Are you seeking a prosperous career in Malaysia that provides financial rewards and professional satisfaction?
Acknowledging the importance of high-demand jobs is essential for students planning their future careers. It allows students to align their academic pursuits with in-demand industries, increasing their chances of securing a rewarding job upon graduation.
The University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) is committed to preparing students for success in these thriving sectors by offering relevant courses, resources, and support.
Take a look at our list of top high-paying jobs in the country before you decide to pick an academic field of study.
What is a high salary in Malaysia?
A high salary can be subjective and often depends on factors such as industry, job role, experience, and location. To provide a better understanding of what constitutes a high salary in Malaysia, it is crucial to consider the country's average income and the typical salaries for specific professions.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the median monthly salary for Malaysian employees in 2020 was RM2,933. This figure can serve as a reference point when evaluating what constitutes a high salary.
Job search websites and salary comparison platforms, like Payscale and Glassdoor, provide more in-depth insights into different industries and job roles. For instance, some professions, such as software engineers, can command an average annual salary of RM60,000 to RM80,000.
In Malaysia, high salaries are based on various factors, so assessing them requires looking at specific industries and roles. Moreover, regional differences within Malaysia can impact living expenses and, consequently, the perception of a high salary.
Future job market trends in Malaysia
In recent years, Malaysia has experienced a significant shift in its job market, with numerous emerging trends shaping the future of various industries.
The Malaysian government's commitment to accelerating the country's transition to a high-income, knowledge-based economy through initiatives like the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) has played a pivotal role in this transformation.
As we look ahead, several key trends are expected to drive growth and create new opportunities in the nation’s job market.
One of the most prominent trends is the rise of the digital economy, which has led to an increased demand for professionals in fields such as digital marketing and fintech.
According to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the digital economy contributed approximately 19.1% of Malaysia's GDP in 2019, with further growth anticipated in the coming years. The same report also highlighted the creation of over 500,000 new digital jobs by 2025, signifying the importance of digital skills in the future job market.
Additionally, the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as artificial intelligence, automation, and big data, will continue to reshape the job market landscape, necessitating a workforce equipped with advanced technical skills and roles like data analysts.
Best-paying jobs in Malaysia
1. Banking, accountancy, financial services and fintech
Fintech professionals develop innovative financial products and services using technology.
Embarking on a banking career in Malaysia can prove to be quite rewarding, with leading banking executives earning approximately RM252,000 per annum. Similarly, prominent Malaysian companies remunerate their finance directors generously, providing an average yearly salary of RM223,080 to oversee their fiscal operations.
You may also pursue a career in accounting which can yield a handsome income even for recent graduates. In Malaysia, accountants can expect an average annual salary of RM59,708, demonstrating the potential for a fruitful professional journey in this field.
A degree in Finance, Accounting and Management, Finance,Management and Business Analytics, or Economics can equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for this evolving industry.
2. Healthcare and medical professionals like surgeons
Healthcare and medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, are in high demand due to the growing need for quality healthcare services.
Most doctors and healthcare professionals earn impressive wages even as they begin their careers. For instance, a medical director in Malaysia is likely to receive a salary of around RM296,000 per annum. Likewise, surgeons within the country can earn up to a remarkable RM458,793 each year.
UNM offers degree programmes in biomedical, pharmacy and allied health sciences for those who dream of a career in this field. Additionally, professionals in the mental health sectors are also much needed in Malaysia, and a degree in Psychology can help kick-start a career in this field!
3. Software engineers and IT specialists
Software engineers design, develop, and maintain software applications and systems.
Software developers in Malaysia can enjoy a plethora of career opportunities within the rapidly growing IT sector. The industry abounds with prospects that contribute to programme development, website creation, technical support, and a variety of other tasks in related domains.
In this vibrant landscape, a software engineer in Malaysia can anticipate an annual income of around RM65,994. In a similar vein, chief information (IT) officers can garner an estimated yearly salary of RM182,374.
Pursuing a degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or a related field at UNM can prepare students for a rewarding career in this industry. The future awaits; seize the opportunity now!
4. Digital marketing specialists
Digital marketing professionals use online platforms and technologies to create and execute marketing strategies. Fresh graduates can opt for a career working in an agency or on the client side working for specific brands and companies.
Besides this, a digital marketing degree can open doors to careers such as social media manager, search engine optimisation, content strategist, email marketing specialist, brand manager, etc.
According to the Economic Research Institute, digital marketing specialists in Malaysia earn an average of RM82,948 annually. The estimated average salary for a professional in this sector come 2028 is expected to be RM101,308 per year.
Start by taking up degrees in Marketing and Management or in Communication Studies at UNM!
5. Civil engineers
Civil engineering graduates can look forward to earning a comfortable income after completing their studies.
The country's engineering and manufacturing sectors are flourishing. Consequently, engineers tend to enjoy higher than average incomes compared to many other professions.
Fresh civil engineering graduates in Malaysia can anticipate an average annual salary of RM84,456. Similarly, an Engineering Director in Malaysia, who possesses both technical proficiency and robust administrative skills, can expect to earn an average of RM201,480 per year.
To kickstart a career in this dynamic field, a degree in Engineering is essential.
6. Data science specialists
Data scientists and analysts help businesses make data-driven decisions by analysing, interpreting, and visualising large data sets.
According to Salary Expert, the average salary for a data scientist in Malaysia is around RM156,000 per year. This figure can increase to around RM200,000 for senior positions, while entry-level positions pay about RM110,000 per year.
In addition to the attractive remuneration packages, data science is a field that will continue to grow as technology advances.
UNM offers courses in Mathematics and Data Science, Computer Science with AI, or Business Analytics to equip students with the necessary skills.
7. Cybersecurity experts
Cybersecurity professionals protect organisations from cyber threats and attacks.
In Malaysia, cyber security experts earn an average salary of RM150,000 annually. However, this average is projected to increase from RM50,000 to RM180,000 by 2028. As such, as long as the world continues to depend on the internet, cybersecurity specialists can expect their pay to increase as the demand in this field increases.
Students can choose from courses in information security, Computer Science, and network engineering at UNM to build a strong foundation in this field.
8. Human resource management
Human resources (HR) managers oversee an organisation's workforce, including recruitment, training, and employee relations.
Salary Expert reports that HR managers in Malaysia earn an average base salary of about RM161,000 per year. Additionally, the average annual bonus for those in this position is RM12,796. Those in senior positions can earn above RM200,000 per year, which is equivalent to about RM16,600 per month.
Start with a degree in Management or Applied Psychology and Management, which can be the first step towards a flourishing career in human resources!
9. Business management expert
C-suite roles are the best-paying jobs worldwide, not just in Malaysia. These include top business management professionals like the chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO).
The annual salary of a company's CEO (business management) is about RM281,000 per year. Similarly, business analysts who support top business managers can expect to make approximately RM73,479 annually.
A regular Business Management or an International Business Management degree can get you started on the journey towards a C-suite role!
10. Legal experts and lawyers
In Malaysia, law graduates can opt to specialise as advocates or solicitors. While advocates represent clients in criminal and civil trials, solicitors help by providing legal counsel or drawing contractual documents.
Statistics suggest that lawyers in Malaysia can earn an annual income of up to RM184,675. However, the figures may vary depending on their individual expertise and the region where they practise.
Tips to prepare for high-demand careers
Ready to embark on a path to professional success? Take note of these indispensable tips tailored to prepare you for the most sought-after careers.
Choose the right course at UNM: Align your interests, strengths, and career goals with the appropriate degree programme to maximise your potential in your chosen field.
Participate in internships, co-op programmes, and work placements: Gain practical experience and build professional networks through hands-on learning opportunities.
Engage in extracurricular activities and networking opportunities: Join clubs and organisations, or attend industry events to develop skills, expand your network, and stay informed about job market trends.
Pursue professional certifications and higher education: Enhance your expertise and stay competitive by obtaining industry-recognised certifications and pursuing advanced degrees in your chosen subjects.
The role of UNM in preparing students for high-demand careers
UNM takes pride in crafting well-rounded educational experiences to equip our students with the essential skills to excel in high-demand careers. Here’s what you get:
Dedicated career services and resources: The university provides support services such as career counselling, job placement assistance, and professional development workshops to help students transition into the workforce.
Opportunities for practical experience and hands-on learning: The university emphasises experiential learning through internships, capstone projects, and other practical experiences to equip students with real-world skills.
We take pride in the fact that graduates from UNM earn an impressive 50% more than their peers, a testament to the exceptional education and valuable experiences provided by our institution.
Pursuing a high-demand career in Malaysia can lead to greater job security, professional growth, and a fulfilling work-life. By leveraging UNM’s resources and programmes, students can prepare themselves for success in these thriving sectors.
Keep a watch on the job market trends and invest in your education and professional development to secure a bright future in your chosen field!
Posted on 16th May 2023