global skills report

The country is placed behind neighbours like Singapore (#10), Vietnam (#20), Indonesia (#45), but is ahead of the Philippines (#69) and Thailand (#76).

Coursera’s latest Global Skills Report reveals that while Malaysian learners are more adept at digital skills like cloud computing and data analysis, overall, there is a skills gap across business, technology, and data science, where skills are scored at 53%, 56%, and 52% respectively.

With that, the country ranks 46th globally—behind neighbours like Singapore (#10), Vietnam (#20), Indonesia (#45), but ahead of the Philippines (#69) and Thailand (#76).

“The pace of skills transformation is slower than the pace of digital transformation in Malaysia, as is the case in several countries across the world. Learners must invest in both soft and technical skills to prepare for jobs of the future,” said Raghav Gupta, Managing Director - India and APAC, Coursera.

In the ‘business’ aspect, Vietnam is the overall leader. This result is driven by strong skill level scores in communication (99%), entrepreneurship (100%), leadership and management (98%), and strategy and operations (99%). For Malaysia, its top three skill level scores are in accounting (79%), finance (71%), and communications (65%).

Looking at one of its neighbours, Singapore, her top three skill level scores are in finance (92%), marketing (92%), and entrepreneurship (85%).

For ‘technology’ skills, Japan is the world leader due to its expertise in industrial automation and robotics. It holds a skill level score of more than 90% across areas like cloud computing, computer networking, and theoretical computer science.

Compared to that, Malaysia’s skills level is at 91% for cloud computing and at a relatively lower 60% for the other areas (i.e. computer programming, mobile development, and operating systems). Its next best performing skills are in security engineering (69%) and database (65%). Meanwhile, Singapore’s stronger suits are in cloud computing, computer networking, and theoretical computer science – similar to Japan.

With regard to ‘data science’, Japan leads the region with Hong Kong and Singapore closely behind. Across domains such as machine learning, mathematics, and probability and statistics, it has a skill level score of more than 90%. Looking at Malaysia, however, its best performing ‘data science’ domains are data analysis (79%), data management (67%), and data visualisation (59%).

For Singapore, it is data management, machine learning, and probability and statistics.

Despite Malaysia’s overall performance, Coursera observed that more learners are opting for online learning to arm themselves with the skills of the future such as Python programming, machine learning, and Internet-of-Things.

With these skills at hand, the report also revealed that picking up new skills is not as difficult as it may sound to some.

As such, recent graduates and mid-career changers can be ready for entry-level positions in as little as 35 to 70 hours (or one to two months with 10 learning hours per week); and that someone with no degree or technology experience can be job-ready in 80 to 240 hours (or two to six months with 10 learning hours per week).

Further, “the most transferable skills across all future jobs are in human skills like problem solving and communication, computer literacy, and career management,” the report stated.

Gupta added: “The report indicates that the skills needed for high-demand entry-level roles can be developed in a matter of months, not years.”


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