A GOVERNMENT research has found that 390,000 or 72.1% of SPM graduates have no plans to further their studies and instead prefer to work as online influencers, e-hailing car drivers, or food delivery riders, Utusan reports.

According to figures by the Department of Statistics, out of 560,000 Malaysians who hold a diploma in 2019, only 170,000 went on to further their studies while the remaining 390,000 chose to straight head into the workforce — a trend that’s predicted to persist for years to come.

Speaking to Utusan, Director of Entrepreneurship, Industry and Community Networking at the University of Perlis Professor Prof. Madya Dr. Shafriza Nisha Basah expressed concern over the country’s long-term development when he found out this trend.

He said that there are 3 main reasons why those in this age group are disinterested in continuing their studies: more employment opportunities on gig platforms, the influence of social media, and the belief that having good academic results may not necessarily guarantee high-paying jobs.

According to Neal Sivadas, a Product Marketing Manager at TikTok, the job market is fiercely competitive these days.

He shared that the average job today also receives 250 applications to fill one role, and companies like Microsoft and Google receive two million job applications annually.