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The expectations gap for engineering field in Malaysia in the 21st century

Alena Y.T. Tan (Monash University Sunway Campus, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Esyin Chew (Monash University Sunway Campus, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)
Vineetha Kalavally (Monash University Sunway Campus, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




This paper aims to explore the expectations of relevant stakeholders in the engineering field to better understand the demands of the twenty-first century. As the number of unemployed continues to grow in Malaysia, it is evident that as industries continue to develop, demands and new requirements for skilled workers change over time.


Through face-to-face interviews, the study explored the expectations of accreditation bodies, industry operators and academics in the engineering field.


Three major findings were documented: mismatch of expectations in engineering field across the stakeholders; the expected “must-have-skills” from the perspectives of the stakeholders; and the need to reassess how information transmission is cascaded to all stakeholders and remains relevant to market demand.

Research limitations/implications

It is recognized that the findings from this study may only be relevant to the engineering field and not to the other different disciplines, but the qualitative findings provide some key issues in understanding the gap between relevant stakeholders that may motivate future studies to further extend into the other disciplines.

Practical implications

With this mismatch drawn out clearly, all relevant stakeholders would be able to revisit and revaluate their existing strategy in addressing, cascading crucial information and equipping graduates with analytical skills to gain immediate employment in the market.


A clearer understanding on the expectations and the “must-have-skills” required in the engineering field in the twenty-first century.



This research was funded by Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS).


Tan, A.Y.T., Chew, E. and Kalavally, V. (2017), "The expectations gap for engineering field in Malaysia in the 21st century", On the Horizon, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 131-138.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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