72% of SPM graduates prefer being an influencer and being an e-hailing driver to pursuing higher education

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Every year, employers complain that they can’t find new employees, while people complain that they can’t find jobs.

It’s obvious that there are vacancies, but why do companies struggle to fill these vacancies? Where have the fresh graduates gone?

A recent government investigation may provide a clue as to the reasons for this.

According to Utusan, the study found that 390,000 or 72.1% of SPM graduates have no plans to continue their studies, preferring to work as online influencers, e-hailing drivers or food delivery drivers.

Statistics Ministry figures showed that out of 560,000 Malaysians who had a diploma in 2019, only 170,000 went on to study.

The remaining 390,000 decided to enter the workforce directly, and this trend will not stop in the coming years.

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72.1% of SPM graduates have no plans to continue their studies, preferring to work as online influencers, e-hailing drivers or food delivery people. Image: TRP file

The Director of Entrepreneurship, Industry and Community Networking at University Malaysia Perlis Professor Prof. Madya Dr. Shafriza Nisha Basah expressed concern that this trend will affect the country’s long-term development.

He pointed out 3 main reasons why those in this age group are disinterested in pursuing their studies:

  • More job opportunities on gig platforms
  • The influence of social media
  • The belief that good academic results do not necessarily guarantee high-paying jobs

According to The Sun, Neal Sivadas, Product Marketing Manager at TikTok, also pointed out that job seekers face stiff competition in the market.

He shared that the average job today receives about 250 applications to fill a role, while larger companies like Microsoft and Google receive two million applications annually.

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With the job market becoming fiercely competitive and the cost of living rising, the younger generation cannot be blamed for abandoning traditional work paths and going immediately to where the jobs are to make a living.

Some Malaysians have not even finished school

As an illustration. Image: Sayuti Zainudin/Malay Mail

Apart from that, a survey of the country’s labor force by the Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC) revealed that 5.8% of Malaysians have never attended or graduated from school.

The MPC believes that this non-schooling group are people from poor families, the Orang Asli communities and those in Sabah and Sarawak.

The star reported that these students are also dropping out of school due to poverty, loss of interest and the system’s focus on exams.

Students also feel alienated from the curriculum content and have failed to see the purpose of schooling.

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There is no motivation for the students to continue their studies, even if their parents showed no concerns about their children’s education.

Mohamad Muzaffar Abdul Hamid, director of MPC’s Department of Development, Productivity and Competitiveness, said this would lead to many low-skilled workers in the workforce, which would then lead to a drop in the country’s productivity, innovation and competitiveness.

He added that this will create difficulties in creating new job opportunities and will affect low-wage workers.

Compared to a highly skilled workforce that offers higher wages while encouraging productivity and innovation.

Mohamad Muzaffar Abdul Hamid, Head of MPC Department of Development, Productivity and Competitiveness

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