Graduate Employability in Malaysia: Unpacking the Concept, Policy and Practices




Graduate Employability, job market signalling, human capital, neoliberalism, Graduate Tracer Study


This paper examined the issue of graduate employability in Malaysia by exploring its theoretical underpinnings, defining key concepts, analysing the levels of employability, and investigating the underlying socio-political-economic aspects of the issue. Other than the Malaysian context, the study also drew insights from international perspectives on the employed theoretical framework, comprising the theories of job market signalling, human capital, and neoliberalism, in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of graduate employability. Then, the study highlights the distinction between employability and employment, while emphasizing the long-term ability of graduates to obtain jobs aligned with their skill sets. It critically analysed the current Graduate Tracer Study (GTS) framework in Malaysia, which primarily focuses on employment status and unable to capture the broader concept of employability, particularly long-term employability. Suggestions were put forward to expand the GTS framework by including industrial insights, addressing the horizontal mismatch of employment and long-term employability. Socio-political-economic issues related to graduate employability, such as minimum wages, income inequalities, and gig work arrangements, were also examined. This was followed by the discussions on the role of the state governments in managing employment and employability issues, along with policy initiatives that are aimed at enhancing job quality and long-term employability. Overall, this paper presents a way forward for improving graduate employability in Malaysia. From the perspective of socio-political-economics, this paper has highlighted the challenges faced by gig workers, including job security and unstable income. In line with these, necessary recommendations were proposed, including graduates' learning skills development, the expansion of existing employability programs, the enhancement of the GTS, improvements in the gig-worker sector, collaboration between academia and industries, as well as promotions of entrepreneurship and innovation.


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How to Cite

Moo, K. H., & Wan, C. D. (2023). Graduate Employability in Malaysia: Unpacking the Concept, Policy and Practices . IIUM Journal of Educational Studies, 11(2), 3–25.