PETALING JAYA - Fresh graduates are finding it tough to find work, even with postgraduate qualifications.
Nor Ezzatul Hanani Mohamed Rosli, 24, and Haja Maidin, 25, are worried about securing a job.
"We simply cannot compete with the growing number of experienced jobseekers. We are not choosy, nor are we asking for high salaries because we know that there are very few jobs available currently," Nor Ezzatul said.
She said some of her friends accepted jobs in unrelated fields for salaries as low as RM1,000 to gain experience.
"I would like to work in my hometown Kelantan, but chances of getting a lecturing position there are slim.
"I know of course mates who returned to their villages only to end up doing menial work," the fifth of seven children said.
Haja agreed, saying he had attended four interviews a few months before graduating, but was not successful in landing any jobs.
"The extended retirement age has really disrupted the country's 'work ecology' because fresh graduates like us now have nowhere to go," said Haja.
He said without a job, his only option was to continue studying.
The duo graduated with master's degrees from Universiti Sains Malaysia last month.
Executive secretary Jessica Bok, 35, who holds a professional qualification from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Admi-nistrators (ICSA), is putting on hold her plans to switch jobs until the market improves.
"I've been looking to leave for more than a year to try something new like corporate communications or human resources.
"But the time is just not right. It's tough, more so for those who want to move into new fields," she said.
MTUC president Khalid Atan said fresh graduates should consider jobs unrelated to their field of study.
"The shortage of jobs is not in all sectors. Fresh graduates must be prepared to adapt to the market demand.
"It's not what you are qualified in, but what you can actually do that's important," he said, adding that youngsters should not be afraid of changing professions.