The tech sector has seen some challenging times of late, with tech giants such as Google, Meta and Amazon laying off over 104,000 workers over the last 12 months. While recent reports indicate that Malaysia's technology sector is not facing significant layoffs, recruiters have observed a slowdown in hiring in this sector.
Even as the country's job situation in this industry remains stable and promising, we are not completely insulated from external shocks.
The job market can be unpredictable, and economic downturns can bring job loss and stress.
Hence, we should still look towards making ourselves recession-proof. Here are five ways to do so:
Tip 1: Stay current with the latest technologies.
There are several initiatives and programmes aimed at upskilling individuals in the tech sector.
This includes the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which offers training
programmes and certifications for various skills such as software development, data science, and digital marketing. Additionally, the Government launched the MyDIGITAL initiative in 2021 to accelerate the country's digital transformation and increase the adoption of emerging
technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IOT).
Tip 2: Focus on in-demand skills.
Some tech skills are more in demand than others, and it's important to focus on those that are most valuable in the current job market. In-demand skills can vary by industry and region, so do your research to identify the skills that are most in demand in your field. For example, AI, cybersecurity, and cloud computing are all areas of high demand in the tech sector.
MDEC had also listed analytical skills, computer science, software development and programming among top 10 in-demand digital skills in Malaysia. Focusing on these areas can increase your value in the job market and make you a more competitive candidate.
Tip 3: Develop a diverse skill set.
In addition to technical skills, developing a diverse skill set can also be valuable in the tech sector. For example, strong communication and collaboration skills can be important for project management roles, while marketing and sales skills can be valuable in roles that
involve promoting and selling tech products and services.
Tip 4: Build a strong professional network.
Building relationships with other professionals in your field can provide opportunities for collaboration, mentorship, and job referrals. Attend industry events, join online communities,
and engage with colleagues on social media to build and maintain your network.
There are several organisations and communities that provide networking opportunities for tech professionals. These include the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), that hosts events and conferences for tech industry professionals, and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI), which provides resources and support for entrepreneurs
Tip 5: Look for recession-resistant industries.
While the tech industry as a whole may be affected by an economic downturn, there are certain sub-sectors that may be more resistant to recession. For example, companies that provide essential business services, such as cybersecurity or cloud computing, may be less affected by an economic downturn than those that provide non-essential services. E-commerce, which has seen strong growth in recent years, is another option to consider. Look at focusing your job search on industries that are less likely to be impacted by economic volatility.
By staying current, focusing on in-demand skills, developing a diverse skill set, building a strong network, and looking for recession-resistant industries, individuals in the Malaysian tech sector
can help recession-proof their careers.
Further, with the government's focus on digital transformation and the continued growth of the tech industry in Malaysia, there are many opportunities for tech professionals to thrive, even during challenging economic times.