Business and Commerce Graduate Jobs and Opportunities in Malaysia
What do I need to get a job in this industry?
A business degree Malaysia provides a graduate with many career pathways, the most attractive of them within the booming financial services sector. Business students in Malaysia may choose from a variety of tertiary degrees, each of which provides a slightly different set of skills. The choice of degree will depend on the direction in which you want to take your career, and any specialisation that you wish to develop.
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
The BBA is a common choice for university students, and is well recognised throughout the industry. It gives a student a broad base of general business knowledge, as well as choice among specialised majors and minors. It is possible to study it in combination with another degree, such as a Bachelor of Science, Engineering, Arts or Law. This choice increases breadth of knowledge, and can be an attractive way to widen your career options after graduation. It is also possible, depending on the university, to do a version of the BBA that is directed towards a specification - such as the Bachelor of Business Administration (Accounting and Finance). This option is a good choice for those who intend to work towards professional accreditation, such as the CPA.
- Bachelor of Economics
A Bachelor of Economics is a less standard course than a BBA, and is more appropriate for those wishing to specialise in economics. It is not only for people who want to become economists however, graduates of a BEcon may find work in all industry sectors, as the theories, statistical skills and behavioural understanding that underpin economics have relevance and usefulness to as diverse areas as government, education and all aspects of commerce.
- Bachelor of International Business
The Bachelor of International Business equips graduates for a career in an increasingly globalised world. It is an excellent choice for those wanting to work in multinational corporations, as well as prospective policymakers and entrepreneurs.
Business may also be studied at major level in a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Computing.
To succeed in Malaysia’s economy, the ability to communicate fluently in Malay is a given, and it is also important to be fluent in English, since much of international business is conducted in English. It is also advantageous to learn other Asian languages, such as Mandarin, Cantonese or Japanese, as China and Japan are very important to the world market.
Major Choice and Job Direction in Business
There are many choices of majors and specialisations available to Malaysian business students. This list is not comprehensive, and each university’s offering will be slightly different. Of course, a choice of major does not limit you to working forever in that specialty, but is an indication of interest, preference and possibility.
Accounting is an essential financial skill that is relevant to all business entities. As a financial service, the job of the accountant is to assess and record how well a company is performing financially, and to present this information to external stakeholders as well as to internal managers who will use the information to make the business better.
- Human Resource Management (HRM)
Human resource management is a crucial function of many businesses, especially large ones, and some organisations may also deal wholly in providing HRM services. Graduates with majors in HRM can fill many roles, including that of manager, employment relations consultant or training coordinator.
Marketing is one of the most important functions of a business, as it focuses on the identification of and satisfaction of consumer needs, and communicating a business’s value proposition in a memorable way that differentiates it from competitors. People with marketing majors often end up working in sales, advertising, CRM, market research, PR or brand management, however an understanding of marketing is important to management and successful entrepreneurship as well.
- Information Technology
Information technology is now central to modern business practice, shaping the way we communicate, present offerings and conduct transactions. Those who study IT with a business focus will be well equipped to take advantage of the digital revolution, and may find work in business intelligence, digital security, consulting and communication.
- Finance/Wealth Management
Banking is a lynchpin of the Malaysian economy, with many of the world’s biggest banks having regional bases in the country. Finance will provide one with the ability to deal in financial assets such as shares and derivatives and trade in the financial markets. Career paths include investment banking, financial planning and risk management. Some universities may offer specialisations such as Islamic business studies, in recognition of Malaysia’s place as the world’s centre of Islamic finance, and this will equip graduates with the skills and understanding needed to work in Islamic financial institutions.
- International Business
International business focuses on how business is conducted across national boundaries, and the ways in which different cultures, government policies, technological innovations and changing consumer demands interact in the global marketplace. This major is a good choice for those wishing to find work in an MNC. It often includes an exchange trip as part of the requirements of the degree. Specific positions for international business graduates may include cross-cultural adviser, international equity officer, import/export export officer or international brand manager.
- Quantitative Finance
Quantitative finance, more than any business course (save possibly accounting), teaches hard skills in mathematics, statistics and computing. Graduates possessing a Quant major are in high demand for investment banking as analysts.
- Actuarial Finance
Actuarial studies primarily deals with risk – the mathematical and statistical skills required to calculate it, and the methods by which to assess it. It is a requirement for many jobs in risk-assessment and insurance.
Macroeconomic Trends and Job Prospects for Graduate Schemes
The Malaysian financial sector is ranked 22nd in the world, according to the Global Financial Centres Index. Banking, in particular commercial banking, comprises a significant part of it. Islamic finance is a significant element of Malaysia’s economy, with Kuala Lumpur home to 16 Islamic banks. Malaysia also accounts for two thirds of the world’s transactions in the sukuk (Islamic bond) market. The Malaysian government is focusing on developing the nation’s financial sector by capitalising and further expanding on their strength in Islamic finance, as well as other financial institutions. The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project, the new financial centre currently being built in Kuala Lumpur, can be expected to create many new jobs for business graduates.
Starting salaries for fresh graduates in Malaysia will depend on the job and the organisation hiring. For example, accountants typically start at around RM 3000/month, while salespeople in financial services can command starting salary of around RM 3054/month. Actuaries start at about RM 2475/month, while junior executives can start as high as RM 3900/month.
Benefits will depend on the job, but they may include financial incentives such as profit sharing, bonuses and health insurance.