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ICT JOB MARKET OUTLOOK IN MALAYSIA

APRIL 2012

PUBLISHED BY

I N CO L L A B O R AT I O N W I T H

ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa


aprIl 2012

Published by:

in collaboration with

Published by:

1106 & 1107, Block B, phileo Damansara ii No.15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan t +: (603) 7955 2922; F +: (603) 7955 2933; E+: pikom@pikom.org.my W+: www.pikom.org.my

Wisma JobStreet.com, 27, Lorong Medan tuanku 1, (off Jalan Sultan ismail), 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia t +: 603-2176 0493 (DL); F+: (603) 2698 7200 W+: www.jobstreet.com E+ : marketing-kl@jobstreet.com

KpMg Malaysia, Level 10, KpMg tower, 8, First Avenue, Bandar Utama, 47800 petaling Jaya t: + (603) 7721 3656 ;F: + (603) 7721 3399 W+: www.kpmg.com.my iSSN No: 2180-267X release date: April, 2012 Editor-in-Chief: ramachandran ramasamy, head of policy, Capability and research, piKoM Contributor: Dominic Wong, Senior Marketing Manager Malaysia, JobStreet.com reviewed by : Woon tai hai, Executive Director & harinder Kaur, hr Advisory Associate Director, KpMg DiSCLAiMEr this publication contains findings based on data provided by JobStreet.com Sdn Bhd (449122-K). KpMg Business Advisory Sdn Bhd (150059-h) and piKoM Services Sdn Bhd (801999-W) collaboratively carried out the data analysis. Although professional effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of data analysis and presentation, all information furnished in this publication are provided strictly on an as is and as available basis and is so provided for your information and reference only. With this caution, kindly be informed that this release is not presented to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. As such, JobStreet.com, KpMg and piKoM including their sponsors, partners and associates, whether named or unnamed, do not warrant the accuracy or adequacy of the data and findings. Moreover, all parties concerned explicitly disclaim any liability for errors or omissions or inaccuracies pertaining to the contents of this publication. therefore, the use of data and findings presented in this publication is solely at the users risk. piKoM, JobStreet.com and KpMg shall in no event be liable for damages, loss or expense including without limitation, direct, incidental, special, or consequential damage or economic loss arising from or in connection with the data and / or findings published in this series. however, professional advice can be sought from the producers of this publication.

Copyright Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced or transmitted in any form or any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, including recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system without prior written permission from piKoM.

ConTenTs
Foreword by PIKOM Chairman Preamble by PIKOM President 1. Introduction 2. Essence of Data Collation 3. Malaysian Economic and ICT Industry Outlook 4 Feature Article: ICT Graduates and Employment Prospects 5. ICT Job Market Salary Trends 5.1. Overall ICT Professionals 5.2. Average Salaries by ICT Job Category 5.3. Average Salaries of ICT Professionals by Industry Category 5.3.1 Fresh Graduates (Entry level) 5.3.2 Executive & Managerial Levels 5.4. Top Paying Industries 5.5. Average Salaries of ICT Professionals in the Selected ICT Industries 5.6. Comparison between ICT Industry Segments and ICT User Industries 5.7. Selected ICT Job Functions 5.8. Employment Size 5.9. Geographic Locations 5.10. Hot ICT Jobs 6. Regional Benchmarking 6.1. Comparison of Average ICT Professional Remuneration in Asian Countries 6.2. Benchmarking with Selected Developed Nations 7. Employment Outlook and Perceptions 7.1. Jobstreet.com Employee Confidence Index (JECI) 7.2. Job Outlook 2012 7.3. Job Growth for Next 12 Months 7.4. Comparison of Job Outlook Q1, 2011 and Q1, 2012 7.5. Employers Perception on Economic Performance 7.6. Anticipated Hiring Activities 7.7. Top 10 Specialisations Sought 7.8. What People Are Saying About First Quarter 2012 8. Conclusion 4 5 7 8 10 15 19

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Foreword by pIkoM Chairman


The ICT Job Market Outlook in Malaysia publication series is a significant milestone for PIKOM in its endeavour to champion the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Malaysia. Once again, PIKOM has successfully produced the 2012 issue with the ardent support of industry partners, in particular Jobstreet.com and KPMG. When it was first published five years ago, it was a simple publication providing only basic information on average monthly salaries of ICT professionals in the country. Today, it furnishes detailed information on average monthly salaries of ICT professionals by industry, job category, job function, employment size and geographical locations. In addition, the top salary-paying industries for the ICT workforce, hot ICT jobs in demand, perception of jobseekers and potential employers on the economy and job market as well as regional data on selected Asian and English speaking countries are showcased. On all accounts, this issue provides a better understanding of the overall ICT job market and its dynamics in the country. PIKOM believes the report, with its expanded scope and coverage, will continue to serve as a referral document for users in both the public and private sectors. These sectors are equally concerned about human capital development issues and challenges plaguing the ICT sector. The concerns are especially critical in view of the urgent need to solicit the right talents in tight employment market environment, to optimise their skills and more importantly, to retain these talents and prevent an exodus to competing nations in the region. In this regard, providing satisfactory remuneration for employees is considered paramount by many industries. Indeed, taking cognizance of new age dynamics, many industries are shifting human development focus from resource cost based to quality, productivity and performance delivery. Essentially, the nation requires an innovative, highly-skilled and well-paid workforce to achieve high income status by 2020 when the nation expects to attain fully-developed status. As PIKOM Research Committee Chairman, I am looking forward to the prospect of ICT industry players becoming more sensitive to employment retention strategies. Much higher salaries offered in our neighbouring country Singapore (average 2.5 times that of Malaysia), the US (4 times) and other English-speaking developed economies like Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Canada (at least 3 times) will continue to pose a challenge to the local ICT industry. The country, especially the academic and training institutions, needs to enhance the number and quality of ICT graduates particularly in areas such as C#, C++ and net development, where the demand remains at an all time high. PIKOM would like to take this opportunity to record its sincere thanks and appreciation to Jobstreet. com and KPMG for their invaluable contribution. PIKOM is also optimistic that industry partners will continue to offer their enduring support in the coming years. With such institutional support, PIKOM is hopeful it can produce more comprehensive information on the ICT job outlook that is of interest and relevance to industry players, policy formulators, development practitioners, job seekers and potential employers as well as academia and students.

woon tai hai


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preamble by the pIkoM president


PIKOM is once again pleased to publish the ICT Job Market Outlook in Malaysia April 2012 edition. As previously, this publication continues to provide information on average monthly salaries earned by information and communications technology (ICT) professionals in Malaysia in 2011. Data published includes average monthly ICT salaries at industry, sub-sector and job category levels. It is pertinent to note that the overall average monthly salaries of ICT professionals for 2011 was RM6,280, registering an increase of 11.7% from RM5,626 the previous year. The report also highlights the oil & gas sector as the highest-paying industry for the ICT workforce, continuing the trend of previous years. For the first time, this series also provides some insight on hot ICT jobs in demand, mostly pertaining to technical skills. The report also for the first time offers data on average monthly salaries of ICT professionals by key ICT job functions, employment size and geographical locations. In terms of increments, we noted that ICT professionals with software development skills registered a significant pay rise of up to 19% in 2011 due to increased demand. As anticipated, big corporations and multinational companies offer much higher salaries especially in the highly-industrialised Klang Valley and Penang regions where demand for ICT professionals remains high. Last year, we highlighted the average annual salaries earned by ICT professionals in seven Asian countries, namely Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Thailand, India, the Philippines and Indonesia. In this benchmarking exercise English speaking developed countries, in particular Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States of America are also included for the first time. This year, however, instead of publishing the average annual salaries, reporting is done in terms of scaling numbers. Essentially, the scales indicate how many times higher or lower ICT professionals earn in Malaysia in comparison with their counterparts in benchmarked nations. The scales not only mitigate any confusion arising from erratic fluctuations in foreign exchanges, but also facilitate better understanding of the data. Again, Hong Kong topped the salary scale. ICT professionals in the Special Administrative Region on an average earned 3.10 times more than their counterparts in Malaysia in 2011. In 2010, this scale was only 2.52 times, indicating that Hong Kong is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for ICT job seekers in the region. Besides average salary, this time the report also incorporated a feature article on ICT Graduates and Employment Prospect. This inaugural article was contributed by the PIKOM Research Committee Chairman who is also the incumbent PIKOM Chairman. Feature articles will be a permanent component to provide a reflection on industry thought leadership on human capital development concerns. Interestingly, the perception of job seekers and potential employers on staff hiring in Malaysia are positive and appear confident in the economic performance and ICT job market outlook. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to record my sincere appreciation to Jobstreet.com and KPMG for their effort in making this publication into another milestone for PIKOM.

shaifubahrim saleh
ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa | aprIl 2012

ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa | aprIl 2012

1. Introduction
PIKOM, the National ICT Association of Malaysia, has once again taken the lead to compile the ICT Job Market Outlook in Malaysia 2012 in collaboration with JobStreet.com and KPMG. PIKOM undertook the task of data collation and coordination over and above its provision of ICT industry-specific information and outlook. The largest recruitment service provider, Jobstreet.com provided the latest salary information on ICT professionals by industry, job markets, and survey-based economic perception of job seekers and industry players. Meanwhile, KPMG, from the big four international audit, tax and advisory firms, analysed the countrys current economic outlook. Other contributors to this report include published salary reports and journals from ZDNet Asia, Robert Walters, Kelly Services, Active TechPros IT and the Malaysian Employers Federation on local and regional salary practices and industry insights.
piKoM is the national representative of the information and communications technology (iCt) industry with more than 1,500 members as at end of 2011. its members contribute about 80% of the total iCt revenue in the country. JobStreet.com is the largest online recruitment service provider for all categories of jobseekers, from fresh jobseekers after graduation to senior level positions. Job Street operates the JobStreet.com (www.JobStreet.com) websites presently covering the employment markets in Malaysia, Singapore, philippines, indonesia, india, Japan and thailand. the group currently services over 50,000 corporate customers and over 6 million jobseekers. Job Street is listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities (JoBSt). KpMg is an international network of member firms specialising in audit, tax and advisory service. KpMg first established a presence in Malaysia in 1928 and the Malaysian firm now has 65 partners and over 1,700 staff located across 10 offices. globally, KpMg operates in 144 countries with a staff size of 137,000 people.

ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa | aprIl 2012

2. essence of Data Collation


The industry trends, salaries and hiring requirements are analysed in this report as follows: i. ii. Average ICT Salary by Industry Agriculture / Plantations / Aquaculture Automotive / Heavy Industry / Machinery Banking Institutions Chemical Industries Construction / Building, including Civil Engineering Consulting , both Business and Technical Private Education Electrical & Electronics Sector Financial Services / Securities / Insurance Hotel / Restaurant / Food Services Manufacturing Oil / Gas / Petroleum Industries Printing / Publishing Property / Real Estate Technology / Aerospace / Bio-technology Semiconductor / Wafer Fabrication Services Telecommunication Textiles / Garment Transport / Storage / Freight / Shipping Utilities Wholesale / Retail / Trading Call Centre / ICT-Enabled Services Computer / ICT (Hardware) Computer / ICT (Software) Average Monthly Salaries of ICT Professionals by Job Category Overall ICT Professional Fresh ICT Graduates Junior ICT Executive fewer than 4 years of experience Senior ICT Executive 5 years and above of working experience Middle ICT Manager as declared by the job seekers Senior ICT Manager as declared by the job seekers

ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa | aprIl 2012

EssEncE of Data collation

iii.

Average Monthly Salaries of ICT Professionals by Key ICT Industry Segments ICT Hardware ICT Software Call Centre Top five paying industries Comparison between ICT industry segments and ICT user industries Selected ICT job functions Employment size Geographical locations

iv. Hot ICT Jobs v. Top 10 Specialisations Sought

vi. Regional Benchmarking by Selected Asian and English Speaking Developed Economies vii. Feature Article Industry thought leadership viii. Perception by Job Seekers and Employers Jobstreet.com Employee Confidence Index (JECI) Job Growth and Employment Prospects Employers Perception on Economic Performance Anticipates Hiring Activities What People Are Saying About First Quarter 2012

ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa | aprIl 2012

3. Malaysian Economic and ICT Industry Outlook


The Malaysian economy grew at an average rate of 5.1% in 2011. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has projected an economic growth of between 4% and 5% in 2012. Leading private sector researchbased institutions such as CIMB Investment Bank and Goldman Sachs, however, have forecasted a lower estimate of 3.8% due to the on-going Eurozone debt crisis and other fragilities that are poised to significantly affect Malaysian economic growth. Nonetheless, PIKOM is optimistic of sustained growth for the Malaysian economy at no less than a rate of 5% in 2012, mainly as a result of the nations expanding trade with China and India. . Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised downwards its original forecast for China and India, nevertheless, it has projected impressive growth rates of 8.25% for China and 7.0% for India for 2012. Indeed, such growth rates for the two Asian trading giants are advantageous to Malaysia. The positive economic outlook for Malaysia is also underpinned by strong domestic demand. Private consumption is set to rise following the upward salary revisions in the public sector coupled with the one-off financial assistance to low and middle income groups, a new monthly minimum wage set at RM900 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 for East Malaysia, as well as continued low borrowing costs for businesses and households. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the period January to March 2012 increased by 2.3% to 104.5 compared with that of 102.2 in the same period last year. Compared with the same month in 2011, the CPI for March 2012 registered an increase of 2.1% from 102.4 to 104.5 and when compared with the previous month, the CPI remained unchanged at 104.5. (See Figure 1 below for Malaysias inflation rate for 2011).

Unit: (%)
2.9 2.3 1.8 2.4 2.6 3.2 3.4 3.6

3.8

4.0

4.1

4.2

11

11

11 pSe

Au g-

Source: Bank Negara Malaysia, 2012 Figure 1: Inflation Rates in Malaysia: January December, 2011

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1 No v11 De c11

Ja n1

-1

ar -1

Ap r-1

ay -1

l-1

Fe b

Ju n-

Ju

Oc

t-1

Malaysian EconoMic and icT indusTry ouTlooK

Unit: Ringgit Malaysia 3.0595 3.0515 3.0259 2.9735 3.0115 3.0205 2.9555

3.1910

3.1725 3.1770

2.9803

3.0735

-1 1

Fe b11

ar -1 1

Ap r-1 1

ay -1 1

n11

l-1 1

-1 1

Se p11

t-1 1

No v11

Au g

Source: Bank Negara Malaysia, 2012 Figure 2: Malaysian Foreign Exchange Rate Per USD: January-December, 2011

Healthy consumption and investment growth are also anticipated in view of the overall low inflation rate as cited above, which as forecasted by BNM, should linger between 2.5% and 3.0% in 2012, down from 3.2% in 2011. The low Overnight Policy Rate of 3.00%, low base lending rate (BLR) of commercial banks at 6.45%, and a strengthening Ringgit Malaysia against the US Dollar, as shown in Figure 2, Euro and other regional currencies are additional factors that should provide the requisite impetus for better growth. Private sector investments are expected to expand through the implementation of new mega projects like the Kajang-Sg Buluh Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and expansion of the on-going corridor projects namely Iskandar Malaysia, Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), East Coast Economic Region (ECER), Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). In 2011, Iskandar Malaysia was expected to attract public sector investments totaling RM64.38 billion for the construction and improvement of roads, river cleaning and public housing. Mega projects in entertainment, tourism, education and technology like Legoland Malaysia Theme Park, Newcastle University of Medicine Malaysia, Malaysia Premium Outlet, Indoor Theme Park Puteri Harbour, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studio, and Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology were developed in conjunction with the private sector. Public and private investments are expected to pour in for the implementation of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and of late, the Digital Transformation Programme (DTP) and support projects under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) and Political Transformation Programme (PTP), as well as the 1Malaysia overarching programme as shown in Figure 3. Indeed, in all the policy led transformation initiatives, contemporary ICT has an integral functional role to ensure their efficient and effective implementation. Needless to say, the DTP initiatives are pure ICT projects aimed at providing transformational changes in five broadly categorised domain areas, namely the technological, economic, social, governance and environmental dimensions. It is also envisaged that successful implementation of the Government strategic programmes can increase the contribution of the ICT sector from its current level of 9.8% of the Gross National Income (GNI) to 17% or over RM294 billion by 2020.
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De c11

Ja n

Ju

Ju

Oc

11

Malaysian EconoMic and icT indusTry ouTlooK

VISION 2020
1 Malaysia Political Transformation Programme (PTP) One Malaysia ETP Economic Transformation Programme New Economic Model: A high income, inclusive & sustainable nation GTP Government Transformation Programme DTP Digital Transformation Programme Accelerate the development of digital economy; Improve quality of life Rural Transformation Programme (RTP)

Preservation and enhancement of unity in diversity

Effective delivery of Government services

People First, Performance Now

131 Entry Point Projects; 60 Business Opportunities; 8 Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRI)

6 National Key Result Areas (NKRA)

25 Entry Point Projects*; 28 Business Opportunities*;

Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP : 2011-2015) / Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP: 2016-2020) *As at end 2011 Source: PIKOM, 2011 (Contents extracted from PEMANDU, MDeC & MOSTI) Figure 3: National Transformation Policy Programmes

Of this target, RM75 billion is projected to come from DTP and the balance of RM126 billion from the ETP and GTP. The DTP alone, with RM31.1 billion worth of investments, is poised to create 165,000 jobs and RM59.2 billion in terms of GNI through the implementation of 25 potential entry point projects and 28 potential business opportunities. In addressing the digital divide, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is continuing its efforts with the resumption of its Netbook Programme that is expected to deliver 300,000 units during the first quarter of 2012. In the third and fourth quarters in 2011, however, MCMC stopped the supply due to severe flooding in Thailand that disrupted overall supply of hard disks in the market. In the first and second quarters of 2011, a total of 280,000 and 123,000 units were delivered respectively under the Netbook Programme. This shored up PC supplies in 2011. Portable PCs currently account for 72% of total market share in comparison to 28% for desktop units. However, the market trend is shifting towards much lighter and more convenient mobile devices like the iPad and smartphones that fit into the lifestyles of the XY generation. With increasing broadband penetration currently at 60% and with cloud computing gaining ground among SMEs, the local ICT market can expect buoyant times in the near future. Other grassroots activities and factors that are expected to contribute effectively to local ICT growth include expansion in online sales activities and e-commerce, a 60% achievement in broadband penetration in 2010, a large pool of Internet users across geography and demography, proliferation in Internet and mobile banking, critical mass in technology-savvy XY population and introduction of state-of-the-art technology as well as a paradigm shift in the mindset of the population.
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Malaysian EconoMic and icT indusTry ouTlooK

Significant growth for the ICT industry in Malaysia not only rests on domestic driver conditions, but also on external factors such as the international environment. Specifically, IT spending in China and India - which are projected to register 15.0% and 16.0% respectively - is bound to benefit Malaysia through long-standing bilateral ties as well as increasing activities in ICT trade over the past few years. The US and Japanese IT markets are also rebounding to at least 5.0% growth and are likely to impact positively on the Malaysian IT sector. Based on these factors, PIKOM has predicted that IT spending in Malaysia would net double digit growth of at least 12.0% in 2012, despite global IT spending forecasted to dip to a 5.0% growth rate for 2012, down from 5.7% in 2011 at USD$1.6 trillion, as per IDC projections. Despite its relatively long history and prospective outlook in 2012, the nations ICT sector continues to face several persistent challenges, as follows: i. Quantity and quality of ICT Graduates: As shown in Figure 4, supply of ICT graduates from both public and private institutions has not improved much in the recent past. In particular, ICT enrolments have been cut by almost half from 96,090 in 2002 to 49, 731 in 2011. Associated issues such as quality, competency and employability of ICT graduates to meet both the ICT producer and ICT user industry needs prevail. Coupled with low remuneration, rampant jobhopping for better terms of employment, and a declining interest among young people in ICT jobs that demand long working hours, continue to provide the industry with this dilemma;

100,000 90,000 80,000


Number of students

Public University ICT Enrolment Private University ICT Enrolment

70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 2002


23,466 96,090

2003
16,529 84,366

2004
26,632 70,691

2005
23,783 53,710

2006
22,408 66,476

2007
27,911 51,766

2008
23,788 51,354

2009
24,595 50,813

2010
25,428 50,272

2011
24,991 49,731

Source: Department of Statistics and PIKOM Estimates Figure 4: ICT Enrolment in Institutions of Higher Learning in Malaysia, 2002-2011

ii. Capability and capacity building: The ICT industry including the workforce generally lack interest in pursuing process and quality improvement certifications such as Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, as well as Green ICT Certifications which are critical to globalise Malaysian ICT products and services, or tosolicit ICT contracts from developed economies; and
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Malaysian EconoMic and icT indusTry ouTlooK

iii. Research, development and commercialisation culture: Public and private universities and the ICT industry are still behind in creating globally-recognized brands for ICT products and services due to the lack of a strong R&D and patenting culture. iv. Economic risks: Investments affected by risk aversion among potential investors who are concerned about shaky global economic performance, slacking in the delivery of the ETP, GTP, DTP, PTP and RTP and Governments ambitious efforts to reduce the fiscal deficit from 5.4% of GDP in 2011 to 4.7% in 2012 dampening public expenditure and investments as well as poor macro economic performance due to erratic fluctuation in oil and commodity prices in global markets can bring about negative impacts on ICT sector growth.

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4. Feature Article: ICT Graduates and Employment Prospects

By Woon Tai Hai, PIKOM Research Committee Chairman & KPMG Executive Director, April 2012

How can Malaysia become an innovative nation and migrate from a consumption-based to a creative-based culture particularly in the ICT industry? Can the industry produce a homegrown brand equivalent to Acer, Samsung, Apple or Google? The nation urgently needs a game changer strategy to seed such transformation. Talent and skills, in particular the quality of our ICT graduates, will represent a critical ingredient in this aspiration.

Quality of our Graduates


Surveys and statistics have confirmed that the industry is always hungry for talent in tandem with the demand for ICT products and services. On an average, the country produces about 30,000 ICT graduates a year, but the real challenge lies in the quality of our graduates and whether they have the knowledge and skills set that meet the demands of the industry. PIKOM is of the opinion that the quality of graduates from premier local universities is comparable, if not better, than foreign graduates. However, foreign graduates will have greater exposure in terms of the English language, the level of independence and experience given that many foreign graduates tend to bring some working experience back when they return home to embark on their careers. Over the years, there has been a concern over the drop in demand of students pursuing computing studies in local universities. Some of the reasons given include the lack of job opportunities, the relative difficulty of computing programmes, low passing rates, narrow scope and the lack of proper facilities at the universities. Most of these reasons are perhaps based on misconception and myth as well as lingering negative feelings among parents and students from the dot-com bust of the late 1990s and early 2000s. This misconception or misperception should be reversed; else it would have an adverse impact on the ICT industry in the years to come. So what are the major deficiencies found among our fresh graduates today? An immediate observation that comes to mind is in the demonstration of their soft skills, which include writing and speaking capabilities. A lack of confidence and independence are other major challenges fresh graduates often face as they attempt to assimilate into the workforce. Another shortfall of our fresh graduates is their lack of appreciation and expectation of working in a real life environment. Often some fresh graduates would experience culture shock when they commence work. Analytical and creativity traits are also areas that are visibly lacking in fresh graduates, and this problem seems to be endemic among both local and overseas graduates. Possession of these qualities often sets apart exceptional candidates from the mediocre ones.
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FEaTurE arTiclE: icT GraduaTEs and EMployMEnT prospEcTs

It is a fact that foreign graduates from Ivy League universities have an edge over their local counterparts as many organisations still use this as criteria for the recruitment of fresh graduates. In addition, foreign graduates living overseas, especially in an English-speaking country, would also certainly have greater exposure in terms of language capabilities, greater independence and early work experience prior to their return home.

Our Education Systems and their Curriculum


While tertiary education and its quality have always been the focus of debate, it should be apparent that this stage of learning comprises only a fraction of a students entire academic lifespan. It is often unfair and unrealistic to pin this issue exclusively on institutions of higher learning since the foundation of such core competencies should have been laid during the primary and secondary school phases. For too long, our education system has been built on a formal assessment model whereby examinations and the scoring of As are given top priorities in terms of recognition and streaming preference, for example into Arts or Science stream. Could this be the root cause of the longer term problem we are facing today? It is without a doubt that todays curricula offered by our higher education institutions are of better quality and higher relevance to the industry, as compared to 10 years ago. Promotion of many local colleges to full University status may have also contributed to this improvement. The entry of niche universities have also helped in producing graduates of higher calibre who can focus better on innovation, creativity and the application of knowledge. This is evident from the awards our students have won in regional ICT competitions including APICTA. There is certainly tremendous potential in our graduates. The only challenge is how to galvanise their latent talent and incorporate them into the workforce with ease. Another crucial area that needs more focus and promotion is the spirit of entrepreneurship. Young minds with creative ideas are often not afraid to venture out on their own and take some risks. What is needed is a supportive environment to encourage such risk-taking and ensure adequate funding from financial institutions or venture capitalists. To ensure a holistic approach to these challenges, the entire education supply chain from preschool right up to tertiary levels and even post-graduate studies needs to be reviewed. If the issue of command of English can be addressed early, the battle would be partly won. The early introduction of ICT and computing at primary school level would also help increase interest and awareness in computing at an early age. At the tertiary level, the curricula would have to be dynamic and must evolve with the demands of the fast changing industry. Mathematics still makes up the core of any computing programme and as such, these relevant subjects should be encouraged and promoted at the early stages of the education system. Computing curricula at the tertiary level must not focus too much on specific product training or orientation, but rather on the enabling of skills and techniques given that products become obsolete at a rapid pace in this industry. Focusing on product specialisation would not only address the immediate demand gap but could create longer-term problems when the practitioners do not have the core skills to adapt once the products are outdated and re-skilling is again necessary.

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FEaTurE arTiclE: icT GraduaTEs and EMployMEnT prospEcTs

Emerging Regional Concerns


What is currently happening in the Australian ICT job market is an interesting trend for Malaysian ICT graduates or potential job seekers to digest. The Fairfax-owned job site My Career reported that the ICT job market in Australia is expected to grow by less than 1% in 2012 (www.theage.com.au). Currently around 524,000 people are working in the Australian ICT sector. The figure is set to rise to only 529,000 by year end. In the late 90s, the ICT job market in Australia grew at an average 8%; 4% to 8% was common during the pre global financial crisis years. Whilst the ICT job market in Australia offers remunerations of at least three times higher than our local offerings, such stagnant job growth if continues beyond 2012, may be a discouraging factor for our locals seeking greener pastures in Australia. Such trends if perpetuate into countries in the region will also have a spillover effects; and may influence the Malaysian ICT job market which grew at 6.4% from 365,000 in 2005 to 529,600 in 2011. Indeed, such regional trends warrant due attention not only for industry players, but also mainstream policy makers who need to explore such phenomena further.

What are the Imperative Initiatives and Actions Necessary to Mitigate these Gaps?
Initiatives and levers of change can potentially originate from two sources, Government and Academia.

The Government may consider:


Looking at the entire education system and reviewing the way we access our students and move away from an examination-oriented programme; Only ensuring admission and / or accreditation of new higher institutions of learning that are equipped with the right programmes and skilled lecturers; Regularly reviewing the licences of these higher learning institutions to ensure conformity and consistent quality.

On the other hand, the academia and Institutions of higher learning may wish to:
Forge closer collaboration with industry players to ensure better understanding of industry needs; Interact with more established learning institutions (abroad) in understanding best practices and if possible initiate inter-varsity research programmes; Ensure that an adequate and relevant industry training period is embedded into the curriculum to provide longer working exposure. Internship is now almost standard across many universities, albeit for only short timeframes of two to three months. To ensure greater effectiveness, it is recommended that a minimum of six months be allocated for such training.

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FEaTurE arTiclE: icT GraduaTEs and EMployMEnT prospEcTs

Collaboration between Academia and Industry


The ongoing collaboration between academia and industry is critical to narrowing the gap between the supply and demand issues. As an industry association, PIKOM can be the bridge between the academic institutions, industry and even government agencies in facilitating closer collaboration. PIKOM can also organise dialogue sessions with government ministries to address some of these education issues which impact our industry. The association can facilitate and organise short duration courses and training workshops to mitigate the immediate shortages in specific areas such as Project Management. There are already some collaboration between government, industry and academia. For example, various universities and private colleges have invited industry representation to their advisory panels. This is certainly a step forward in forging industry and academia collaboration and should be further encouraged and endorsed. Hence, in answering the question of whether Malaysia can indeed produce our own homegrown ICT brand in the future, the answer is a definite Yes. However, this journey must start with producing relevant and employable ICT graduates in the first place while the seed of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation must be sowed at the early stages for the younger generation.

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5. ICT Job Market Salary Trends


5.1 Overall ICT Professionals
The average monthly salary of ICT professionals in Malaysia was RM6,240 in 2011; see Figure 5. This represents an average increase of 10.9% from RM5,626 in 2010 as shown in Figure 6. This increase was well above the average inflation rate of 3.2% as cited earlier, resulting in comfortable living for ICT professionals in Malaysia. Given the prospective outlook for the economy and other positive factors within the ICT industry, PIKOM anticipates a 9.0% rise in the average salary of ICT professionals in 2012, which would average out to RM6,800 per month.
Average Monthly Salary in Ringgit Malaysia

7,000 6,500 6,000 5,500 5,000 6.3% 4,500 4,000 2006 4,184 2007 4,446 2008 4,699 2009 5,276 2010 5,626 2011 6,240 12.3% 5.7% 6.6% 10.9% 9.0%

6,800

6,240

Average Monthly Salary

2012 6,800

Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Figure 5: Average Salary of ICT Professionals: 2006-2012

Year

Fresh Graduates: (Entry Level) 2,238 -

Junior Executive: (1-4 Years Working Experience) 2,936 3,151 7.3

Senior Executive: (> 5 Years Working Experience) 4,514 5,039 11.6

Middle Management: (Manager) 7,005 7,837 11.9

Senior Management: (Senior Manager) 10,795 12,166 12.7

Overall

2010 2011 Percentage Change (%)

5,626 6,240 10.9

Footnote: Overall for the year 2011 excluded entry level salary for consistency Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Table 1: Average Salary of ICT Professionals by Job Category: 2010-2011

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ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

5.2 Average Salary by ICT Job Category


It can be seen from Table 1 that all ICT job categories across the board registered significant increases in average salary in 2011. ICT professionals in middle and senior management levels received on an average 11.9% and 12.7% pay rises in 2011 over the preceding year. Senior executives registered a significant rise of 11.6% in average salary from RM4,514 in 2010 to RM5,039 in 2011.

5.3 Average Salary of ICT Professionals by Industry Category


5.3.1 Fresh Graduates (Entry Level)
Table 2 shows the average monthly salary paid to fresh ICT graduates at entry level across key industries. On average, fresh entrants in the ICT job market earned RM2,238 in 2011, as opposed to salaries of between RM1,800 and RM2,000 in previous years.
Fresh Graduates / Entry Level (Less than 1 year working experience) Percentiles (Ringgit Malaysia) 25th Automotive/Heavy Industry/Machinery Bank Call Centre/IT-Enabled Services Computer/IT (Hardware) Computer/IT (Software) Construction/Building Consulting (Business/Technical) Education Electrical & Electronics Financial Services/Securities/Insurance Hotel/Restaurant/Food Service Manufacturing Oil/Gas/Petroleum Polymer/Plastic/Rubber Printing/Publishing Science & Technology/Aerospace/BioTechnology Semiconductor/Wafer Fabrication Services Telecommunication Transport/Storage/Freight/Shipping Wholesale/Retail/Trading Geometric Mean (GM) : (Ringgit Malaysia ) Minimum (Ringgit Malaysia ) Maximum (Ringgit Malaysia ) Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Table 2: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Graduates by Industry in 2011 1,800 1, 900 1,800 1,950 2,000 1,500 2,000 1,600 1,950 1,900 1,800 2,150 1,800 1,500 2,000 2,000 3,280 1,700 1,800 1,500 1,500 50th 2,300 2,200 2,300 2,200 2,400 1,800 2,300 2,000 2,000 2,200 1,800 2,540 2,500 2,890 2,000 2,200 3,280 1,900 2,100 2,518 1,850 75th 2,300 2,600 2,700 2,500 2,800 2,100 2,500 2,300 2,300 2,600 3,500 2,800 2,871 2,890 2,900 3,000 3,280 2,500 2,480 2,600 2,000 Weighted Mean 2,175 2,225 2,275 2,213 2,400 1,800 2,275 1,975 2,063 2,225 2,225 2,508 2,418 2,543 2,225 2,350 3,280 2,000 2,120 2,284 1,800

Industry (Central Malaysia)

2,238
1,800 3,280

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Junior Executive (1-4 working experience) Middle Management (Manager) Percentiles (Ringgit Malaysia) 25th 7,300 6,150 5,500 4,850 5,750 6,200 6,000 3,800 5,365 6,800 5,000 6,980 7,800 6,094 6,200 6,000 8,484 6,500 7,035 5,400 4,710 4,800 5,869 6,975 8,050 6,300 7,700 8,500 8,600 8,556 8,000 7,000 10,000 6,500 9,260 12,720 7,000 6,600 7,956 12,500 15,500 10,000 10,000 8,000 11,500 8,190 10,000 7,800 8,200 7,500 8,500 7,575 7,200 8,340 9,760 6,524 6,350 7,339 9,496 9,800 8,537 7,967 7,244 9,888 17,000 17,000 14,091 4,800 6,400 4,950 7,000 9,000 10,000 14,085 9,321 13,000 11,000 8,000 10,000 8,000 10,052 8,013 8,000 6,300 7,500 6,575 10,500 8,500 10,500 14,000 15,000 15,000 13,500 12,600 10,000 12,000 7,150 9,000 7,263 7,500 10,000 6,000 7,000 5,963 7,600 16,500 17,300 12,500 15,000 8,500 11,000 16,200 20,500 15,400 21,250 15,000 17,460 14,700 7,250 9,030 7,258 8,000 9,780 7,983 8,549 12,000 15,000 11,887 14,475 10,000 11,000 8,125 10,250 13,550 16,146 13,680 15,313 12,800 11,365 12,175 8,800 10,800 8,925 50th 75th Weighted Mean 25th 50th 75th Weighted Mean Geometric Mean 4,600 5,168 6,459 4,742 5,601 5,929 5,762 4,276 6,258 4,516 5,928 6,105 4,436 6,522 8,020 4,075 5,084 6,200 5,803 6,369 6,848 5,300 6,170 4,725 6,608 Percentiles (Ringgit Malaysia) Senior Management (Senior Manager) Weighted Mean 25th 3,400 4,300 4,500 3,600 5,000 3,625 3,875 3,500 4,100 3,100 4,100 4,179 3,605 4,000 5,500 3,100 5,000 4,044 4,500 3,200 5,000 5,300 3,800 3,240 3,900 4,800 4,700 6,200 5,700 5,300 7,200 5,300 5,300 6,030 7,710 6,193 5,300 3,850 4,800 3,925 5,275 7,200 5,563 5,040 6,000 5,031 5,100 6,000 5,300 4,000 5,500 4,150 7,500 9,500 7,500 5,100 6,500 5,175 5,000 5,600 4,801 5,200 6,454 5,261 4,500 5,900 4,750 4,150 5,000 4,100 5,500 7,000 5,525 3,600 5,700 4,100 5,000 6,200 5,019 4,700 6,050 4,769 6,200 8,267 6,417 4,312 6,000 4,556 5,300 6,480 5,395 5,012 5,630 4,989 4,000 7,000 4,600 50th 75th 3,600 4,000 3,700 7,158 3,777 3,600 3,100 3,900 3,000 3,500 4,000 2,600 3,500 4,500 2,900 4,700 3,200 4,600 3,100 4,000 3,700 3,800 3,500 3,300 3,092 2,964 3,250 2,794 3,700 2,925 3,905 2,500 3,500 3,095 2,525 3,400 3,113 2,523 3,150 2,900 3,025 3,002 4,890 3,225 3,400 3,100 Percentiles (Ringgit Malaysia) Weighted Mean

Senior Executive (5 or more working experience)

ALL JOB CATEGORIES

Industry (Central Malaysia) 50th 3,100 3,350 3,200 4,600 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,100 2,500 3,300 3,350 2,500 3,089 3,500 2,500 3,960 3,000 3,700 3,000 3,200 2,977 3,034 3,350 75th

Percentiles (Ringgit Malaysia)

25th

Agriculture/Plantations/Aquaculture

Automotive/Heavy Industry/Machinery

2,600

Bank

2,900

Call Centre/IT-Enabled Services

2,800

Chemical

3,200

Computer/IT (Hardware)

2,230

Computer/IT (Software)

2,500

Construction/Building

2,500

Consulting (Business/Technical)

2,500

Education

2,090

Electrical & Electronics

2,350

Financial Services/Securities/Insurance

2,900

Hotel/Restaurant/Food Service

2,500

Manufacturing

2,700

Oil/Gas/Petroleum

2,500

Printing/Publishing

2,100

Property/Real Estate

3,000

Science & Technology/Aerospace/BioTechnology

2,500

Semiconductor/Wafer Fabrication

2,800

Services

2,075

Telecommunication

2,600

Textiles/Garment

Transport/Storage/Freight/Shipping

2,200

Utilities

2,500

Wholesale/Retail/Trading

3,000

Geometric Mean (GM): (Ringgit Malaysia) 2,500 4,890

3,151

5,039
3,925 7,500

7,837
4,950 14,091

12,166
8,125 16,146

6,240
4,075 8,020

ICT Job MarkeT ouTlook In MalaysIa | aprIl 2012

Minimum (Ringgit Malaysia)

Maximum (Ringgit Malaysia)

ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

21

Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012

Table 3: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Professionals by Industry

ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

As shown in Table 2, the semiconductor and wafer fabrication industries paid the highest monthly salary of RM3,280 to fresh graduates in 2011. This was followed by manufacturing and the oil & gas sector, especially in the case of large corporations and multinationals where fresh ICT graduates were paid average monthly salaries of RM2,508 and RM2,418 respectively.

5.3.2 Executive and Managerial Levels


Table 3 shows the average monthly salary of ICT professionals by job category and by industry. Taking into consideration all categories of ICT jobs, oil & gas was the top-paying industry, where on an average ICT professionals earned a monthly salary of RM8,020. The data showed that oil & gas was the top paying industry for ICT professionals in the senior management level where they were paid an average of RM16,146. Likewise, oil & gas was the top paymaster for the senior executive level with an average monthly salary of RM7,500. At the managerial level, however, electrical and electronics was the highest paying sector where middle managers in ICT earned an average of RM14,091. At the junior executive level, chemical industries were the highest paying where ICT professionals on an average earned RM4,890 per month.

5.4 Top Paying Industries


Figure 6 shows the top five paying industries at different job categories. Of the 25 industries analysed, oil / gas / petroleum dominated the list in all ICT job categories. It is followed by the semiconductor and wafer fabrication industries particularly under the fresh graduates at entry level, junior executive and senior executive categories.
Average Monthly Salary 8,020 6,848 6,608 6,522 6,459 Fresh Graduates (Entry Level) Semiconductor/ Wafer Fabrication Polymer/Plastic/Rubber Manufacturing Oil/Gas/Petroleum Computer/IT (Software) Average Monthly Salary 3,280 2,543 2,508 2,418 2,400 Junior Executive (1-4 years working experience) Chemical Property/Real Estate Semiconductor/ Wafer Fabrication Oil/Gas/Petroleum Financial Services/Banks/ Securities/Insurance Average Monthly Salary 4,890 3,905 3,700 3,500 3,400

ALL JOB CATEGORIES Oil/Gas/Petroleum Telecommunication Wholesale/Retail/Trading Manufacturing Bank

Senior Executive (5 or more years working experience) Oil/Gas/Petroleum Chemical Telecommunication Semiconductor/ Wafer Fabrication Consulting (Business/ Technical)

Average Monthly Salary 7,500 6,417 6,193 5,563 5,525

Middle Management (Manager) Electrical & Electronics Wholesale/Retail/Trading Services Oil/Gas/Petroleum Semiconductor/ Wafer Fabrication

Average Monthly Salary 14,091 9,888 9,800 9,760 9,496

Senior Management (Senior Manager) Oil/Gas/Petroleum Services Computer/IT (Hardware) Science & Technology Manufacturing

Average Monthly Salary 16,146 15,313 14,475 13,680 13,550

Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Figure 6: Top Five Paying Industries by Job Category, 2011

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ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

5.5 Average Salary of ICT Professionals in the Selected ICT Industries


The average salaries of ICT professionals by job categories were examined within three selected ICT industries, namely ICT Hardware, ICT Software and Call Centre / ICT Enabled Services. Figure 7 shows the overall performance of ICT professionals within the ICT industries over a four-year period. In 2011, ICT professionals in the junior executive category on an average took home RM3,275 a month, registering a pay rise of 17.1% compared to 2010. ICT professionals in the senior executive category also registered a significant increment but at the lower rate of 8.2%. Average monthly salary for this category increased from RM4,417 in 2010 to RM4,778 in 2011. Similarly, the middle to senior managerial category enjoyed an increase of 7.0% from RM8,845 to RM9,461 from 2010 to 2011.
10,000 9,000 8,000
Ringgit Malaysia

7.0% 9,461
8,845

7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0


Junior Executive Year 2008 Year 2009 Year 2010 Year 2011 2,440 2,689 2,797 3,275

8.2% 17.1% 3,275


2,797 4,417

4,778

Senior Executive 3,684 4,061 4,417 4,778

ICT Middle/Senior Manager 7,238 6,980 8,845 9,461

Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Figure 7: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Professionals by Selected Industries: 2008 2011

ICT Junior Executive Year ICT Hardware 2,325 2,767 2,720 3,025 11.2 ICT Software 2,500 2,557 2,750 3,600 30.9 Call centre / ICT Enabled Services 2,500 2,748 2,925 3,225 10.3

ICT Senior Executive ICT Hardware 3,400 4,130 4,320 4,769 10.4 ICT Software 3,924 3,869 4,505 5,019 11.4

ICT Middle/Senior Manager ICT Software 7,128 7,305 7,841 8,522 8.7 Call centre / ICT Enabled Services 8,364 6,753 10,385 10,696 3.0

Call centre ICT / ICT Hardware Enabled Services 3,749 4,190 4,428 4,556 2.9 6,360 6,893 8,498 9,291 9.3

2008 2009 2010 2011 % change: 2010-2011

Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Table 4: Average Monthly Salary by Job Category and ICT Industry Segment

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ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

Table 4 show all job categories - except for the managerial category - recorded significant rise in average monthly salaries in 2011 in comparison to 2010. Specifically, junior executives in the ICT Software segment recorded a significant pay rise of 30.9%, increasing to an average monthly salary of RM3,600 in 2011 from RM2,750 the previous year. Similarly, ICT Software professionals in the senior executive and managerial categories also registered substantial increases in their average monthly salaries.

5.6 Comparison between ICT Industry Segments and ICT User Industries
There is no clear cut distinction in salaries earned by ICT professionals in the ICT industry segments and ICT user industries. As shown in Figure 8, the average monthly salary earned by junior ICT executives in ICT industry segments was RM3,275, which was 3.6% higher than their counterparts in the ICT user industries comprising banking, insurance, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas sector etc. Similarly, in the managerial category, the earning capacity of ICT professionals in the ICT industry at RM8,623 per month was higher by 7.2% than those working in the ICT user industries, who on an average took home RM8,045. In the senior executive level, however, ICT professionals in the ICT industry segments were 5.9% lower than their counterparts in the ICT user industries.
10,000 9,000 8,000
Ringgit Malaysia

8,623 8,045

7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0


Junior Executive Senior Executive ICT Middle/Senior Manager

5,076 3,162 3,275

4,778

ICT User Industries ICT Segments

3,162 3,275

5,076 4,778

8,045 8,623

Source: Jobstreet.com & PIKOM, 2012 Figure 8: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Professionals by Job Category and ICT User Industries and ICT Segments

5.7 Selected ICT Job Functions


ICT professionals in high demand functions experienced a significant rise in salary in 2011. As shown in Table 5, software development applications professionals experienced on an average a 19.3% rise in monthly salary from RM6,960 in 2010 to RM8,310 in 2011. Similarly, ICT professionals in enterprise resource planning (ERP)/business applications received a 14.5% increment from RM7,550 in 2010 to RM8,650 in 2011. The lowest increment movement was in the IT Security Analyst function which experienced a modest 4.5% increase from RM8,410 in 2010 to RM8,780 in 2011. However, this function group holds the highest average earnings which signifies its unique and much sought after skills.
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ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

Job Function Project Management ERP/ Business Applications Software Development Applications System Administration IT Security Analyst Source: Robert Walters Survey & PIKOM Research

2010 (RM) 6,331 7,550 6,960 5,660 8,410

2011 (RM) 6,676 8,650 8,310 6,190 8,780

Percentage Change: 2010-2011 13.4% 14.5% 19.3% 9.4% 4.5%

Table 5: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Professionals by Job Function

5.8 Employment Size


Employment size matters in determining the average monthly salary for employees. As shown in Figure 9, ICT professionals are paid higher salaries in organisations with larger workforce numbers. Corporations or multinationals (MNCs) with a total employment of more than 1,000 persons paid an average monthly salary of RM7,052, which was 36.4% more than companies with fewer than 100 people, where the average monthly salary was pegged at RM5,169. Mid-sized companies with between 100 and 999 employees paid an average monthly salary of RM6,737, higher by 29.5% in comparison to average monthly salary paid in companies with workforces below 100.
Average Monthly Salary (Ringgit Malaysia)

8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1 to 99 5,169 100 to 999 6,694
EMPLOYMENT SIZE

1,000 & above 7,052

Source: ZDNet Asia, Active TechPros IT Salary Report 2011 & PIKOM 2012 Figure 9: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Professionals by Employment Size, 2011

5.9 Geographic Locations


As shown in Figure 10, ICT professionals working in Klang Valley comprising Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and the industrial zones of Selangor earned an average monthly salary of RM6,671. In comparison, ICT professionals in Penang had a marginal decrease of 1.7%, netting an average monthly salary of RM6,559. The dip was more significant in Johor with a 7.0% decrease in comparison with Penang and 8.6% decrease in comparison with the Klang Valley. The average monthly salary earned by ICT professionals in Johor was only RM6,097.

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ICT JOB MARKET SALARY TRENDS

6,700 6,600
Average Monthly Salary

1.7%

6,500 6,400 6,300 6,200 6,100 6,000 5,900 5,800 Klang Valley Monthly Salary 2011 6,671 Penang 6,559
GEOGRAPHICAL REGION

7.6%

Johor 6,097

Source: ZDNet Asia, Active TechPros IT Salary Report 2011 & PIKOM 2012 Figure 10: Average Monthly Salary of ICT Professionals by Geographic Locations, 2011

5.10 Hot ICT Jobs


Published survey reports indicated that certain technical skills and functions appear to be in high demand, such as C#, C++, .Net developers, SAP certification, IT audit and security consultants, data warehousing, business intelligence analysts, senior Oracle and SQL DBAs and Cisco certified engineering disciplines. Similarly, jobs such as software development managers, lead software developers, Unix specialists, senior system engineers, IT managers, SAP consultants, websphere application developers, system engineers, network administrators and helpdesk analysts are in higher demand. Besides typical technical and engineering specialisations, PIKOM also anticipates a growing demand for soft skill-type jobs in project management, business process improvement and quality improvement.

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6. Regional Benchmarking
6.1 Comparison of Average ICT Professional Remuneration in Asian Countries
Figure 11 shows a comparative scenario on remuneration earned by ICT professionals in selected Asian countries. Here, average remuneration earned in each country is compared against Malaysia, giving rise to a scaling factor that is free from bias caused by foreign exchange fluctuation. For the purpose of this benchmarking exercise, Malaysia assumes a scaling factor of one. The data published by ZDNet Asia for the years 2010 and 2011 were used. All measurements are tallied in US dollars. The results showed that more advanced Asian economies, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, recorded average remuneration which was 3.10 times and 2.52 times more than the average remuneration earned by Malaysian ICT professionals in 2011. Indeed, these figures registered an increase from 2.89 and 2.59 for Hong Kong and Singapore respectively in 2010, indicating that the salary gap in the region is widening. These two island nations, although small in size, remain attractive destinations for ICT professionals. The data also showed that the average remuneration for ICT professionals in Thailand marginally increased by 1.02 times in 2011 in comparison to only 0.93 times in the preceding year in comparison to Malaysia. Interestingly, the average remuneration for ICT professionals in China declined from a benchmarking ratio of 1.05 in 2010 to 0.95 in 2011 in comparison to Malaysia. Against India, the average remuneration for Malaysian ICT professionals gained ground with the ratio improving from 0.66 in 2010 to 0.72 in 2011.
3.50 3.00
Number of Times 3.10 2.39 2.52

2.89

2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00

0.93 1.02

1.00 1.00

1.05 0.95

0.72 0.66

0.47 0.43

0.37 0.34

HONG KONG SINGAPORE

THAILAND

MALAYSIA

CHINA

INDIA

PHILIPPINES

INDONESIA

2010 2011

2.89 3.10

2.39 2.52

0.93 1.02

1.00 1.00

1.05 0.95

0.72 0.66

0.47 0.43

0.37 0.34

Source: Robert Walters Survey, ZDNEtAsia & PIKOM 2012 Figure 11: Proportion of Average Monthly Salaries Earned by Selected Countries in Comparison to Malaysia, 2010- 2011

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REGIONAL BENCHMARKING

6.2. Benchmarking with Selected Developed Nations


Malaysians are also casting their eyes beyond the shores of Asia in the search for greener pastures. These individuals are moving to developed nations for better employment opportunities and remuneration. As English is a prominent language for business in Malaysia, the common destinations for Malaysian job seekers are the lucrative markets of Australia, New Zealand, United States and the United Kingdom. It is pertinent to note that demand for IT professionals in software development is currently at an all time high in these developed markets despite the economic slowdown, particularly in the Eurozone and the United States. To produce a meaningful comparison between Malaysia and these countries, the average annual salary of a Senior Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer was chosen and the data is depicted in Table 6. The data was extracted from Pay Scale web-based salary reporting. After taking into consideration the average foreign exchange rates against the Malaysian Ringgit (RM), the data shows that these developed markets offer much higher remuneration for IT professionals than in Malaysia. The respective salary is 4.08 times as high in the United States, 3.18 times in Australia and 3.06 times in New Zealand for a Senior Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer. Surprisingly, the rate in the United Kingdom is only 2.78 times the average salary in Malaysia. On the whole, these findings can be applied generally to similar ICT job descriptions from network engineering and IT project management to security analyst, SAP specialist, ERP specialist, helpdesk analyst etc.

Country Australia New Zealand United States United Kingdom Malaysia

Currency ASD NZD USD UK Pound RM

Annual Salary 2011 69,420 84,256 92,431 39,587 69,397

Annual Salary (RM) 220,756 212,325 282,839 193,185 69,397

Benchmarking Scale Against Malaysia 3.18 3.06 4.08 2.78 1.00

Source: Pay Scale (http://www.payscale.com/research/) and PIKOM Table 6: Average Annual Salary of Senior Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer by Selected Developed Countries, 2011

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7. Employment Outlook and Perceptions


The report also attempts to present the overall ICT job market outlook from the industry perspective and from the perception of potential jobseekers. A total of 1,111 managers and senior managers across various industries in Malaysia took part in an employment outlook survey in March 2012.

7.1 JobStreet.com Confidence Index (JECI)


The JobStreet.com Employment Confidence Index (JECI), which is compiled on a monthly basis, is shown in Table 7. JECI ranges from zero (very poor) to 100 (very good). A low index indicates a tough job market where people find it difficult to get a job. A high index indicates a comfortable job market, where people are able to secure a good job easily. The index ranged from a low of 30.6 in 2001 to a high of 54.1 in 2011.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year 2012 50.5 50.9 50.4 2011 52.2 52.5 51.2 53.2 51.9 53.5 54.1 52.3 48.8 51.0 49.2 49.4 2010 47.0 48.7 48.8 51.4 51.9 48.1 50.2 51.9 61.0 53.7 51.6 49.7 2009 44.9 43.1 43.8 46.9 47.8 48.5 49.7 50.2 48.7 48.3 50.0 50.2 2008 50.7 49.0 51.8 49.7 49.2 48.9 47.9 50.1 49.6 49.6 47.6 47.3 2007 52.6 52.7 52.4 51.2 50.0 50.1 50.4 48.7 49.5 48.6 49.3 49.6 2006 49.6 50.1 49.7 50.4 49.9 50.2 47.8 50.1 50.7 49.6 51.7 51.9 2005 47.9 47.4 43.3 42.8 44.0 41.1 42.0 49.6 48.6 46.8 47.1 49.0 2004 41.7 42.3 41.6 39.0 39.6 46.4 43.5 45.1 51.9 49.6 51.3 49.9 2003 36.2 31.7 34.6 31.0 28.7 34.1 32.5 32.7 34.7 32.9 37.0 36.8 2002 31.2 31.8 35.7 35.2 36.9 35.0 34.7 36.2 34.0 32.7 34.5 31.6 2001 42.0 41.5 39.4 40.1 39.7 37.5 34.9 32.9 30.6 32.4 31.2 31.5

Source: JobStreet.com Table 7: Job Employment Confidence Index: January 2001- March 2012

In Figure 12, over the last couple of years, the average annual JECI moved marginally up from 51.2 in 2010 to 51.6 in 2011, indicating increased confidence in the job market. However, the average JECI has dipped marginally in the first quarter of 2012 to 50.6.

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29

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND PERCEPTION

60

50.1
50

50.4

51.2

51.6

JECI Index

45.2

45.8

49.3

50.6 47.7

40

36.1 34.1

33.6
2001 JECI 36.1
30

2002 34.1

2003 33.6

2004 45.2

2005 45.8

2006 50.1
YEAR

2007 50.4

2008 2009 49.3 47.7

2010 51.2

2011 51.6

2012 50.6

Source: Jobstreet.com and PIKOM Figure 12: Job Employment Confidence Index: 2001-2012.

7.2 Job Outlook 2012


The Job Outlook Index, as measured by JobStreet.com, looks at the expectations of job growth or employment prospects in the next 12 months. This measurement is undertaken on a quarterly basis. A higher index means that the industries are creating jobs and employment, while a lower index indicates the reverse with fewer jobs on offer. To gauge the overall job outlook sentiments in terms of the annual trends, PIKOM used the Job Outlook Index Score (JOIS) procedure as shown in Box 1.
For comparing the job outlook sentiments over the year, PIKOM calculated a Job Outlook Index Score (JOIS) using the following procedure: I = W /

In the formula above, f denotes the frequency expressed as percentage of responses netted or implicitly weighted, as such, =1 W denotes the values assigned for each response category and i denotes the industry. The values assumed for the various categories of responses were 5 for much better; 4 for slightly better; 3 for same; 2 for slightly worse and 1 for much worse. As such, the expected or implicitly weighted average for JOIS value will be 3; the average for the best case scenario where all the respondents indicate much better will be 5; similarly, the expected average for the worst case scenario, where all the responses indicative of much worse, would be 1. Source: PIKOM

7.3 Job Growth for Next 12 Months


For the First Quarter of 2012, the Job Outlook Index registered 55 points, which was a 6-point rise from 49 points in the preceding third quarter of 2011. Specifically, for Q1 2012, 43% of the respondents felt that the general job outlook would be slightly better or much better for the next 12 months, which constituted a rise from the previous quarters 31%.

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EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND PERCEPTION

7.4 Comparison of Job Outlook of Q1 2011 and Q1 2012


Nonetheless, comparison of job outlook in Q1 2011 against Q1 2012, as indicated in Figure 13, reveals that only 43% of the respondents indicated better prospects in 2012 in comparison to 65% in Q1 2011. Job Outlook: Will 1Q2012 be Better or Worse than 1Q2011
40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Much better Slighty better Same Slighty worse

36% 32% 29% 29% 22%

1Q2012 1Q2011

19%

11%

11% 6% 5%

Much worse

Source: Jobstreet.com Figure 13: Job Outlook Perception First Quarter of 2011 and 2012

The results are shown in Figure 14. It can be seen that in Q1 2009, the JOIS was as low as 2.16 due to the Global Financial Crisis 2009 and this figure subsequently increased to 3.53 in Q1 2011 following the economic recovery. The job outlook sentiment has declined to 3.20 in the first quarter of 2012. The decline is likely attributed to the continuing economic turmoil engulfing much of the developed world, which is perceived by many to have negative implications on Asia including Malaysia.
3.8 Job Outlook Index Score (JOIC) 3.6 3.4 3.2 3.0 2.8 2.6 2.4 2.2 2.0 JOIC 2.16 3.52 3.53 3.20

Q1 2009 2.16

Q1 2010 3.52

Q1 2011 3.53
FIRST QUARTER BY YEAR

Q1 2012 3.20

Source: PIKOM, 2012 Figure 14: Job Outlook Score Index (JOSI): 2009-2012

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EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND PERCEPTION

7.5 Employers Perception on Economic Performance


82% of respondents felt that either the national economy is slowing down or remaining stagnant or are uncertain about the economic performance; only 18% expressed confidence in the national economy. These sentiments are reflected in Figure 15. What is the real state of the national economy?
35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Slowing down Stagnant Picking up Uncertain

31.1% 27.5% 23.5% 17.8%

Source: Jobstreet.com Figure 15: Perception on Economic Performance

7.6 Anticipated Hiring Activities


The survey results also reveal that companies are still adopting a more cautious job outlook, where 44% of respondents felt that their companies would be hiring fewer people and replacing or filling essential positions in the next 12 months. Only 23% are confident their company would be expanding their businesses, hence hiring more people; see Figure 16. Company's hiring activities in the next 12 months
50%

43.6%

40%

30%

23.3%

24.6%

20%

10%

8.6%

0%

Were expending, hence hiring more people

Were maintaining our hiring rate this year

Hiring less, Were not hiring in the replace/ ll essential foreseeable future positions only

Source: Jobstreet.com Figure 16: Expectations on job hiring activities, 2012

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EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND PERCEPTION

7.7 Top Specialisations Sought


The survey also asked respondents about the job specialisations in current demand, should they decide to hire any new staff in the First Quarter of 2012. The results are flagged in Figure 17. For most industries, jobseekers with skills in marketing & business development or sales marketing are the most sought-after employees, followed by people with expertise in customer service and computer & information technology (software). Also required are people with mechanical engineering skills and human resources background. A new specialisation that has entered the top 10 list is electrical engineering.
1Q 2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (new) Source: Jobstreet.com Figure 17: Top 10 specialisations employers seek 4Q 2012 2 1 4 3 5 7 6 10 8 ALL INDUSTRIES Marketing & business development Sales/Marketing (Merchandising) Customer service Computer & IT (Software) Engineering (Mechanical) Human resources General/Cost accounting Sales/Marketing (Technical) Maintenance Engineering (Electrical)

7.8 What people are saying about First Quarter 2012:


There are mixed sentiments regarding local job prospects for this year. A sample of comments from survey participants are quoted below: The first quarter will be challenging with lots of uncertainty within the region (Asia Pacific). Hence, companies must look at hiring experienced professionals especially those who can drive the company through this unstable economic situation. (Industry: Computers and Information Technology) Generally the job outlook is the same as last year. But with expansion in business and new projects coming up, the job outlook will improve. (Industry: Construction) The market is slowing down in terms of purchasing by home buyers/investors as the banking sector is putting restriction on loans. (Industry: Construction) Talent pool will be quite bad due to very low level of competency and skills even among graduates from local universities. The MNC sectors would naturally be highly observant on the level of competencies when hiring new talents in the organisation. (Industry: Education and Training)

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EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND PERCEPTION

Qualified talent in project management with good communication skill sets are lacking in the financial industry. (Industry: Finance) The outlook is very challenging and competitive globally especially the hotel industry. (Industry: Hotels and restaurants) Job hopping by employees for better prospects and higher salary will continue to be the same as previous years. (Industry: Hotels and restaurants) The job outlook looks very promising because we have a very good forecast for next second and third quarter. (Industry: Manufacturing) The electronics industry is becoming more competitive due to fast changing technologies, increase in product pricing and higher salary demand among the younger workforce. (Industry: Manufacturing) The overall job market for Q1 is not improving due to uncertainty in the local economy. The food & beverage industry were also affected mainly due to weak purchasing power, competition and escalating raw materials prices. Therefore most companies are not focused on any expansion plans in the future. (Industry: Manufacturing) Even though certain industries are expanding due to higher consumer demand, palm oil / vegetable / edible oils continue with exponential growth especially for Malaysia and Indonesia. These major players may be hiring new blood but experience and knowledge of the industry per se is of vital importance. Employers are getting more and more choosier especially for senior positions. (Industry: Manufacturing) The oil and gas sector will be hiring aggressively to meet manpower demand for only a few projects at hand. (Industry: Mining - including oil, gas and petroleum)

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8. Conclusion
In 2011, the ICT sector registered a significant growth in remuneration levels for its professionals. Given the positive economic outlook for Malaysia with a 5.1% growth in GDP in 2013 as forecasted by the World Bank - the ICT industry is set to flourish on the back of domestic demand created by several of the Governments mega projects and transformation programmes. Such organic growth is expected to generate wide-ranging employment opportunities for ICT professionals in the country. Based on this positive outlook, PIKOM has projected at least 9.0% growth in average remuneration offered to ICT professionals in 2012. It should be noted that the ICT sector is still being plagued by the shortage in the supply of ICT graduates especially those deemed employable and who have skills sets compatible with industry needs. On top of this problem, the ICT industry continues to be hampered by poor quality broadband in terms of capacity, speed and price. It is imperative that the Government address the deficiencies in broadband infrastructure so as to accelerate the ICT sector into a new level of value creation through cloud computing, outsourcing, e-commerce, high-end micro-electronics research and development. The capability and capacity building of the ICT sector could become a critical issue given that ICT professionals with high-end technical skills could opt for jobs in neighbouring countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore or English-speaking developed countries where the average salaries are at least two times higher than in Malaysia. Within the country, there continues to be a strong tendency among ICT professionals to job-hop. This poses challenges to the area of employee retention as well as to the industry as a whole as job-hopping could affect effective growth. Despite a generally positive economic and ICT industry outlook as well as an upward trend in the salaries of ICT professionals, the perception of job seekers on the local job market appear to slide for the first Quarter of 2012, as gathered from Jobstreet.com probes.

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Persatuan Industri Komputer Multimedia Malaysia (The National ICT Association of Malaysia) 1106 & 1107, Block B, Phileo Damansara II No.15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya Selangor Darul Ehsan T +: (603) 7955 2922 F +: (603) 7955 2933 E+: info@pikom.org.my W+: www.pikom.org.my PIKOM, the National ICT Association of Malaysia, is a not-for-pro t organisation. It is the largest association representing information and communications technology (ICT) players in Malaysia. Since its inception in 1986, PIKOM has come of its age as the voice of ICT industry. It has become an ICT referral centre for government and industry players, as well as international organisations. In this regard, PIKOM takes on the responsibility to publish ICT-relevant information in a periodic manner.
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