High Rate of Unemployment Among Graduates in Malaysia

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Over the past years, there has been a growing concern in the issue of high unemployment rates among our local graduates. Some made it to the headlines, newspapers and even in the blogs. This shows how serious this issue is and we are interested in finding out why this happened and to identify what are the causes and if possible achieve a solution to this problem. Every year our local universities, public or private higher institutions produced a large numbers of graduates but the percentages of the graduates acquire a job at the end of the day is surprisingly low.

This matter is a grave concern as this will decrease the image of our educational system in Malaysia. Companies or employees might someday totally lost interest in our graduates due to the statistics of high unemployment rates if the root causes of the problem have not been identified. The statistics provided by ‘The Sun’ newspaper in 2006 reported that the unemployment rate of public universities has reached a shocking 70%, whereas the private institutions recorded 26% and meanwhile foreign graduates 34%.


There a lot of factors on why our graduates being unemployed even long after their graduation. Reason such as graduates are too choosy in picking on lower income jobs and some of the graduates wants to start immediately in a big and well known or establish company which provides higher salary are the few reasons why our graduates still unemployed.

On the employee and company point of view, they are too strict in selecting their worker and choose not to take fresh graduates and they tend to be looking more to experience or skilled worker such as worker from other companies. Job opportunities nowadays are very slim and the economics of our country are also unstable. This proves to be a very competitive job seeking for graduates. Private university or colleges nowadays grows beyond needs and produced too many graduates but the qualities of the graduates are doubtful and some of these private institutions are not recognized by our Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).

The increasing graduates from unwanted field such as IT are too many to fill up in the vacant post, as this post is not entirely available nowadays. The increasing rate of hiring foreign worker in the company also might explain why our graduates are still unemployed and lack of guidance for fresh graduates to adapt to the real working environment.


In this research, we want to identify the increasing rate of unemployment among our graduates and what is the percentage of unemployment rates nowadays. Besides that, we are also keen to identify what are the causes and effects of unemployment rate among our graduates. By conducting this research, we are also hoping to identify the Malaysian current economy standings and if there are any social problem among Malaysian related to the unemployment problem.


These are some of the questions we are trying to figure out by this research.

  1. How serious is the high rate of unemployment among Malaysian graduates?
  2. What are the causes and effects of unemployment Malaysian graduates?
  3. What can we do to minimize or solve the problem?


The scopes of study are:

  • Unemployment rates of Malaysian graduates
  • Respondents are local university staff and students


With this research, we hope the findings will help unemployment Malaysian graduates to get an idea how to overcome this problem and have more awareness of the current situation when looking for a job. Unemployment Malaysian graduates will not be a problem anymore and most importantly to reduce the rate of unemployment among Malaysian graduates if possible.


There are lot of factors that contributed to the unemployment of graduates especially in our country and the economics of our country is different from few years back. Norhartini stated that “Researchers have voiced that higher education institutions, the job market and the needs of the labor market for graduates are different in comparison to twenty years ago. The labor market is now less predictably changing is more rapidly and is more competitive. As a result, some graduates face difficulties in finding jobs”.

From the New Strait Times newspaper in 2007, Graduate Tracer Study made a research in 2006 and it was found that 30. percent of graduates still looking for jobs even after 6 months from their last convocation. There are about 18 public universities, 18 polytechnics, 34 community colleges and 13 private institutions of higher learning was in involved in the research which involves 132 900 graduates. Articles from Zul in Skor Career stated that there are about 5 factors in contributing the rates of high unemployment among graduates which are economy, quality of education, choosy job seeker, lack of guidance and choosy employers. In the article, it was mentioned that our country economy is always changing.

The manufacturing sector was used to be the main sector which offers job opportunities but nowadays it is replaced by service sector. Soft skills such as the ability to communicate with other people and team building are essential skills that required in service sector. Graduates nowadays don’t posses those important skills and even graduates who are fluent in English are quite rare. A lot of manufacturing factories are not operational and closes down due to economic downturn and there are many factories are trying to reduce the number of their workers. This shows that the job opportunities for graduates are also narrowed.

Our quality of education is another factor where even though a lot of students especially in our SPM exams achieved a lot of A’s but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will acquire a place in the university because our educational based on the quota such as girl 60% and 40%. Graduates that achieved first class honors also are a common sight but that is not a ticket on getting a job. They will have to go through an interview and there are cases where a first class graduates and second class graduates attending the same interview but at the end of the day the second class graduates gets the job due to his interpersonal skills in the interview.

There are some graduates are choosy job seeker. They chooses a job that comes complete in one package such as medical benefits, not too far away from their house, offers fat salary and others benefits such as housing loans etc even though it is their first job. They are not willing to start working and begin from the bottom level or even gaining working experience first. This is the reason why they are still unemployed.

Other factors such as graduates lack of guidance to the real working experience right after their convocations and choosy employers in selecting their worker also contributes to the percentage rates of unemployment of our graduates.


This section will discuss the methodology of the research. The main purpose of our research study is to identify the reasons contribute to high employment rate among graduates in Malaysia. Data for the research will be collected through the use of qualitative data collection method which is the survey questionnaire will be conducted to mainly 30 respondents.


This research will utilize the quantitative research methodology. The instruments used to collect data will be the observational instruments which is a set of questionnaire containing 4 sections which are personal background, educational background, personal job experience, and attitudes toward job requirement. This information will be much helpful on conducting a precise quantitative raw data to be analyzed according to the feedbacks gathered from respondents.

This survey questionnaire will be composed of 23 questions which includes various questions types such close ended question, likert-scale questions, categories questions, and also open-ended questions. The qualitative data for the research will come from interview and observation. The interview will be utilized to confirm the findings from the questionnaire as well as to triangulate the data collection methods. Five (5) respondents will be selected from the total of 30 respondents for the interview. Eight to ten questions will be prepared for the interview in rder to get more detailed or further information from these 5 respondents about the research study.

Observation is another method of data collection for the research. In this study, observation will be used for the purpose of obtaining the reasons contribute to high employments rate among Malaysia graduates This observation may come in form of observational sheet that record the intrapersonal and interpersonal self concept that able to be used as data that may affect respondents attitudes toward job requirement and demands.


The respondents of our group research study will be a total of 30 respondents. These respondents will be from the space students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. A total of 30 survey questionnaire will be distributed to the respondent. Of these numbers, 5 respondents will be selected to provide in-depth information about the group research topic through interview sessions. Furthermore, 5 respondents also will be selected to be observed so that able to fill in the data from observational sheet.


During the actual study, the questionnaire will be distributed to each respondent whereby the respondents are requiring sitting in the class at duration of 15 minutes. Each respondent will get a copy of survey questionnaire. Respondents will be approached with an initial question of whether they agree with the statement of “there is high demands of Malaysia graduates in today job field” before the questionnaire is given to them. 5 respondents will be selected from those who completed and returned the questionnaire to attend the interview sessions. Appointments will be set for the interview at a later date. Agreement from the respondents will be sought to enable the researchers to get more detailed or in-depth information about the research topic.


To analyze the data, a total of 4 variables are taken into consideration namely the graduates qualification and experience, graduate attitudes and personality, graduates background Data will be entered into the computer using SPSS software or Microsoft Excel. Results will be presented through frequency counts and other descriptive statistics. Interview data will provide a way to validate the data from the questionnaire. The data will be transcribed.

The analysis of the interview data will go through the coding technique using identification of categories of pattern and themes that emerged from the analysis. The field-notes from the observation will be transcribed and data from the observation sheet will be analyzed and tabulated in tables.

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High Rate of Unemployment Among Graduates in Malaysia. (2018, Apr 12). Retrieved from


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