Global CIMA survey reveals Gen Y is ‘Generation Aspiration’

A new Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) survey shows an ambitious global generation aiming for professional success on their own terms. The global survey of more than 4,300 Gen Y finance professionals, representing a selection of countries including Malaysia, reveals:

• Gen Ys in Malaysia are generally more optimistic about their future employment prospects compared to their peers worldwide. On average, nationals expect to secure the most basic entry level position at the age of 18 whilst globally, the average age to do the same role type is anticipated to be 23.

• Percentages wise, Gen Ys in Malaysia are keener to kick start their professional career with a managerial role as their first job. Whilst 18% of young people across the world hope to join as a manager, 23% of the Malaysian respondents share the same hope.

• The average Malaysian respondent expects to become a middle manager by the age of 26 and a senior manager by 34 years of age. Internationally, the averages are 28 and 35 respectively.

• Fewer young people in Malaysia (12%) believe they or their families are personally responsible for their career training in comparison to their global peers (31%)

There is generally a stronger consensus (75%) amongst young Malaysians that the "big 4" or large multi-national corporations provide the fastest progression opportunities for an individual’s career development. Internationally, this view is supported by 60% of young people across the world.

Like their global counterparts, respondents in Malaysia are also keen to consider taking a professional qualification as one of the top three priority methods of improving their technical skills and knowledge. Similar to the UK findings, having a good relationship with colleagues in the workplace is very important to young Malaysians. Non-monetary values such as enjoying peace and harmony are key to the local culture.

Irene Teng, Regional Director of South East Asia and Australasia at CIMA, said:

“The CIMA survey shows an aspirational generation keen to climb the corporate ladder on their own terms. It is encouraging to see tomorrow’s generation aiming high and open to new experiences while maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

In this volatile climate, the value added by talented and ambitious people allows businesses to be competitive and resilient. Business leaders must match the aspirations of Gen Y by developing skills and providing satisfying jobs to seize this opportunity.”

CIMA is qualifying the next generation of business and finance leaders. The research looked into the aspirations of finance professionals in their 20s and 30s and how organisations can prepare for their employees of the future.