SUBANG JAYA: Nearly three-quarters of the local workforce are without any tertiary education, raising questions as to whether Malaysia can achieve developed nation status by 2020.
Chief executive officer of INTI International Universities & Colleges Rohit Sharma pointed out that more than 30% of Singapore’s workforce possess a degree and Malaysia will have to consider achieving similar numbers if it wants to be recognised as a high-income nation.
“Statistics have shown that higher education levels lead to higher income. Malaysia’s goal is to increase our income per capita from US$10,800 (RM41,000) to US$15,000 (RM57,000) in the next five years,” he said, adding that it can only be achieved if the current workforce is willing to upskill themselves.
In a study conducted by the education group, 60% of working professionals in Malaysia were not contented with their current job prospects, desiring for better promotion and higher salaries.
With feedback from 395 respondents aged between 22 and 44, the research showed that only one-third of the respondents expressed desire to pursue higher education in the next five years.
The most common reason was “I don’t have time”, with 48% of the respondents citing it as their main challenge followed by 47% saying “I need to spend more time with my family”.
“Many of those who are working are married and have kids. Family is important to them. While they want to take the next step, they do not want to do it at the expense of their families,” Sharma said.
As a solution, the education group is launching Learning Simplified, a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) course designed to remove all these obstacles for working professionals.
The course facilitates an online learning environment, which minimises the travelling to campus.
With the option to customise the programme to suit the students’ schedule, they will only need to spend an average of one hour a day studying for the next two years to get their MBA.
Sharma added that Malaysians who own a degree earn an average of RM4,892, twice the amount of those who only possess SPM qualifications.
“A postgraduate degree will ensure you are one of the unique groups that stand apart from others.”