High-skilled engineers are essential for nations to achieve high incomes and for the smooth functioning of modern civilization. They are responsible for bringing the discoveries developed at the bench or in the lab to fruition to achieve their purpose. Contributing to the quality of life in their communities, they continue to make a difference.
Several mainstream media outlets have recently highlighted the issue of underemployment among engineering graduates. Some graduates have been unable to obtain higher-paying skilled jobs, resulting in them accepting low-skilled jobs, while others earn starting salaries well below average.
Earlier this month, Yang Amat Berhormat Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Government takes the low starting salaries of engineers seriously as it may adversely affect young people’s interest in engineering. Since Malaysia has a low ratio of engineers to its population compared to countries like Japan and Germany, this could negatively impact the country’s development and economy.
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s (HWUM) Head of School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Ir. Dr. Denny Ng, says, “As Malaysia becomes a high-income nation and supports the development of new technologies that will enhance its key economic sectors, we will need a large pool of skilled engineers. Due to a skills mismatch, a growing number of young engineers are unable to succeed in the real world. The job market is extremely competitive, and skilled engineers are in high demand.
“It is imperative that today’s young workers are equipped with the skills they will need to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace. As a result, they will not only have an advantage on the job market but will also be more attractive to potential employers,” stated Professor Ng.
Through its world-class programmes, collaboration with leading Malaysian businesses for industrial placements, and accreditation from professional bodies, HWUM has been delivering high-quality UK education for over ten years, celebrating a decade of creating positive impact in Malaysia.
To promote an integrated approach to learning, the University emphasises the importance of combining technical skills with soft skills. Around 95% of the University’s graduates find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.
Jason Hwang graduated from HWUM with a Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering in 2022 and will be starting his first job in September 2022 as a Process Manufacturing Engineer in Kuala Lumpur. Earning between RM4000-RM5000 as a starting salary, he says: “I chose to become an engineer because they are very much needed in today’s society. Engineering allows you to think creatively while contributing to our society’s advancement in technology.
“HWUM has provided me with a strong foundation for life in the workplace, especially in the area of project planning, which is critical to making good decisions, as well as providing me with the necessary facilities for developing my software skills. In two months after graduating from HWUM, I was able to find a job based on the knowledge and skills I acquired from the University.”
A second HWUM alumnus, Alvin Tan, who earned a Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering this year, and is currently working as an Energy Analyst in Petaling Jaya, said: “My choice of engineering as a field of study was based on my belief that I would be able to acquire multiple skills that would help me succeed in the future.
“My degree from the University enabled me to acquire a high-quality UK qualification highly regarded in the industry and improved my analytical, critical thinking, and time management skills. I was employed a month and a half after graduating with a salary of more than RM3,500.”
With a “Positive Education” approach, HWUM continues to nurture purpose-driven leaders.
For more information on Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, kindly visit https://www.hwuni.com/engineering
For more information on Heriot-Watt University Malaysia and its world-class programmes, kindly visit https://www.hw.ac.uk/malaysia/ or chat with our Education Consultants at https://www.hw.ac.uk/malaysia/visit/chat-with-an-education-consultant.htm for any enquiries you may have.