tech education, and for good reasons. The national lockdown has pushed formal education online and freed up hours of commute time, making postgraduate studies more feasible for those with an existing full-time career.
But a key question remains — is it worth the time and effort to take the plunge? Is this shift merely a short-term trend, rather than the new status quo?
After all, national initiatives such as #mydigitalmaker are impacting 1.6 million students nationwide. Our ministry of education is also expanding its list of Premier Digital Tech Institutions to churn out more tech graduates in recent years. In contrast, there are only 2,000 digital-related job vacancies listed in MDEC’s #MyDigitalWorkforce Jobs Platform and Digital Skills Training Directory as of 2020.
Although tech jobs are increasingly popular and lucrative, readers do not need to worry about a potential oversupply of digital talents happening anytime soon. Job vacancies are currently off to a slow start, but demand is expected to intensify in the near future.
This is because current demand is being concentrated on a small number of large institutions, such as banks, telecommunication companies, and even e-commerce firms. The public sector is driving change as well, with greater demand for digital talents through initiatives such as the MyDigital Blueprint and 4IR National Policy Framework.
With larger institutions driving change, smaller companies are expected to follow suit as well. In fact, change is already happening amongst the SME sector, thanks to heavy digital adoption stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.
With companies large and small digitising many of their business processes, companies are left with mountains of data waiting to be processed and analysed to derive meaningful purpose. Consumers and clients are also heavily exposed to AI and tech-related solutions during the pandemic, such as the extensive use of Netflix and Grab, which hinges heavily on AI usage for many backend processes.
As such, demand for AI and tech-related jobs is rapidly increasing, which is reflected in reports from the World Economic Forum. In it, it states that eight out of ten top emerging job positions in Malaysia are related to tech, which includes data analysts and scientists, Internet of Things specialists, digital transformation specialists and cybersecurity specialists.
According to Indeed.com, machine learning engineer jobs have the highest growth in demand, with listings more than tripling between 2015 to 2018. In fact, AI jobs are making up a larger portion of the listings on the job market, from 0.3% in 2016 to 0.7% in 2019, according to research group Burning Glass.
More importantly, the biggest reason we should opt for tech jobs is that the non-tech industry is expected to be disrupted heavily in the near future. Studies from MIT have shown that companies with high exposure to AI will tend to reduce their non-AI hiring, stating that “these results are statistically significant, economically sizable and robust.”
It is also not uncommon to see news reports on how AI has disrupted many sections of the job market, with logistics being a great example of this. A fleet of AI-assisted self-driving trucks could replace communities of truck drivers and their accompanying families, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see disruption happening within other sectors as well.
To disrupt, or be disrupted — these are the themes that will become more prominent within the job market moving forward. Thankfully, readers do not need to commit to technical roles such as AI engineers to benefit from this shift. There is also great demand for non-AI executive roles that are tech-literate, such as managers who can leverage tech tools to manage and lead teams remotely and efficiently.
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WISE AI is an award-winning Artificial Intelligence company specialised in digital identity technologies. We develop world-class emerging deep tech that is adopted by the government and multiple industries. Our AI-powered solutions include EKYC, digital ID, digital signature, and blockchain. Our technology is optimised for the recognition of ASEAN faces.