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What the PIKOM ICT Job Market Outlook Report reveals

The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM)’s 2014 ICT Job Market Outlook Report launched today, revealed a slew of interesting insights on the local ICT industry.

Despite the external environment and recent developments in the global and domestic economy, the report indicates that the Malaysian ICT industry remains robust – driven by the intensification of digitisation processes in transformation projects and capital intensive corridor projects as well as consumption, investment and trading of ICT products and services.

“Despite slower economic growth anticipated in 2015, the industry is expected to register double digit growth of 14.2% while providing a healthy increase in salaries for ICT professionals and positive prospects for future job-seekers in many niched areas. ICT continues to be a major job market for the country. For 2014, the industry grew by a robust 12.5%,” said PIKOM Chairman, Cheah Kok Hoong.


ICT Salaries Continue to Rise

“On average ICT professionals saw salaries grow by 7.9%; from RM7,142 in 2013 to RM7,706 in 2014. From 2010-2014, pay packets have steadily increased at a healthy average annual growth rate of 8.2%. Senior managers in particular, have enjoyed the highest pay hikes – 9.5% followed by junior executives at 8.1% while senior executives and managers saw increases of 7.2% and 6.7% respectively,” said Woon Tai Hai, PIKOM Research Committee chair.

top paying industries_PIKOM report

The industry where ICT professionals were paid the most was Science and Technology / Aerospace / Biotechnology, followed by the oil and gas sector. Despite falling crude oil prices in the global market and retrenchment, the oil and gas sector still ranked as one of the top-paying industries for ICT professionals.

Salary Gap Widens

The survey also revealed a salary disparity of 6.22 times (4.95 times in 2010) between senior managers and fresh graduates. This is attributed to higher demand for experienced professionals with the talent pool being limited in Malaysia. With a tight employment market, this could present various challenges for companies to attract and retain graduates in the long-term.

How much do CIOs and CTOs Earn in Malaysia?

“For the first time, light has been shed on the minimum and maximum salaries of CTOs and CIOs in Malaysia. On average in 2014, C-Level ICT professionals took home a salary between RM 30,000 to RM 45,000 per month. However, salaries were still lower compared to many other countries, continuing to fuel a migration of talent to other countries,” added Woon.

Brain Drain: Talent Exodus to the Middle East and other countries

Middle Eastern countries, namely the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are emerging as preferred destinations for job related migration. Salaries in the gulf are on average 1.74 times more than in Malaysia. Among Asian countries, Hong Kong and Singapore were yet again as top choices with salaries being 1.58 times and 1.41 times more. The rankings were calculated after including adjustments for cost of living expenses (purchasing power parity).

Hot ICT Jobs

Of the total new jobs expected to be created in the next five years, based on trends from the United States, it is expected that 45% of jobs will focus on software development and computer programming.

In the technical domain, ICT professionals equipped with Java, C#, C++, .Net, SharePoint and Web Application Developers remain highly sought after. Under business applications, the fast growing jobs are notably IT Security Analyst and Big Data Analytics, two areas highly required for fending off cyber threats and data breaches. The demand for both the technical and business applications jobs are also attributed to prolific growth experienced in cloud computing and mobile applications.

Square Peg in Round Holes: Malaysian Companies Hiring Wrong Graduates

Of interesting to note, the report revealed that most employers do not, or are not able to distinguish ICT degrees from distinct disciplines. This leads to a higher likelihood of companies employing the wrong graduates for the required ICT role.

Companies who require Software Development skills should hire graduates from either Computer Science or Software Engineering disciplines. Similarly, IT or computer science qualities with relevant electives would suffice if companies needed graduates who can administer, integrate, select and manage systems and databases.

“If left unaddressed, this (the continued mismatch in talent and jobs) will exacerbate brain drain, curtail innovation in companies and further widen the talent gap. The Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) in collaboration with PIKOM, MDeC, academia and the industries have published the 2014 Program Standards: Computing towards addressing this issue. But potential employers, human resource professionals and job recruitment specialists must also take the lead in matching the right talents to the right jobs and requirements,” added Cheah.

PIKOM hopes that companies will implement the learnings from the report towards retaining our top talents and encouraging more graduates to join the ICT sector.

(L-R): Ong Kian Yew (Executive Director of PIKOM), Muhammad Imran (Director Talent Division of MDeC), Cheah Kok Hoong (Chairman of PIKOM), Woon Tai Hai (PIKOM Advisor & PIKOM Research Committee Chairman), Ramachandran Ramasamy (Head of Policy Capability and Market Research, PIKOM)

(L-R): Ong Kian Yew (Executive Director of PIKOM), Muhammad Imran (Director Talent Division of MDeC), Cheah Kok Hoong (Chairman of PIKOM), Woon Tai Hai (PIKOM Advisor & PIKOM Research Committee Chairman), Ramachandran Ramasamy (Head of Policy Capability and Market Research, PIKOM)

The PIKOM ICT Job Market Outlook Report is based on raw data collated from Jobstreet.com and other sources. It covers 24 industry classifications from four services segments: ICT Hardware, ICT Software, Call Centres / ICT Enabled Services and Telecommunication Services. Also included are electrical and electronics and semi-conductor / wafer fabrication, which are typically considered as ICT Production sectors.


PIKOM, THE NATIONAL ICT ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA is the association representing the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Malaysia. Its membership currently stands at over 775 comprising companies involved in a whole spectrum of ICT products and services which commands about 80% of the total ICT trade in Malaysia. PIKOM works to improve the business climate in the interests of all its member companies and to promote industry growth in line with national aspirations. PIKOM’s membership is open to all Malaysian companies who supply ICT products and services in the computing and telecommunications industries. However, non-ICT companies are also welcome to join the Association as associate members.


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