High income nation needs highly skilled engineers

  • Heriot-Watt University Malaysia nurtures purpose-driven leaders
  • UK uni celebrates a decade of creating positive impact in Malaysia

 The world is their oyster.

 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.

The issue of underemployment among engineering graduates has recently been highlighted. 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, Malaysian Prime Minister 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.

High income nation needs highly skilled engineersHeriot-Watt University Malaysia’s (HWUM) Head of School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Ir Dr Denny Ng (pic) 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 with the job market extremely competitive, with skilled engineers in high demand.”

Denny noted that 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,” he stated.

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.

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.

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 “Positive Education” approach, HWUM continues to nurture purpose-driven leaders, especially through it School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.


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