A recent study conducted by the government has found that 390,000 or 72.1% of SPM graduates have no plans to further their studies and instead prefer to work as online influencers, e-hailing car drivers, or food delivery riders.
Speaking to Utusan, Director of Entrepreneurship, Industry and Community Networking at the University of Perlis Professor Prof. Madya Dr. Shafriza Nisha Basah expressed concern over the country’s long-term development when he found out this trend.
He shares that there are 3 main reasons why those in this age group are disinterested in continuing their studies: more employment opportunities on gig platforms, the influence of social media, and the belief that having good academic results may not necessarily guarantee high-paying jobs.
According to Indeed, a website that calculates the average salary of jobs in Malaysia, it is estimated that influencers can earn approximately RM3,473 per month.
Shafriza said that while many young people are lured by the idea that being influencers or content creators will give them a lucrative income, such jobs are not sustainable in the long run.
“They often think that it’s easy to gain success, but the truth is that as more and more people turn to social media to make money, the tougher it will be for them to stand out from the crowd,” he said.
“In the long run, these new workforce forms are replaceable and it will be difficult for them to maintain the current advantages of their occupation.”
On the other hand, Shafriza also urged employers should look beyond the academic results and skills of potential candidates.
“There is no doubt that finding a job after graduation is challenging, and there are many factors that both graduates and employers need to take into accounts such as work location, transportation, and job prospects.”
“I also suggest that students not give up so easily as finding a suitable job takes time and is a long process. They should also work on building soft skills like leadership, integrity, resilience, professionalism, and a sense of responsibility,” he said.
Why does the younger generation choose to be influencers?
According to Neal Sivadas, a Product Marketing Manager at TikTok, he shared job applications in the current job ecosystem are quite different from the 90s and early 2000s.
The main factor that changes the ecosystem is none other than the Internet.
He shared that the younger generations now have access to more information than any generation in history to build their careers and this is why we can find fourteen-year-olds with online businesses generating hundreds of thousands in revenue.
On the other hand, he also pointed out that the job market is fiercely competitive these days. He shared that the average job today also receives 250 applications to fill one role, and companies like Microsoft and Google receive two million job applications annually.
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