5 Megatrends Informing Business and Job Opportunities

Transformation and volatility have become the norm in the modern business world. Huge global shifts in trade flows, growing concern around sustainability, new technology, and shifting socio-economic conditions are creating new challenges and job opportunities for people and businesses in Malaysia.

In the changing world of work, these global megatrends can have a remarkable impact on your own career pathway, leading to changing jobs and new and exciting potential. That’s why our own 100% online Master of Business Administration is designed to prepare you for these shifts, creating sustainable future leaders who can adapt in a changing world of business.

Whether you’re considering a career change or just a responsible leader looking to understand the trends of tomorrow, here are five megatrends informing future job and business opportunities.

1. Evolving trade flows

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified existing trade flow transitions, leading to a repositioning of the global value chain. Major markets such as the EU and US are now reconsidering their trade patterns, looking to localise some key products and materials to avoid future disruption, at the same time shifting away from a previous reliance on China as a major source of imports. Sanctions and trade shifts resulting from the Russian-Ukraine conflict are also amplifying this trend.

These shifts have significant implications for Malaysia, and the strategic business decisions around export markets and partnerships, particularly for Malaysia’s valuable manufacturing sector. Analysis by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) indicates that the ASEAN region could generate up to USD600 billion a year in additional manufacturing output by 2030, increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) into the sector by USD22 billion and unlocking 140,000 new jobs.

That’s just one clear example of the remarkable global shift taking place. A business leader of tomorrow needs to recognise and respond to these shifts, a key part of the Foresight Leadership and Management module of our online MBA. In a changing world, leaders need to be prepared to adapt.

2. Digitalisation is diving deeper

Digital transformation has been growing its roots across businesses ever deeper over the last decade, and has been further catalysed by COVID-19. Businesses were forced to rapidly pivot to remote working and digital environments to maintain business continuity, and at the same time, consumers were faced with an enforced transition that has boosted familiarity with digital tools and platforms.

Preparing for the Digital Age is the foundation of our forward-looking MBA strategy, with modules such as Managing Technology and Innovation, Leading in the Age of Digital Disruption, and Design Thinking and Creative Problem Solving that provide you with a platform to understand and embrace value-generating digital technologies and techniques.

A report by the World Economic Forum projected that digital transformation could unlock USD100 trillion of global value by 2030. Embracing that potential is fundamental for successful business leaders.

3. Changing populations

Demographic shifts are transforming consumer markets and needs, creating new strategic considerations for business leaders in Malaysia and beyond. Southeast Asia’s urban population increased from 26 million in 1950 to almost 300 million by 2014. Around half of the region’s population today live in cities, with estimates that an additional 70 million will be urban residents by 2025.

These growing urban consumers will have changing spending patterns and needs, further complemented by expanding middle-income consumer groups as rising incomes drive regional growth. Businesses will benefit from data-driven approaches to understand and adapt to these changing populations, with offers that target the needs of more affluent urban consumers.

Businesses will also need to recognise how changing age demographics might impact performance, particularly in nations such as Singapore. In Malaysia, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over increased from 7% to 7.4% between 2020 and 2021, showing the direction of travel. Modules such as Economics and Quantitative Analysis in our 100% online MBA will provide the understanding to help you analyse and adapt to these shifting demographics.

4. The sustainability shift

Sustainability can no longer be a buzzword for business. Net-zero targets by major economies such as China and the US mean that emissions are an integral part of any business strategy. If you can’t demonstrate efforts to reduce emissions, your ability to remain competitive in a global marketplace will fall.

An estimated 90% of global GDP is now represented by economies with net-zero targets. At the same time, multinational corporations have widespread sustainability pledges that will impact supply chains. Operating in this landscape requires companies to address their own sustainability agenda if they’re to comply with growing expectations around carbon emissions, and environmental and social responsibility.

The Strategy Frameworks and Sustainability module of our MBA is designed for leaders to develop competitive and sustainable strategies in this rapidly changing business ecosystem. This strategic insight is critical to succeed in an environment with a spotlight on sustainability.

5. Automation unlocking opportunities

Automation could displace up to 4.5 million workers in Malaysia by 2030, according to research by McKinsey, marketing a global megatrend driving us towards a world of automation.

The global impact will be significant, with the World Economic Forum projecting that business automation and changing divisions of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million jobs globally in medium and large businesses by 2025, with 97 million new jobs created. This changing jobs landscape will require strategic consideration by leaders, who will need to support upskilling and transitioning staff while seeking ways to adopt and embrace innovative new technologies.

The Managing Technology and Innovation module of our online MBA is designed to provide the skills to assess, understand, and adapt to this changing innovation landscape, while the People and Organisations module will help you adopt a collaborative and informed approach to organisational behaviour during this momentous work shift.

These trends are constantly evolving. That means you need a course that teaches you to adapt. Our 100% online MBA will provide you with the skills and confidence to excel in this landscape, creating a responsive, sustainable leader ready for the challenges of a changing world of work.