STEM Careers for Malaysian Students

Back in 1991, the Malaysian Government launched Vision 2020 to address the goals to develop a scientific and innovative society by the year 2020. What better time to venture into a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)! Career opportunities in STEM are limitless as new developments are transforming every aspect of our life.

What is STEM?

STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The roles of STEM are imperative to all businesses as they are accountable for all industries. Innovations in the engineering field are pushing through major initiatives such as balancing our global climate changes and the introduction to an eco-friendly world. Mathematics on the other hand, has become the foundation for almost every occupation and activity we practice in our daily lives.

In a nutshell, careers in any related STEM field will require the next generation of innovators in Malaysia to develop new products and processes that sustain not just the country’s economy but to develop a better future for the world.

It is unfortunate to know that Malaysian students have gradually lost their interest in the STEM field which resulted to a decline in undergraduates partaking science courses in universities. To reduce the decline of interest in STEM, the National STEM Movement has introduced various campaigns such as the Program SmartUnisel to increase awareness amongst younger generations in this field. This is in hopes of bringing new scientific and technological advancements to Malaysia.

Why are STEM careers on demand in Malaysia?

The science and technology workforce has charted that by 2020, we will require a total of one million individuals: 500,000 to be part of the support and services group; 470,000 required to be implementors as engineers, doctors, or architects and 30,000 individuals to be part of researchers as scientists, engineers or

Image Credit: New Straits Times

This is a great opportunity for younger generations to take up a greater interest in this field and be well-versed in 21st-century skills. Looking at the bigger picture, the STEM workforce throughout the globe is progressing and making new breakthroughs across every sector in hopes of globalising the economy. Some examples are:

  • Technological advancement: The development of the Internet, web applications, social networks and mobile applications increases the need for more complex technologies to implement new features
  • The population of older and newer generations are growing: New medical products and scientific developments are gradually increasing in demand to cope and maintain health and well-being
  • Innovations are always the main focus: With every scientific and technological breakthrough, new products and services are brought to the forefront thus generating interest in every company in various sectors to compete against each other to become the top in their industry
  • Renewable energy: As resources such as fossil fuel, coal, oil and natural gas gradually deplete from constant usage, they severely affect the environment. Green energy has become the main focus in becoming the major replacement of non-renewable energy
  • Heightened information technology security: Cyber attack has become a big threat to  public and private sectors which increases the need for more cyber security experts
  • Advancements in Nanotechnology: Today’s scientists and engineers are looking to make a breakthrough in developing new materials at the nanoscale instead of using their larger scale counterparts.

What makes STEM jobs rewarding?

Most people who work in the STEM field find it to be highly challenging but a very rewarding career line nonetheless. In most situations, STEM workers feel satisfied that their contribution to discovery, innovation, problem-solving or any other professional achievement is viewed as a big step towards the development of the community, society and the world.

As the demand for technological and scientific progress continues to grow, the unemployment rate is pretty low which provides ample opportunity for graduates to find a job in this sector. Moreover, the skills individuals develop while studying and working can be transferable such as problem-solving, conducting research and critical analysis. These are essential skills that can be easily applied across different occupations. Individuals who choose a career path in STEM are often fuelled with passion for specific type of task and enjoy the satisfaction from a breakthrough as a result of their efforts.

Searching for a career in STEM?

As new scientific and technological advancements have brought in new developments to the world, the career path in STEM is very vast. Take a look at some of the careers  we have on

Information Technology

Network engineers: Also known as computer network architects, network engineers use information technology to create network systems for organisations

  • IT managers: Some organisations recognise them as information system managers and they are responsible for managing computer and technology-related activities in their organisation
  • Firmware engineers: They are normally tasked with developing new software for electronic devices such as remote controls, mobile phones and medical devices
  • Web developer: A programmer that specialises in the development of worldwide web applications or any applications that run from a web server to a web browser
  • Computer security: They mainly focus on preventing cyber attacks by utilising firewalls and encryption while performing and regulating computer files and processing systems


  • Chemical engineers: Their core job role is to design and manage chemical plant equipment and organise processes for manufacturing chemicals
  • Construction engineers: They deal in designing, organising, constructing, and managing infrastructures such as structures, facilities and systems
  • Environmental engineer: Often involved in the efforts of improving and maintaining the environment for the protection of the ecosystem.


  • Chemist: Would usually work on chemical research and experiments  involving quality control or develop new products or share knowledge
  • Clinical researcher: Conduct medical tests to determine the safety and efficiency of medication and behaviour such as vaccines and medical advice or practices
  • Microbiologists: Their main focus is to study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi to understand the interaction with the  environment
  • Market researcher: They usually collect data and information by conducting research before analysing and determining the market outcome before making any business decisions.


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