A study by University of Malaya (UM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) researchers has been circulating online recently.
The study titled 'Discrimination in high degrees: Race and graduate hiring in Malaysia' was published in the Journal of Asia Pacific Economy. The paper discussed the problems of discrimination in hiring and promotion in the country's labor market.
"This paper investigates racial discrimination in hiring fresh degree graduates in Malaysia through a field experiment," the abstract read.
"We send fictitious Malay and Chinese résumés to job advertisements, then analyze differentials in callback for interview attributable to racial identity, while controlling for applicant characteristics, employer profile and job requirements." (Read the full article here)
This article is not a critic directed towards the research above, instead, this article will be directed more towards diminishing all the negative perception towards our future colleagues and leaders.
Have anyone really consider the feeling of a fresh graduate who have studied for at least 5 years since secondary school when they enter the workforce?
I am sure they feel it’s time for them to give back to society after everything that they have learned. Such a positive attitude, and we’d expect nothing from a degree holder.
Imagine the surprise when they are crushed after their resume goes unanswered. Imagine the surprise when interviewers belittled them in the interview.
More importantly, imagine their surprise when they start working - a clerk without proper qualification has the ability to work more efficiently than them.
IMAGINE THE SURPRISE.
Furthermore, their parents have drummed into them that education is the ticket to a better life.
They may even avoid family gatherings or interacting with people, for fear of being questioned repeatedly about their current status. This can be emotionally challenging.
The struggles of a fresh graduate are real.
They are approaching the new world unprepared. What they studied in the universities is largely academic, with little application in the real world.
Without any work experience they struggle to get a response to any job applications.
If only there was an added quality they could highlight, such as Microsoft Word 2013 Advanced Level (Course produced by Microsoft Certified Trainer Christina Tankersley) or Microsoft Excel 2016 (Intermediate Level).
They enter the interview not knowing what they will be facing.
If only they are able to prove their application of knowledge to real world scenarios, such as on how to keep a customer informed and engaged using key information, progress and status updates. (for a Customer Support position), or, preparing business documentation, which includes from simple emails to formal letters and composing documents that suits the business needs.
The above are simple short courses which will provide fresh graduates with the knowledge that they need in breaking down the barriers that have been blocking over 200,000 unemployed local graduates in Malaysia.
The failure to secure a job results to people blaming either the graduates themselves, or some even goes to a degree of blaming it on cultural discrimination.
Let’s make a change to finding ways to improve this situation from a different perspective.
Why not WE all decide to get them prepared before they leave the University?
So HOW do we solve this problem?
Help them to develop their skills, and provide them the knowledge to help them standout in the eyes of employers.
I am not saying that the current subjects in universities are irrelevant or outdated, but just to consider a different approach nearing the end of their course.
Technology continues driving change where this graduate needs to have a much broader range of skills towards emotional intelligence.
Our education industry must take this step in ensuring these future leaders are given the opportunity in the Malaysian workforce before the fire in them dies out.
Online learning is the best acquirable mode of knowledge that is best suited to implement these changes. Make online courses a part of your syllabus in their final semester.
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