Wednesday, July 05, 2006

70% Public University Graduates Jobless (!?)

Whoa! I think even the most cynical amongst us out there would have been shaken by such a staggering number of unemployed graduates. I mean how can more than half of our graduates be unemployed?

But that' the headline report from the Sun yesterday.
Some 70% of public universities and institutes of higher learning graduates in the country are unemployed. This is in contrast with 26% for private institutions of higher learning and 34% for foreign graduates.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar revealed the figures yesterday in reply to a question from Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur).
While I'm not surprised that the number of unemployed is large, I believe that the statistics provided above either by Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar, or reported by the Sun is misleading. I suspect that some incompetent statistician somewhere took the total number of unemployed gradautes in the country (who could have graduated in different years) and divided the number by the number of tertiary education students in a year to obtain the silly percentage.

If however, the "70%" statistic is indeed true (which I seriously doubt), then I think we might as well shut down half of our public universities.

What was more interesting however, is the additional breakdown of unemployed graduate numbers by universities provided by the Ministry. Note that the following breakdown refers only to the 20,217 who have registered themselves with the Ministry of Human Resources, and does not include those who haven't bothered with the Ministry.

It is most interesting to note that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) contributes by far the most number of unemployed graduates amongst all the universities in Malaysia. The number of unemployed produced (3,278) is more than double the next highest university, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) (1,532). To put it into context, it is hence extremely laughable that UiTM as recently as a months ago, declared itself to be a "world class university" - see my blog post about it here. In its advertisement of self-aggrandisement, UiTM dared to ask:
... why are UiTM graduates highly sought after?

They are trained to fill the needs of industry both in the private and public sector, they have strength of character, and they have acquired mastery of the skills needed in today's competitive environment.

UiTM's graduates are accepted at the world level because of their ability ot communicate in English and their good communication skills.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary here, UiTM declared its graduates to be highly marketable and are in demand globally. Assuming an intake of 30,000 students per annum and the likelihood that the above number represents UiTM's contribution to the unemployed pool per annum, that's more than a 10% ratio of unemployability, a terrible figure even by Malaysian standards!

The next interesting nugget of information produced is the subjects which seem to be littered with unemployed graduates as compiled in the table below:

I can fully understand "Business Administration" or other management programmes as a degree course that many candidates opt for if they are not qualified for other subjects to study, and hence the high level of unemployability given the weaker pool of students. However, computer science as the highest contributor to the unemployed pool? Isn't that the next wave of growth overtaking the country whereby computer science graduates should be in high demand?

The answer as to why the Computer Science faculty seems to be contributing the highest number of unemployed graduates to the market place despite a clear shortage of skilled workers in the industry is fairly obvious. I've previously written about it here.
A survey conducted earlier has indicated that as many as 30% of the umemployed local graduates are computer science and information technology degree holders. These skills are in obvious demand in the country - it is not a mismatch. The clearcut issue in this case is that many of the local institutions of higher learning, both public and private have failed to offer a sufficiently rigourous education to produce the necessary quality in the workforce which the industry requires.
I'm not alone with this opinion. A friend and CEO of another sofware company listed on MESDAQ, was quoted similarly (blogged here).
Most importantly, as highlighted by Chris Chan, chief executive offer of The Media Shoppe in the same article:
... some local ICT graduates lacked fundamental technical skills and only had knowledge of basic software such as Microsoft Office (!)
The problem is largely either the poor ICT curriculum of many of our local universities/colleges that doesn't seem teach anything to our ICT students or these students shouldn't have been taking ICT courses in the first place.
Anyway, I'm glad that the Government has in recent times been a tad more liberal with releasing statistics. We hope however, that the statistics which are released can make a bit more sense and the replies made in Parliament to be a tad more "sensible". I mean "70% of local public university graduates unemployed" - that's almost a national emergency!


Anonymous said...

Ehehe, at that rate (70%) potential students should opt not to pursue higher education instead. Anyhow, I do agree with the stats that Comp Sci and IT grads are by far the biggest number of unemployed graduates. This is in accordance with the Internet boom of the late 90's / early 00's. Hence the high number of intake in such courses during those times. And the spill out is evident now. Besides, entry requirements are usually lower than other applied sciences, even at good foreign universities. So post-SPM students at the time enrolled en masse for these programmes that they think could provide them with lucrative jobs. But, they were sorely mistaken when reality kicks in after enrolling.

Computer science is a highly technical area. A student must have strong logical thinking and be able to understand problems quick. A strong mathematical foundation is required. Many students, and I believe the weak ones especially, thinks that computer science is all about "messing around" with computers with a bit of programming and so on. An easy job where one dresses smartly, and runs around meeting clients.

As many have pointed out, there is no shortage in demand of IT professionals. It all boils down to the attitude of the graduates that's causing this high unemployment rate (for IT). Skills mis-match and technical inefficiencies can be adressed, they can be taught and learned. The difference is in the attitude. Of course, this only applies to IT and similar graduates (e.g. Engineering). Some areas like Biology, Chemistry and Polymer Science have their fair share of unemployment, but that's cause of the lack of jobs in their industry.

Anonymous said...


I think it is not fair to generalise that people opt for if they are not qualified for other subjects to make it sound as if bus. ad. graduates are cheapos and surely cannot find work..

Do you just mean bus. ad. in M'sian universities only ? or are you also including the business schools of UPenn, Stanford etc?

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous, yes, he was refering to local universities. Unfortunately, he is slightly wrong - courses like business admin and accountancy is highly competitive to get in; a couple of A's is best advised to stand a chance.

Certainly, it is more competitive than students entering, say, Sunway, for ACCA. Yet the latter find jobs more easily.

It's not merely a matter of how easily you can get in (unless you have an IQ rivaling Einstein and want something on your CV that reflects that), but how easily you can get out. Very, very few students in local universities actually fail, getting a 2.2 or even 2.1 honours is much easier than a mere pass in other places.

Anonymous said...

I think the 70% might be possible.

Firstly, the MOHE was set up in 2004.
The annual intake for public university is about 40 000.

70 % of 40 000 x 2 years = 56000

Also, keep in mind the one time high of unemployed graduates ( 80 000).

80 000 x 70 % = 56 000

I suspect this is where the figure is derived from. What say you?

Golf Afflicted said...

Hey Anon 04:51:32 PM

I think you misunderstand me (or I didn't make myself clear :)).

I'm not saying that "all" biz ad students are weak. I'm saying that it is a course that weak students will apply to, or be allocated the programme. Hence, given the presence of the weaker students, the likelihood of these students not being able to gain employment after they have graduated is higher. I have no problems with biz ad and its students in general - I've hired quite a few of them myself.

With regards to the "high entry criteria" set for biz ad courses, I'll beg to differ from Rajan. I'm not sure which local public uni he's referring to which requires a string of As to gain entry, but I've received plenty of resumes from students of various public local unis which were very very far from the "string of As" type qualifications for STPM or SPM.

:) Tony P

Anonymous said...

It's how you use statistics - use or abuse.

We may have 80,000 unemployed or unemployable graduates, but they are not all from the same batch of graduating cohort. This maybe the accumulated number from a few graduating batches (2, 3, 4, 5, or more?).

So we need to have a look at additional details, like the graduation year of each of the 80,000 unemployed or unemployable graduates, and group them according to their graduating batches.

Be that as it may, the figures do show that UiTM is truly our champion, maybe because it produces the largest number of graduates annually among our public universities. Maybe that's the number 1 spot that the UiTM's VC wants to claim, though a dubious honor. Anything #1 OK lah!

About unemployable computer science or ICT graduates - maybe it is because the many computer faculties are not teaching the right stuff; they just train their students to use software like Word, PowerPoint, Flash, etc. rather than the hardcore science of the discipline, i.e., technicians who expect graduate pay and who remain unemployed because their skills just don't match their expected high pay.

This trend will not slow down or be reversed as our self-proclaimed 'world-class' public universities continue to take in more students and produce a dime a dozen graduates through their inferior, non-externally audited academic programs.

Anonymous said...

There is something ironic here. You are probably aware that all private colleges/universities need approval from MoHE/LAN to run their courses. Essentially, LAN gets a panel of public university faculty to evaluate all the courses at the private colleges and basically private colleges are at the mercy of these public university panel of evaluators. Yet these public universities are churning our unemployable graduates. And they are 'advising' the private colleges (short of telling them) how to run the programs in the colleges but they don't seem to do a very good job in running their own programs in their own public universities if their graduates are not employable. So, private colleges play the game of getting LAN approval because they do not have a choice. LAN approval and accreditation seems to be some sort of a farce, perhaps???

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
Would you like to consider this statistics:

1. UTM graduates in 2005 (more or less 5000), then the actual unemployed % should be 23%.
2. UKM (6903), then the % should be 14%
3. UiTM (30,000), then the % should be 11%

As you said: "I believe that the statistics provided above either by Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar, or reported by the Sun is misleading" then why you continuing using the above statistics to support your arguments.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tony,

I think it will be more positive to say that UITM contributed 90% of their graduates into Malaysian work force rather than

'Assuming an intake of 30,000 students per annum and the likelihood that the above number represents UiTM's contribution to the unemployed pool per annum, that's more than a 10% ratio of unemployability, a terrible figure even by Malaysian standards!'

Anonymous said...


You baffle me by continuing to make your deductions from a set of statistics which you "seriously doubt". Doesn't that render your analysis totally doubtful? Do tell me if your intention was not to take a jibe at the public unis using whatever fallacious information you could get your hands on.

Your inference that all business admin students are rejects from other more prestigious courses is also unfair and mischievous.

I hope I read you wrong.

Nick said...


Tony did not say 'all' biz ad students are rejects from other more prestigious course. However, generally speaking, they are. You are reading too much into his post.

Statistics are statistics. The numbers don't lie. UiTM did indeed contribute the largest amount of unemployed graduates. What is seriously doubtful is the way the article is written and the way the sentence is phrased.

Lastly, one does not need to take fallacious arguments to take a jibe at Malaysia's public universities. Their reputation is already to tarnished that it can't go down the drain any further.

Anonymous said...


With due respect to you, i beg to differ with your submission that

'I can fully understand "Business Administration" or other management programmes as a degree course that many candidates opt for if they are not qualified for other subjects to study, and hence the high level of unemployability given the weaker pool of students.'

1. To do Buss Ad in local IPTA is not as easy as in private col. Buss and Econ Faculty is among top social science faculties in ipta.
2. Almost all IPTA offered Buss Ad Degree plus private col offering dip. This factor may contibuted to the stat. But this does not mean the grads especially from ipta are weaker or not qualified for other studies.

Anonymous said...


I am not reading too much into Tony's article. Far from it. I am responding to his article at face value.

By saying that 'generally' business admin students are rejects is akin to painting ALL business admin in that light. That is what I mean by 'inference', in case you do not already know.

You obviously have not read Tony's article in its entirety. He did say "the statistics provided above either by Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar, or reported by the Sun is misleading", and not as you put it for him.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - the one who commented on LAN.

Yes you're right it is very ironic... it's also kind of illogical because what you have is universities being asked to certify their potential competitors, given the standards of some of those in public universities, this may lead to a 'dumbing down' of higher education...
But I have a question, do the public universities also need LAN accreditation? Do they get audited, etc?

Anonymous said...

Dear julthefool,

Public uni also subjected to LAN accreditation and they also get audited by various bodies.

Not all LAN members are from local uni. They are from various fields and expertise. Besides LAN also taking in independent panel of assessors from a variety of fields and are qualified personnel from professional and industrial bodies as well as academicians from private and public tertiary institutions. Pls check LAN website before make your comments.

Golf Afflicted said...

OK, I'll do a one time clarification on the statistics since everyone seems a tad confused by it.

1. There's the claim that 70% of graduates from public universities are unemployed. This statistic, I believe is ridiculous (I'm currently seeking information from relevant sources to confirm this).

2. There's a separate set of stats which is the 2 published tables above on the breakdown of 20,000 unemployed grads by subjects and university registered with the Ministry of Human Resources. Now, this set of statistics, I believe is accurate.

I think some of you may have been confused by the two (or I may not have been clear).

Back to the Biz Ad issue. Biz Ad is a large faculty and there are a lot of students in this faculty in all our 17 public universities. There are a lot of good students in this faculty. But there are also a lot of rubbish dumped there. That's all I'm saying.

Whether Biz Ad is easier in IPTA vs private institutions is irrelevant to the argument.

Another way to put it. Malaysian schools put weaker students in Arts Faculty. I chose to be in the Arts Faculty. That doesn't mean I'm weak and useless. Same thing for Biz Ad and Management courses at degree level.

Tony P

Anonymous said...


[Back to the Biz Ad issue. Biz Ad is a large faculty and there are a lot of students in this faculty in all our 17 public universities. There are a lot of good students in this faculty. But there are also a lot of rubbish dumped there. That's all I'm saying.]

Are u referring 'a lot of rubbish'
to public uni students? If yes 'why'? we all know that public uni have strict admission requirements. How about private col? Are the data from Ministry of Human Resource esp. Bus. Add indicated what are u trying to say?

Anonymous said...

u guys are just trying to find fault with tony. not that im agreeing with him. but seriously, wat he says is just common knowledge. bus ad students take the course because the requirements are generally lower anywhere in the world, not just malaysia. whether ipta, priv coll, etc. requirements are always definitely lower compared to the sciences. so the general idea is that it will be populated by "weaker" students.

this is not a debate over arts v science, who is smarter. book-wise, undoubtedly science-background students will come out tops. street smart skills, arts-based students will come out tops.

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick said...


Your inference is wrong. By saying generally, it is implied that not all biz ad students are rejects. For example, by saying generally, scholars are smarter than non-scholars, does that mean that all scholars are smarter than non-scholars? I'm a scholar and I'm definitely not smarter than a lot of non-scholars.

Or, generally, non-graduates have a bleaker future than graduates. Does that mean that non-graduates will definitely end up poorer than graduates? Look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew, Sim Wong Hoo, Li Ka-Shing, Michael Dell and you can clearly see for yourself.

This might be a sweeping generalisation but in certain circumstances such as this, it is unavoidable.

By the way, it is in my opinion that biz ad students are generally academically poorer than their counterparts in medical, law, dentistry, pharmacy, IT, engineering and science courses. However, I'm sure you can find more than your fair share of biz ad students with better grades than even medical students. So let's not continue blasting Tony for it.

Anonymous said...

hey guys..

Different specialisations require different entry requirements and thats when the As matter.

Try go specialise Actuarial Sc..
no 'A' in Econs?...I think you may not be accepted altho an 'A' in Further Maths is also compulsory..So you need to be equally good in both Sc. and Arts to get into Acturial Sc. at least at NTU...

..inspired :)

Anonymous said...

Well, when u talk about education. To me it is an intelectual discussion. I think it is unfair to make remarks without justifications to support . Reading some of the comments make me wonder criterias used to make remarks such as 'so many "lousy" courses in UiTM' or 'a lot of rubbish'.

just my 2 cents. regards.

Anonymous said...


As a self-proclaimed scholar, I hope you (again) read before you write. Tony has already explained himself and you are doing no more than muddying the waters further. I'm definitely not 'blasting' Tony for the sake of it and I hope you cease making inference that I, and perhaps others, are on a personal vendetta. Tony writes good articles and I was merely seeking clarification on this one.

Anonymous said...

Dear All,
Diploma in Leisure Management, Diploma in Sports Studies,Diploma in Health and Fitness,Master of Science in Built Enviroment, Master of Science in Facilities Management, Bachelor of Estate Management, Bachelor of Parks and Amenity Management,diploma in Geomatics Science(Nature Resource,)Bachelor of Science (Hons.)Plantation Technology and Management, Bachelor of Science (Hons.)Furniture Technology, Bachelor of Science (Hons.) Textile Technology:

1. You don't need all these courses? Most of us simply don't understand about education, university, and knowledge!
2. Please check entry requirement for IPTA and IPTS
3. Please study how the process of offering courses in IPTA - before you know what is 'lousy' all about. Check the intake (is it small or big), Don't just 'wonder' and ingat-ingat and gave a very sweeping statement.


Anonymous said...

Poor Tony, you had just been shot by fellow bloggers. Anyway, i really doubt whether the statistician is a local product

Nick said...


I'm just pointing out and explaining that your inference is totally wrong.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that there is a reason that many unemployed grads are some sort of comp sci or IT majors. I am in a field where we see many big corporations downsizing and consolidating their many IT, HR, admin etc departments because technology has evolved such that these common services can be carried out in one common center. This trend is bound to carry on and soon we might not need even half of these people we are churning out currently. Even accounting people are affected by this trend. Perhaps the unis need to amend the volume they are admitting into these courses because no point training too many people for not as many jobs as unemployment will definitely occur then.

clk said...

Does anyone know what is UiTM and UIA/IIU annual intake? The 40,000 students enrollment into local varsity excludes these 2 institutions. If we add these 2 institutions into the 40,000 graduates (assuming 100% graduates), then presumably 20,000 above is not unreasonable and also the 20,000 is cumulative for say 2 yrs...

Anonymous said...

To whichever 'Anonymous' answered my question (seriously guys it would make it easier if you chose different nicks - they don't have to be your 'real' one... just choose 'Other' and put in a nick)

Thanks for the answer re LAN accreditation of public universities. I asked the question because the other 'Anonymous' said:
"So, private colleges play the game of getting LAN approval because they do not have a choice."
This suggested to me that maybe the public universities didn't, so I asked the question. Your answer reassures me.

Similarly, s/he said:
"LAN gets a panel of public university faculty to evaluate all the courses at the private colleges"
OK, yes I could have checked, but I didn't have the time or motivation. I knew that public university faculty are involved. Thanks for the clarification: that's one of the good things about blogs, there's always some degree of 'peer appraisal' ;)

However, the 'irony' point still stands. I have personal experience of the LAN accreditation process and I feel that courses that are innovative and don't fit a set model are made to fit into rigid and dated models; whether this is because of the LAN civil servants or other assessors I don't know.

Also, I do know for a fact (I am absolutely certain, and I don't say this lightly) that at least one senior member of a faculty in a presigious local public university has paid to have someone else do work for him/her, because of his/her own inability to research and write a paper. Second-hand anecdotal evidence (i.e. I heard it from people directly involved) also points to a distinct lack of quality control in the same university.

Anonymous said...

Tony P: I didn't say string of A's, a couple out of 4 or 5 is more like it. I must say this is anecdotal, but of all my peers in STPM, none of them got into a business-related courses except those with at least an A. Not even KUTPM.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey folks, have you read "The Millionaire Mind"- by Thomas J. Stanley, PhD ? His studies indicated that most academically gifted people will never be an economic success ! Consider that.

Anonymous said...

I think we may have a another spate of unemployed graduates issue in the not too distant future. Maybe worse than the current situation. This involves those in the life science in particular biotechnology. Thanks to the promotion by our government on biotechnology we now have thousands of graduates in the pipeline doing biotechnology and other bio-related course. But check out the appointments section in the papers and you will find almost zilch emnployment in this field. A quick survey of several secondary schools shows that there are more people taking biology for thier STPM than the physical sciences. Students still view bio courses as a softer option compared to physics and chemistry. There are also 17 medical schools in Malaysia offering medicine. The health sciences (including Pharmacy) are also pretty well loaded with students. Where are all these people going to do when they graduate. Already, it is easier for me to locate a Pharmacy store or a clinic than a barber.

Anonymous said...

biotech = no employment = Malaysia lost = Singapore's gain

Anonymous said...

Malaysian public universities historically are set up to produce skilled man-power / administers for the government. As such most of its graduates are the "makan gaji" type.. They are used to the "budaya senang" culture.. Just compare them to graduates from NUS or NTU of Singapore.. So many of them are in entreprenuership programes working in small high tech startups in Singapore Science Park I and II.

Anonymous said...

I was told by a Singaporean professor that the brakes are put on the number of people doing Biotech. The current excess and unemployed biotech headcounts in the republic are offered opportunities for retraining in other fields. Scary that the biotech hype is still being propagated in Malaysia. Read the article "Valley of Ghost" in Nature for the dismal rendering of the the failed Biovalley in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

I think the branch of biotech Malaysia is referring to is "AgroTech", that is the application of biological knowledge to agricultural products, whereas the Singaporeans are giving emphasis to "BioMedical", that the application of biology in medical research and drugs design. Malaysia and Singapore are both heading towards different directions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymnous is partially right. Malaysia biotech initiative has three thursts: 1) AGRO-BIOTECH 2) HEALTH PRODUCTS AND DRUG RESEARCH FROM OUR BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES 3) INDUSTRIAL BIOTECH. Bottomline is still - where are the jobs? Can we place the thousands of graduates in the pipeline. My survey of the appointments sections says no. Nobody is rushing into Malaysia to setup biotech companies like the manufacturing "phenomena" in the electronics industry. So jobs will be an issue. The main options for the biotech grads - agriculture, pharmaceuticals, food industry. In agriculture, why hire a biotech grad when we have grads from agriculture school?; pharmacuetical companies? - I'd hire a pharmacist or chemist or even a chemical engineer if it is related to manufaturing; food industry? - i'd hire food technologists which there is also no shortage of. IN short - we can expect a high rate of unemployment among biotech grads. I am concern since a lot of our young people are conned into doing bio related programs with little future prospects. The private colleges offering these program are having a field day at the expense of our kids. The government is happily promoting biotech when everything is still on paper and over optimistic projections abound. I think this is irresponsible. I was one of those conned so many years back into coming back to Malaysia at a time when the Malaysian government was painting a rosy picture of the R&D landscape in Malaysia. Well, bllions of ringgit and 12 years later, well our R&D record is still dismal and talents are wasted in a labyrinth of bureacracy and incompetency. I'll say those who want to do real research, stay away from this country. Believe me, I've done my rounds with government research institutions and universities (public and private) - they are piteous and this is an understatement. So with this biotech promotion, I see a repeat of what happened so many years ago. I know what it is like since I am one of those affected. Biovalley failed, now it is BioNexus ... and it should fail also. The reason is simple - we do not allow quality people to do their work, mediocre ones gets to make bad decisions with impunity. My view only? Go read "Valley of Ghost" Nature August 2005.

Anonymous said...

.. and once the impressive infrasturcture with five star lobby is up, we fill it with administrators of dubious competence and with minimal clue as to a vision.

Anonymous said...

That is the problem with our leadership (or former leadership). Too many politicians with visions but no clear implementation knowledges. Not good for the country. U must be able to implement your visions because even mentally ill people can have visions too!

Anonymous said...

Did you read about our Datuk Wira Dr. Fong Chan Onn asking Malaysian talents to return home? For what? To unemployment here? Apparently, he has yet to resolve the problem of unemployed graduates yet he is starting another problem of unemployed returnees from abroad!

Anonymous said...

hi tony,it is also laughable to see how you came out with a quick conclusion based on the misleading statistic which you referred to.It is equavalent to saying the living cost in UK is higher than in Malaysia without realizing that the salary to price of goods ratio for the two countries is different.look at the whole picture and take account on the RATIO next time.
-muhd. azmir-

Anonymous said...

We have such problems as a result of poor policy & implementation. Not sure about govt. stats, perhaps spin or reality? There needs to be a change of culture overall in the govt.,its systems & by the population in general...which s going to take time becoz of lag...we can only hope & pray that the people in power really get to grips with what's happenning on the to say...Hopefully the 'transparency' given by the ministry is a cry for help & not otherwise.

What can be done is on its way...the privatisation of education, other career paths via education elsewhere & hopefully this will input back into the country. Until the govt sector can get it right, the private sector is only struggling to fill this void. This is the fact in reality, one that may be hard to swallow.

The main question is 'Malaysia' willing to mature & grow up? Are we going to address putting the finances where it should be? Do we value innovation or recreation? Countries like our neighbourly Singapore have progressed becoz the govt. values its professionals & academics..people are its resource compared to the petroleum backing that may run out...why are we lacking behind? Until we have woken up from our comfort zones, willing to innovate & have integrity then are we ready to move ahead & forge a future that our forefathers could only dream.

The choices we make today will determine the future we have tommorrow. Hindering progress based on prejudicial politics can only mean our demise.

Anonymous said...

You have to remember, in Singapore, it is the vibrant and efficient government that allows the private sector to flourish. In Malaysia, they have this weird assumption that the private sector can stand alone withouth the public sector! The truth is that a lot of the private sector in Malaysia follows policies (NEP) of the public sectors, especially the GLC companies that contributed so much to the economy.

Anonymous said...

Well, all these brain drain problem is blown out of proportion. It is an indication of our leadership having difficulty in grasping with the reality of the 21st century, open, borderless world. Instead of embracing globalization, they feared it; just as the Chinese Ming Dynasty rulers and the Japanese Shoguns who banned all contacts with foreigners in the 15 - 19th century.
Why did they do that? Because they fear that they will be unable to cope with the changes that come with it.. and they feared it would erode they "power base".

But is the Ming Dynasty or the Shoguns around today? Change is a reality of life. You have to adapt and face globalization.

Anonymous said...

Adapt or face extinction to me more correct!

Anonymous said...

What ever figure, Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar revealed, no one will believe him. The real reason for saying is that he want to protect more job market for Malays, further more he want to pressurize private companies to take more Malays in jobs, by creating such figure. Look at today's Sun Heading “Bogus Students” 27 September. Cabinet Minister Datuk Seri Radzi is saying 40% of foreign students are working. How they are working if there is no jobs in Malaysia and Malays are unemployed? Their own ministers give contradicting statements.

Let me tell you the fact, I am here in Malaysia for more than 2 years, I have visited many industries, educational institutes and University. I have meet many people and I have read various issues and I have see and experience lot here in Malaysia during my stay.

The problem is that Malaysian government play hide and seek, they say there is no jobs, but same time sign contract with Pakistan, Nepal and other countries for workers. My question is why? Simply because they can use them like donkey where ever they need them,while their own people will not do such jobs. There is no any single centre for the welfare of foreign workers in Malaysia. They use people from third world as a slave. Don’t you see thousand of Indonesians and Nepalese are doing 3D (Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult) jobs because Malay don’t want to do, yet you are saying Malays are jobless? So Datuk Abdul Rahman, why don’t we kick all of them and create more jobs for Malays? I don’t think Datuk Abdul Rahman have any answer.

Further more, ask any Malay that he/she working? You will find 90% of them are working, most of them even have diplomas only. Even in some of the universities I have thought some Malays work in same universities/colleges while they study. I can give more proof, but I know mentalities of these Ministers, let them say……

Anonymous said...

That is because some of the Ministers in the Government are sleeping. First the economy isn't generating much higher paying "clean" jobs but yet the country is producing so much graduates. Then they are claiming that there are talent shortages / brain drain when there are so many jobless graduates.. Just look at our neighbouring countries Philipines and Indonesia.. It is not uncommon for them to "export" doctors / medical, engineering graduates as cheap man-power to other countries just as they have exported maids ! Malaysia doesn't seems to learn anything from its neighbours!

Anonymous said...

i cant belive that its still written Universiti Pertanian Malaysia and not Putra even though the change has been quite long...
just goes to show the "efficiency" of our administration... *sigh*

Anonymous said...


I doubt you understand enough of the local university entrance guidelines when you made the remarks on Biz Ad student. Biz Ad is one of the hardest Faculty to get into amongst the Arts Faculties. In local universities, courses are allocated according to the merits of the applicant in STPM. And in STPM you already have decided whether you would be going for Arts/ Science Stream. If you have chosen Arts Stream, then it is not easy for you to get into Biz Ad unless you have good results. Of course, underlying all of this are the quotas according to your racial lines. But, please, Tony, you are making a very judgemental and unfair remark to those people who worked hard to do Biz Ad. Plus, if you talk about rubbish being dumped, I am sure there are rubbish being dumped in the faculty of PPE in Oxford too. But since we did not specifically raised that to everybody, I hope you can also be more sensitive towards the feeling of others when making your comments.

Anonymous said...


How much of your education life is in Malaysia? If I recall, you were an Asian scholar and did most of your studies outside of the country. And yet you claim that Malaysia put their weaker students in Arts Faculty like there is no choice for the student. I think that statement is far from the truth. Please do your research before you make a statement like that. Just like you, students can choose to be in Arts/Science Stream during STPM, which would direct them towards the Arts/Science Faculty in the universities.

Anonymous said...

Those unemployed graduates many of them are from local public universities and are mostly going thru matriculation.

Matriculation students are weaker in many areas. So, they are naturally unemployed.

Anonymous said...

Jobless Grads ... Call me at 016-3229899 (James Thong) to solve yr problems ..One condition - cannot be fussy, back to zero attitude, willing to learn ...

Anonymous said...

Why are college graduates jobless? This has been the norm due to the mass production of undergraduates. Many of these undergraduates cannot even speak or write in any language properly as college graduates.
A suggestion for unemployed graduates is to look for other options such as doing your own small business. For the computer science/technology grad, you can work at home doing websites and writing programmes for companies. Those who want to teach our youngsters can consider private tutoring. There are options of work. Why focus on a paycheck and have to take heat from the employers fir 40 hours per week??

Anonymous said...

it's very unfair for you to say that uitm contributes the highest percentage of unemployed graduates. it is apparently due to its most highest students recruitment compared to other universities.that doesn't mean uitm graduates are that 'lousy'. let's say univ. malaya recruits the same percentage of students as uitm does, the same thing would i right?

Anonymous said...

Our country wants to be the education hub. With this kind of employment statistics?

Let us compare with our nearest competitors:

ALL of these Singapore Universities' have 95% of their graduates find jobs within 6 months and minimum of S$2,500.

The SMU, a private University established for 5-6 years only and already also 95% employment in 6 months with minimum S$2,500 salary. How about our Sunway, HELP, UTAH?

So we compare Malaysian Universities against Malaysian Universities = choosing the best among the worst? And our children graduate without proper training and pieces of toilet paper?

How to compete, dear Bolehland?

Anonymous said...

why so obsessed with spore? the number of graduates produced are limited by the number of unis. so, easier to be absorbed by the job market.

did u all who look up greatly to spore realised, the people are also migrating elsewhere or longing to? so, its not honky dory lk u think.

where can compare salary mah! take away the exchange rate and factor in the cost of living, then what is the true worth of that S2,500 salary?

Anonymous said...

Well, I have spent years in Singapore and you will be surprised with how low the cost of living in Singapore is.

First :- You don't need to buy a car! This is the single most expensive and stupid item for a fresh graduate to finance. It can easily eats up more than half the monthly income of a Malaysian graduate working in Malaysia.

Second :- Public housing programmes with interest rates as low as 2.5% in Singapore compared to over 6% in Malaysia. In Singapore, someone earning Sg$3000 a month can afford a Sg$300,000 flat since he doesn't pay for a car! A Malaysian graduate on the other hand will require a monthly income of at least MYR$5000 in order to pay for a house and a car!

3. The strength of the Sing Dollar makes imports very cheap. Except for a few of the major items, most of the imported items are at half price of what it is in Malaysia.

4. The Income Tax in Singapore is lower than in Malaysia. The Maximum tax bracket is just 20% in comparison to 28% in Malaysia.

You will be surprised that the quality of life in Singapore is higher !

Anonymous said...

You blogged and said that students are better off going to a public university to study rather than at a private college just because they twin with foreign institutions which are not highly ranked. And here there is proof that graduates of Malaysian public universities are unemployable! And you tell them to go to a crappy place to study. If they had listened to your advice most of our population would be unemployable. You disregard the fact that many of the private colleges have done some very good work for this country, and have opened up access to education for thousands of people. You have not studied at a public university here before, and neither have you visited or done any proper due diligence on the quality of the lower ranked universities in the UK . Those that are not highly ranked overall actually do have excellent programmes, and their standards are higher than that of the Malaysian public universities. They have good faculty members, good facilities, and good programmes. With such shortsightedness on your part and poor advice, why should we vote for you?

Anonymous said...

hmm, its like graduate A study a certain course in uni but our country did not promote job related fields of his studies. so in da end it is singapore's gain (as well as other countries) & malaysia's failure 2 retain thier top talents

Anonymous said...

The suggested reasons for reported unemployment amongst ITM graduates in Malaysia are interesting. Of those ITM graduates who do find work, how many end up employed in the public sector?

I would be interested to see the % of ITM, UM and NUS graduates in all disciplines who are recruited into foreign companies in Malaysia and Singapore?

Based on published data I suspect (educated interpretation)) a significantly higher number of NUS graduates will be recruited into graduate programmes than UM and significantly higher number of UM graduates than ITM.

What are the indicators for quality in Malaysian universities? Have a look at the demographic breakdown of staff at Malaysia's top public university (UM) and compare it with Malaysia's top private university (Monash).

We know the recruitment of staff in Monash Malaysia is based on a search of candidates with final appointments made purely on merit based selection. This is in contrast to the recruitment of staff in UM where appoints are underwritten by specific quota's that dicate not just the recruitment of staff but also selection of students.

The recent freefall of UM's international ranking in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings (SJTU) is not altogether surprising, neither was the resignation of the then VC.

A final observation of Quota based selection of students into medical faculties in Malaysian public universities. There is a rumour that pertains to individual patients from Malaysia's "majority" community when admitted to public hospitals. This rumour alludes to these individuals requesting doctors from communities other than their own, particularly in relation to chronic health problems.

While rumours are not scholalrly knowledge, (like coridoor chatter) they become common knowledge. What is common knowledge is the pressure placed on university professors to pass out struggling students in order to maintain healthy numbers of graduates from a particular community.

If there is a shred of truth behind these, then there is something seriously wrong with the quality of medical graduates from a specific community. Innuendo is not an ideal way of transferring information, however where there is a deliberate lack of scholarly data then one must work on hunches.

To conclude quality of systems, staff and graduates are all tied together. At the end of the day you can have the worlds best infrastructure tha money can buy, but where merit is no longer a driving force in recruitment of staff and students then mediocrity will rise.

Thus the unemployment rate among malaysian public university graduates should not be a surpise. Even in the machine of the Malaysian public sector the job selection committee's will realise that many graduates do not have the necessary skills or abilities to cope with the administrative expectations of a fast developing country.

How then can you expect a foreign multinationals to assess job applications from particular Malaysian locals when their applications will rarely go beyond the initial review.

This post is not meant to denigrate any particular community, I am merely pointing out cause and effect.

The solution is to dismantle the current higher education system in Malaysia and rebuild it according to best practice.....simple

Anonymous said...

I understand why there are so many public uni grad unable to secure a proper job in the country.The following is my experience with them.The majority of UM students speak Malay rather than English.Their mastery of English is extremely astrocious regardless of race.I was speaking to a Chinese student at their Kompleks Perdana Siswa(KPS)when i had a roadshow there,he reacted nervously and spoke in very broken English.I think we have overly expected the university and its students.Some students there reflected to me that some lecturers refuse to use English in their lectures and the students also tend to speak in their respective mother tongue.IF this is the case,I wonder how would UM improve and make their name in the international stage.No wonder there are getting more students choosing private universities or going abroad.

Anonymous said...

I also wonder why those public uni grad would become jobless.Even MMU and UTAR can achieve high employment rate of 85% AND 90% respectively last year!This strange phenomenon really baffle me...

Anonymous said...

usually employers will emphasise in working experiences. probably incorparating some compulsary working hours in2 the graduating requirements will help?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

here had some issue need to concern --

1. how to clarifiles jobless
2. carrier or job
3. why this happen ??

for question 1.

some ofn the student just need to spend 2-3 days to get the jobs , BUT the concern is how he/she get the jobs,
i had one friend who gradute from SUNWAYS college and just need to spend 2 days to get the jobs , you know why , because he working with him father company ( noodles manufacture), and he brother also practice the same thing , spend 3 year study at SUNWAY college and spend 1 year at MONASH U australia
But finally re-study again in monash U about 3 year to gradute
Eventhough there are concern is a employee person BUT sincere to says
there are more like a NEET (not in education, employee or tranning) , here must be clarifiles how many percent of the gradute student are
get the jobs on private sector and how they are get the jobs, is it base on human connection or base on qualification , my assumption is like MONASH university or certain of private colleage , student from this colleage is came from midde or upper family , and some of they family had their own family bussiness , it is more easy to find a jobs , if worst came to worst just get a position in family own company only.

2. even in percentage there are more than 80% fresh gradute had employed in market BUT is not mean the are getting the carrier , maybe you all can get some information how many of them is earning the high salary and most important did they like the jobs that thery are doing?? some of the people working for salary because they are need salary to support family . This type of people is more ironic than NEET category ,because NEET category may had choice to work or not to work BUT for this type of people there are no choice to work and the salary or type of jobs is not there ideal as they like be!!

you can to shopping mall or public area , you all can find alot of people working as a salesperson in road show for selling CREDIT CARD, LOAN, MUTUAL TRUST or INSURANS. are they consider had the jobs or not ??or carrier

we can says jobs is never had bad or good, high or low class, important nethier this jobs had carrier and future , BUT if you son is working this type of jobs what is feeling in your mind??

some of the big company had been force by goverment to create some jobs to reduce the percentage of the jobless, of course private sector won't not waist any extra money to do it, this is the reason you will find lot of the jobs is non basic salary condition as like i emphasize just now, is very logic for the private sector company spend zero invest to this jobless people , just a example

one new employee to selling the MUTUAL trust , the company not pay
1. labour cost
2. operation cost( no outlet to be use in this kind of business)
3. little bit A/P cost
4.not EPF or SOSCO
5. not tranning or any aminstration cost either

in here we are very clear how private company treat this type of people just want to help goverment to close up the percentage only!!

jobs and carrier is totally different

3. why this will happen
example - why Koo Kian Kiat easly been defeat by japan or korea double in Badminton open , Koo is once of the most talent player in Malaysia and most hardworking( i hope) , yes -in malaysia only

here is the point that why malaysia gardute is esay been jobless , because of the globalization like artikel above , lower and blue colar job is been taken by indonesian or bangladesh BUT please bare in mind some of the white colar jobs is also taken or dominate by INDIAN or western contry people like in IT or global trade company

i working in once of the global trade retailer , lot of my key account manager or even my superior is non malaysian

in global point of view or kapitalism free market point of view skin color is nothing and quota is non made sense at all,

if the fresh gradute need to more better future they are not competitive wtih the pupil around you in the same time competive in global change as well,

private colleage or local university if the fresh gradute is ready face the real world if an impossible they will survive in 21th century ,some of the new fresh gradute tell me that they just need to work smart but not hard , this is totally bull shit , if the collegaue is more smarter or more harder than you , how you can perform in your company

in the employee market the are two principe

a. not good only BUT better than other
b. the slower or behinder always been beaten by the market

Anonymous said...

I am conducting a research for my thesis as part of the requirement for my Bachelor of Economics (Human Resource Economics). The title of this thesis is “Unemployment Among Graduates”.

In my research, the respondents will include graduates who are not working yet, 3 months after their convocation in Malaysia.

Kindly please be one of my respondent in my thesis. Before that, please email
( me by info me that you are not working yet and i will email the questionnaire to you.

Your co-operation is much appreciated. Your response will be use for the preparation of thesis only and the information will be kept confidential. Thank

Anonymous said...

I was rejected by my country's university.

I did not despair (OK, only a little). I took up employment, did CIMA part-time, graduated and now I am doing my CFA.

I am definitely very employed and thank god I was rejected by these so called national university. Or else today I may be the 70% unemployed.

chin said...

Either you are employed or still searching for a job, Please enter the following link to filling up the questionnaire..

If i can't get the respondent, my supervisor will fail my thesis and i can't convo on year 2009..

wuwuwu...i want to get respondent..
i want to convo


Anonymous said...

i am here to express my regret on how the graduates of pure and applied science are unemployed or failed in job markets. They are often criticized their qualification is non-related to the industry or they have unreliable skills not in the demand for the job. What am i trying to suggest is for all universities to have these pure sciences students to continue their studies and be more supportive to their prospect of career that the course can offer. Many of these unfortunate students are having difficulties in getting a place in R & D either due to their lack of qualification in CPA achievement or financial support. What i would like to see id for the government to give their concern to these graduates and R & D sector to be broaden not only in government but also private research company. Give support to the reserach development

chin said...

I am conducting a research for my thesis as part of the requirement for my Bachelor of Economics (Human Resource Economics). The title of this thesis is “Unemployment Among Graduates”.

Either you are employed or still searching a job, PLEASE help me filling up the questionnaire and email back to me…

Currently, I faced a severe problem. I can’t get any respondents.

I sent 1500 questionnaire to graduates. Only 50 graduates help me filling up the questionnaire..

PLEASE…PLEASE help me filling up the questionnaire…

You can get the questionnaire by enter following link or I email it to you

I REALLY need your help.. Hopefully you willing help me … However, thanks

Anonymous said...

guys im doing a research for my undergraduate course and i was hoping that someone can point me to the direction to where i can find the 'correct' statistics of the unemployed.
On another note, i think the author of this article is completely correct on his view of business admin undergraduates IN MALAYSIA. What i mean is sure most of these people (4/5) chose this course out of pure interest. However there is 1/5 of them who take this course because they do not qualify for other courses. This happens in malaysia because in form4/5 we only allow 'smart' kids go to science stream and the unqualified are forced to the arts stream. So we have a generalisation that tougher than b.arts. since the requirements of getting into the is tougher they instead go to b.admin which has a lower requirement to get in.Those who choose to not believe this are just fooling themselves. But among the b.admin students there will be brilliant students as well. argh screw it im too lazy to explain it but botomline: business admin students contain more dumb students than any other course IN MALAYSIA not other countries. quality of ipta is so much lower than ipts. while ipta mus write 180 words on basic english course ipts have to write 700 nuff said.

Anonymous said...

UiTM hosts for not less than a half perhaps of the total number of local university student, no wonder if UiTM student ranked at the top of jobless ranking among other Univ. it still allocate very small and negligible percentage throughout UiTM itself despite considerably large to other univ. not all graduates from UiTM have a good achievement in their study, this is due to the reckless thing they've done during study. this in not UiTM problem but they themselves don't grab the opportunity to be the dignified person and didn't cope to get it. endeavor makes us close to perfection and of course we will be very distinguish.

Anonymous said...

While the statistics in the above article shows (out of a particular batch) that UiTM has some 3,000-plus unemployed graduates, it did not equally speak up the fact that UiTM produces approx. 30,000 fresh graduates every year.

Compare to other major universities (UM, USM, UKM, UPM, UTM, UUM, UIAM), each of them produces about approx. 5,000 fresh graduates annually. Yet, according to the above statistics for almost all of these universities, each have a "backlog" of ~1,000 unemployed grads form that particular batch! Sorry to say, UUM is the one that actually comes worst with 1,532 unemployed grads out of just 5,000-plus!!!

From the numbers in the same attached statistics above, only UM and USM did better. But then again, percentage-wise, UM and USM have actually been cuting down their undergrad intake for the last few years to approx. 4,500 every year or less.

Therefore, percentage-wise, UiTM grads actually have a better success rate in employment. Of course this success rate doesn't make UiTM an icon university but let us be fair and look the whole picture.

UiTM-bashers, go learn statistics yourselves lah! You may want to apply for UiTM's Faculty of Quantitative Science! LMAO!!!

Siva said...

THis blog is always downsizing UiTM. Wonder why?

I went for a tour into UiTM..and there ia a WOW factor there. They have a lot to show, statistically outstanding in everything...

I think most of you are very bias when it comes to UiTM..

You argue without solid facts.

By the way, my Singaporean friends have gotten jobs in Iowa, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.. why? cannot find job in Singapore!!

Anonymous said...

In Malaysia a good number of fresh graduates are passing every year. But the most common problem is getting a proper job in their respective fields. Only the top students are absorbed by employers. How about the rest? Nobody is bad once they pass from the university. Every parent is willing to see their children to succeed in a proper career path.

But we should realize, the number companies coming up every year and the number of graduates passing every year. The ratio is not exactly same. We need to focus on two things – the first one is promoting our industry so we can have more number of companies to employ fresh graduates which I am not focusing here as it depends on few other factors. The second point is promoting our skill sets to get into a good job which is in our hand.

Let’s consider the IT sector. Fresh graduates must think and plan about their career whether to become a Programmer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Architect or preparing the career in Sales & Marketing. They must think about the career path – how to achieve their career goal within a certain number of years.

To achieve the career goal, guys, you must have three things – strong technical knowledge, strong communication skills and a bit of knowledge on project management. I can bet on this, you attend any interview and you will be well recognised by any employer if you have command over these three things.

So how we should achieve it? In university we study the basics which might not be adequate to develop a professional project for a good client. We do not know what a use case is; we also do not know how to prepare a professional SRS. We do not know about the WBS. So how can we learn all these to prepare ourselves joining a good satisfying job and work confidently?

We should not think that we know in and out of software development the moment we get a degree certificate from the university. We must accept the fact that may be we know 10% or we just heard about all these jargons during our student life. We should also educate our parents not to pressurize us just after our graduation rather to co-operate with us to learn and get ready for a right job. Why so many fresh IT or Engineering graduates in India could avail the job within 6 months time from the graduation date? They set their mind to join a good training institute at least for 3 months time after the graduation where they learn the technology, communication and exposure on project management. This helps them a lot to approach the big companies for a junior software developer post as they learn the live scenario of a project cycle during their training period. They know how to code (technology), how to document (communication) and how to prepare a release note (bit of project management). This is what any company expects from you from day one. They feel happy recruiting you as they don’t have to spend money and time providing training to you.

In summary, find a good training company where you should not spend more money and time but you can learn more professionally. Malacca is a good place for training as few niche professional companies are coming up who can provide this type of training to you and provide a live project experience to enhance your skill sets.

Regarding me, I basically did my degrees from University of South Australia and University of Adelaide with almost 18 years of experience in IT. After going through this page, I thought of suggesting all fresh graduates to streamline their thinking and set a plan for their career – yes you can succeed. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Biz students are no weaker than students of other check ur facts before posting

Azwad said...

I am a UiTM law school graduate. Good post. Based on my own experience, I think I did not reach my own potential and always believed I deserved better.

I was a MARA scholar and graduated with a foreign pre-university qualification and in 1997, I got accepted by University of Nottingham Law School but MARA did not sent me due to a budget review. In 1998, I was sent to a UK twinning programme but later it was scrapped due to 1998 economic crisis. I was sent to UiTM. I am poor so I have no choice.

My only choice now is just to work hard. I'm now a lawyer but I wish I had a great law school life.

Anonymous said...

dear...who ever you are...

well as you know, saying that uitm has the largest number of unemployed graduates its not because of the low quality of the education itself...but...YOU have to remember, UITM has the largest amount of student intakes every year of all the institutions in MALAYSIA....of course the number looks BIG...but if we count the ratio, according to student intake...UITM is MUCH...FAR more better than other universities.....remember, UITM has 1,2 or more campuses in each state in, mind your keyboard.....DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, quality should be emphasized more than quantity. What if Uitm produce the most graduates than other uni bt the quality is.... uitm students usually end-up finding their job as gomen servant

Anonymous said...

I am worried.. Should I take biotech degree? I'm in dilemma.. completely..

Anyone can elighten me?