72% of M’sian students want to pursue a career without a degree

Gen Z

The Statistics Department of Malaysia recently released a report stating that about 72% of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia school leavers do not have the interest to pursue their studies at a tertiary level.

The report showed that 390,000 out of 560,000 SPM candidates, or 72.1%, preferred to join the workforce after the examination, while only 170,000 students were keen to pursue their studies.

The 2019 study cited three main reasons for the lack of interest among these students, which were:

  1. Increasing job opportunities in the gig economy.
  2. Interest in becoming social media influencers.
  3. The impression that continuing their studies would not guarantee better jobs.

Although some parties find this discovery concerning, some others are of the opinion that it is the students’ personal choice, and that they can use this as an avenue to brush up their skills through other channels besides higher education.

And contrary to popular belief, there are lots of opportunities to those with only an SPM certificate. Some of these jobs include:

1. Small business entrepreneurs

business owner

Although starting a business comes with its risks, but starting a business gives you greater courage to try new things, learning from mistakes and failure, and an opportunity to establish contacts; some of the key factors that allow entrepreneurs to succeed.


2. Real estate agent


In order to become a real estate agent, you are required to have a recognized degree in property management – however, Real Estate Negotiators (REN) only require an SPM certificate, and after a few days of training from the relevant authorities, RENs can then obtain a REN license and start assisting clients in buying and selling houses. Unlike salesmen or saleswomen, real estate agencies sell houses with high unit prices, and the commission they earn will be higher than that of ordinary sales people.


3. Flight attendants

flight attendant

Flight attendants are required at least an SPM diploma, which means you can apply only with an SPM certificate. After passing 4 consecutive interviews, you can pass the airline’s training course and become a flight attendant or flight attendant! The knowledge and skills obtained as flight attendants gives a lot of room for development in their future careers, making it a popular and sought-after career.


4. Customer Service Staff

customer service

Generally, having a degree gives you extra points in the customer service industry, but the entry requirement to become a customer service personnel is an SPM certification. The daily work scope, in addition to proper handling of customer problems on the phone or online live chats, also requires other handy skills such as handling emails, letters and door-to-door customer complaints.


5. Chef/baker

chef, baker

Having an SPM diploma can also open avenues for you to be in the culinary or baking industry! The daily work scope of a chef or baker mainly includes menu design, researching new dishes, purchasing and supervising raw materials and more, allowing workers to gain relevant skills that can be useful in the office environment as well.


Though having a degree can help you obtain skills that you need to enter the workforce, having skills, clear goals and an intent to work hard can help you go on the road to success, with or without a college degree!

Real estate agencies are becoming increasingly popular among young people. If you plan to start a career after SPM, but do not have a clear direction yet, you might as well show your skills in the real estate industry!

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