• Norhaziah Nawai Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia


Employer’s Perception, Graduates Skills, Malaysia


This paper tries to investigate the perception of the employers towards the employability skills of the new graduates in their recruitment process. The paper examines the employability skills of the Islamic business administration graduates in Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia.  The study used qualitative methodology through in-depth interviews with 31 employers in Klang Valley. Findings revealed that employers expect graduates to have a range of broader skills and attributes that include teamwork, communication, leadership, critical thinking, work independently, intellectual, and problem-solving skills. Besides, technical skills such as software proficiency, project management, data analysis, and common operating systems are also advantaging for new graduates to get offered in their companies. This paper, therefore, concludes that developing graduate employability skills and attributes should be included in faculties teaching and learning strategically. Active collaboration between university and industry with employers having a more active role is likely to have a greater and more sustained impact on graduate employability. Lastly, the need to continually promote and expand opportunities for students to access work-based learning is critical. These experiential opportunities can be an effective way of providing university students with relevant employment skills, knowledge, and awareness of employer culture. 3U1I program may be implemented to enhance graduate employability.


Download data is not yet available.


Abd Hair, A., Ishak, Y., Arawati, A. & Zafir, M. M. (2012). Kebolehpasaran Graduan IPT Tempatan: Penilaian Dari Perspektif Majikan. Malaysian Journal of Youth Studies, 7, 77-92.

Atfield, G. & Purcell, K. (2012). The fit between graduate labour market supply and demand: 3rd year UK undergraduate degree final year students’ perceptions of the skills they have to offer, and the skills employers seek. University of Warwick: Institute for Employment Research. Web.

Ang, M.C.H. (2015). Graduate Employability Awareness: A Gendered Perspective, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 211, 192-198.

Azmi, I. A. G., Hashim, R. C., & Yusoff, Y. M. (2018). The Employability Skills of Malaysian University Students. International Journal of Modern Trends in Social Sciences, 1(3), 01–14.

Bui. B, Porter. B. (2010). The Expectation-Performance Gap in Accounting Education: An Exploratory Study. Accounting Education, 19 (1-2), 23-50.

Cai, Y. (2012). Graduate Employability: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Employers’ Perceptions. Higher Education, 1-13.

Clarke. M. (2008) Understanding and managing employability in changing career contexts. Journal of European Industrial Training, 32 (4), 258-284.

Finance Accreditation Agency. (2014). Talent development survey 2014. Retrieved from http://www.faa.org.my.

Greenan, J. P., Wu, M., Ramli Mustapha & Ncube, L. (1998). Attitudes and motivations of vocational teachers regarding program improvement. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 35(3), 6-23.

Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR). (2017). Leadership in Islamic Banking and Finance. Edbiz Consulting, London.

Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR). (2013). Halal Industry and Islamic Finance. Edbiz Consulting, London.

Hall, M. Higson, H & Bullivant, N. (2009). The role of the undergraduate work placement in developing employment competences: Results from a 5 year study of employers. Aston Business School, Birmingham. http://www.decowe.com/ static/uploaded/htmlarea/files/Decowe_Hall_ Higson_and_Bullivant.pdf.

Hanapi, Z., & Nordin, M.S. (2014). Unemployment Among Malaysia graduates: Graduates’ attributes, Lecturers’ Competency and Quality of Education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112, 1056 – 1063.

Knight, P. and Yorke, M. (2004) Learning, Curriculum and Employability in Higher Education. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Lankard, B. A. (1994). Employers’ expectations of vocational education. Columbus, OH: The National Center for Research in Vocational Education, The Ohio State University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 376 273).

Lee, S., Yen, D., Havelka, D., & Koh, S. (2001). Evolution of IS professionals’ competency: An exploratory study. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 41(4), 21-30.

Lowden, K., Hall. S., Elliot, D., & Lewin, J. (2011). Employers Perceptions of the Employability Skills of New Graduates. Edge Foundation, London, UK.

Malaysian Islamic Finance Education Report (MIFER). (2015). Malaysia: Islamic Finance Education Report 2015, Universiti Utara Malaysia Press, Kedah Malaysia.

Mason, G. Williams, G. & Crammer, S. (2006). Employability skills initiatives in Higher Education: What Effects Do They Have on Graduate Labour Market Outcomes? Education Economics, 17(1), 1–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09645290802028315.

Matsouka, K. & Mihail, D.M. (2016). Graduates’ employability: What do graduates and employers think? Industry and Higher Education, 30(5), 321-326. DOI: 10.1177/0950422216663719.

Mills, J.E. & Birks, M. (2014). Qualitative Methodology: A Practical Guide. Sage Publications. DOI: 10.4135/9781473920163.

Ministry of Education Malaysia. (2018). Statistik Pendidikan Tinggi 2018. Putrajaya Malaysia.

Mobley, C. D. (1998). North Carolina employers’ perceptions of essential skills for entry-level employment of high schools graduates: Implications for educational leadership. Doctoral dissertation, East Carolina University.

Mohd, A.I., A. Afthanorhan and Z. Awang. (2016). Talent development model for a career in Islamic banking institutions: A sem approach. Cogent Business & Management, 3(1). Doi.org/10.1080/23311975.2016.1186259.

Ngoo, Y.T., Tiong, K. M., & Pok, W. F. (2015). Bridging the Gap of Perceived Skills between Employers and Accounting Graduates in Malaysia. American Journal of Economics 5(2), 98-104. DOI:10.5923/c.economics.201501.09.

Nooriah Yusof & Zakiyah Jamaluddin. (2015). Graduate employability and preparedness: A case study of University of Malaysia Perlis (UNIMAP), Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Society and Space, 11, 129-143.

Noor Suhailie, M.N. (2013). Higher Education and Graduates Employability Skills: What the Employer Think and Graduates Have? Master of Development Policy. KDI School of Public Policy and Management.

Oliva, A & Treelle, A. (2003). Key Competencies in and Across Social Fields: The Employers’ Perspective, (penyt, Rychen, D.S., Salganik, L.H., & McLaughlin, M.E. Definition and Selection of Key Competencies, Neuchâtel: Swiss Federal Statistical Office; 97-99

Omar, Noor Hazimah, Mazlan, Noor Hairul Azmil and Hashim, Noor Hasmahan. (2015). The study of employability skills levels among Islamic banking students. [Undergraduate Final Year Project Report] Universiti Malaysia Kelantan.

Quah, C.H., Nasurdin, A. Guok, E. C. & Ignatius, J. (2009). Are Foreign Trained Graduates Better Than Locals? E-Leader Tallinn, 1-10.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Corporation Malaysia. (2019). SME Annual Report 2018/2019. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tanius, E., Johari. H., Yulia, A., Siong, H.C., & Pazim, K.H. (2018). The Employability Skills Performance of Business Graduates in Malaysia: Do Employers, Graduates and Academicians Speak the Same Language? Asian Journal of Social Science, 9(1), 11-17. DOI: 10.18488/journal.1.2019.91.11.17.

The Edge Market. (2020). Malaysia Aug 2020 labour force expands but unemployment rate stays at 4.7%. Access from: https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/malaysia-unemployment-rate-remains-47-august-2020

Yee Ting Ngoo, Kui Ming Tiong, Wei Fong Pok. (2015). Bridging the Gap of Perceived Skills between Employers and Accounting Graduates in Malaysia. American Journal of Economics, 5(2), 98-104. DOI:10.5923/c.economics.201501.09.

UKCES. (2009). Intelligence Magazine Issue 9. http://www.ukces.org.uk/publications-andresources/newsletters/intelligence-issue-09.

Winterbotham, M., Vivian, D., Shury, J., Davies, B. and Kik, G. (2014) UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey 2013: UK Results. Evidence Report 81. UKCESS: London.




How to Cite

Nawai, N. (2021). EMPLOYERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS OF ISLAMIC BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION GRADUATES IN UNIVERSITI SAINS ISLAM MALAYSIA. International Journal of Islamic Economics and Finance Research, 4(1), 41 - 52. Retrieved from https://ijiefer.kuis.edu.my/ircief/article/view/47