- Mohd Razalli, Nur Liyana Yasmin
- Abdul Kadir, Mohd Ali Bahari
Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH) Vol 6 No 12 (2021)
The challenges faced by graduates in navigating the ever-evolving job market is an issue that has garnered attention for some time. In fact, back in 2020, a staggering 202,400 out of the 5.36 million graduates in Malaysia found themselves grappling with unemployment. Undoubtly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the various Movement Control Orders (MCO) were significant contributors to the surge of joblessness.
However, it was alarming to note that 16,000 graduates had already experienced over a year of unemployment. Hence, this puzzling situation has raised a pressing question. Why did these graduates not turn to entrepreneurship as an alternative path? Therefore, in response to this query, a dedicated researcher initiated a mission. This mission aimed to understand the intricate sociological factors that impact the career choices of these graduates. This study involved in-depth interviews with seven Bumiputera graduate entrepreneurs, shedding light on the motivations and cultural dynamics at play.
In this research endeavor, the researcher meticulously used purposive and snowball sampling techniques. These techniques were employed to assemble a diverse group of Bumiputera graduate entrepreneurs. Consequently, the findings of this investigation revealed a profound insight into the primary driving force behind pursuing a university education among these individuals: the quest for employment rather than entrepreneurial aspirations. Therefore, it became evident that the Bumiputera community did not inherently possess a deeply rooted entrepreneurial culture. Instead, their societal fabric was woven with a strong emphasis on working for established entities, thus deterring many from venturing into entrepreneurship.
A significant number of participants recognized the importance of social status and its role in building valuable social networks crucial for business development. However, a segment believed that social status was not imperative, as their entrepreneurial ambitions primarily focused on securing their livelihood. Furthermore, their prior work experiences proved instrumental in shaping their entrepreneurial journey, underscoring the significant influence of one’s professional past in steering them toward entrepreneurship.