Telenor Group survey: Myanmar's millennials assess future careers, digital technology impact and robotic replacement risk

  • Six-nation online survey reveals Myanmar’s youth are ‘excited’ for future digital job prospects but still prioritize human-centered skills when it comes to workplaces of 2020

(YANGON/OSLO) 22nd September, 2016 – Telenor Group today released the results of a pilot online survey across six nations in Asia, including Myanmar, assessing millennials’ attitudes about their future career, technology’s impact and the skills they need to be best prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. The results indicate that Myanmar’s and Asia’s young adults embrace the importance of technology yet see career success as requiring both technical and human skills. Results show a strong enthusiasm for digital jobs, even with 100% of respondents saying robots in the workplace will be a part of our future.

The multi-market ‘Jobs of the Future’ survey obtained 4,200 respondents aged 15 to 25, in Myanmar, Bangladesh Singapore, Malaysia, India and Pakistan. It was conducted via targeting through the Telenor Group Facebook with a sample size of 700 secondary school, or university students per market used in the results analysis.

“Our Facebook channel reaches an active, young – and largely Asian – following, so we felt that this would be a great place to pilot such a survey,” said Sheena Lim, Director of Social Media, Telenor Group. “We thought this would combine the fun, engaging side of social media surveys with potentially interesting insights into Asian youth attitudes on technology and their future careers.”

Myanmar’s youth: Digital technology intriguing key to future careers

In Myanmar, 69% of millennials said they were ‘excited’ about future opportunities in the internet and digital sectors, while the smallest category was the 13% that said they were ‘cautiously excited.’ They also mirrored the average of 63% of youth aggregated in all six nations saying that mobile/internet technology will be ‘important’ in their career by 2020, with 40% in Myanmar saying it will be ‘very important.’ While only two percent said that technology is ‘not really important’ for their futures.

Build human skills, too

The surveyed youth in all but one of the countries agreed that non-technical skills will also be important for jobs of the future. Nearly one in three of Myanmar’s youth leaned toward ‘creativity, cognitive flexibility’ (29%). The highest numbers of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi youth maintained that the most important skills to a great future jobs will be the ‘ability to inspire others, and leadership capability’ (37%, 36%, 34% respectively). More than one in four of the surveyed Singaporean youth regard ‘people management and emotional intelligence’ as the most crucial (27%). The standout in this category was Malaysia, where 24% of the surveyed stated that tech-related ‘mobile and web development, and super coding skills,’ were the most important. The skills that millennials in Myanmar rated as the least important future job skills are: data analysis, research and interpretation (9%).

Robots will replace humans in many future professions

All of the Myanmar youth surveyed agreed that robots will replace humans in many future professions, as did all the participating countries. On which jobs robots would most likely replace humans in, 41% of local respondents predicted that the manufacturing and engineering industries would see the most machine takeovers.

The other surveyed nations were united with this sentiment that robots will replace humans in these two industries, with Malaysia and Bangladesh both at 44%, followed by 38% in Singapore and India, and 34% in Pakistan.

What Asia’s youth think they bring to the career table

When youth were asked to describe the qualities that best encapsulate themselves as young thinkers and students, most in Myanmar (30%) and India (24%) stated they were ‘highly creative, intuitive thinkers.’ The largest group in Pakistan (24%) described themselves as armed with ‘strategic vision and big-picture mindsets. ’ In comparison, most youth in Singapore (32%), Bangladesh (26%) and Malaysia (24%) chose to say they were ‘compassionate with a sense of justice and a desire to protect.’ Those in Myanmar were least likely (13%) to say they were equipped with ‘mathematical prowess and advanced analytical skills,’ as were those in India (13%), and Bangladesh (14%).

Hungry for technology and human connections

Myanmar’s millennials also appeared enthusiastic for a technology-driven future. Youth in Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India all agreed with the statement: ‘It’s important to understand all kinds of technology – I want to know as much as I can!,’ with Myanmar topping the scale at 34% of respondents. Singapore and Malaysia admire the human aspects of technology; with 31% of Singaporeans and 28% of Malaysians saying that the best thing about the internet is that it ‘connects us to all kinds of people and ideas.’

“It’s fascinating to see that young adults not only revere technology and the opportunities it presents them, but also see themselves as ‘compassionate’, and ‘highly creative’. The fact they are aligned in not only believing that technology and the internet are crucial for their careers, but that they are excited about this, is very motivating to us. They reflect the way Telenor Group views Asia—as a vibrant region with talented and promising youth who look to make meaningful contributions in their jobs of the future,” said Yasu Sato, Head of Digital Capabilities, People Development, Telenor Group.


Alex Nyi Nyi Aung
Corporate Communications,
Tel: +95 9 79 100 0006


Marcus Adaktusson
Tel: +65 9879 5730


About Telenor Group

Telenor Group is one of the world’s major mobile operators with close to 200 million subscribers. Our #MoreThan 33,000 employees across 13 countries in Europe and Asia work each day to provide connectivity and to make a real difference for people, business and society.

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