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Research Study on Jobs Market Demand for Bachelor's Degree in Cambodia

Subcommittee of Cambodia Economic Research and Analysis
ACLEDA Institute of Business
Phnom Penh, September 6, 2019

1. Introduction

This report attempts to review on the jobs market demanded by potential sectors in Cambodia in order to supply the fields to meet jobs market needs in Cambodia.

Over the last two decades, Cambodia has achieved high economic growth, approximately 7%. Asian Development Bank Outlook 2017 reports that Cambodia's GDP is expected to increase 7.1% in 2017 and 2018 which is slightly higher than an estimated 7% in 2016. Its economic growth was contributed by four main sectors such as agriculture, industry, tourism, and service sectors. Growth in industry is projected at a slight higher rate of 10.8% and 6.7% in service sector driven by buoyant domestic demand tourism in 2017.

Particularly, tourism sector has shown strongly growth in Cambodia over the last decade. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council report in 2015, Cambodia's tourism industry contributed to Cambodia's GDP around KHR 20,504.6 Billion (29.9% of GDP) in 2014, and expected to rise by 6.5% to KHR 41,607.9 billion (28% of GDP) in 2015. Tourism created directly jobs around 985,000 jobs (11.7% of total employment) in 2014, and is expected to increase 1.6 million jobs in 2025. Moreover, it was huge indirectly jobs creation supported by the industry about 26.4% of total employment (2.2 million jobs), and expected to expand employment to 3.2 million jobs in 2025 (32.6% of total employment). Additionally, according to SOK CHAN (2017) cites from TITH CHANTHA, ministry secretary of state, the master plan for tourism development in Cambodia has already implemented at both provinces and the city. The plan included infrastructure development, clean and green resorts, well-managed social order, widening and building new roads to reach resorts, offering good services, quality, hospitality and manpower in the tourism sector.

Industry sector has presented positively growth about 7% (2009-2012), and continue increasing 9.3 % (2012-2018). Service sector has also notably grown from 4.7% (2009-2012) to 7.5 % (2012-2018). Employment growth has high growth approximately 7.79% (2009-2012) to 16.06% (2012-2015) for industry sector; while 8.76% (2009-2012) to 14.26% (2012-2015) for service sector (CHOEUN, 2016).

National Employment Agency (2016) studied on the current situation of labor market in Cambodia. This study is forecasted the annual number of new jobs growth from 2014 to 2019, which are shared by different sectors. The report results that trade sector creates highest annual new jobs about 64,580 jobs, followed by Garment (55,689 jobs), Hotel & Restaurants (55,181 jobs), Construction (36,836 jobs), and Transport & Communication (13,634 jobs).

Moreover, another study done by National Employment Agency surveyed on the employers' skills need in 2015 by interviewing 528 establishments about employment creation across 10 sectors, including Food and Beverage; Garment, Apparel and Footwear; Rubber and Plastics; Construction; Finance and Insurance; Accommodation; Transportation; Warehouse and Logistics; Human Health; Education; and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This study found that the biggest percentage increase of employment level was construction sector (40.8%), followed by the finance and insurance sector (38.0%) during 2011-2014. The same study also indicated that the overall employment growth rate across 10 sectors increased about 48,682 jobs between 2012 and August 2014. The overall employment expects to increase with a growth rate of 6.1% or the creation of about 28,000 additional jobs in 2015.

Interestingly, according to a new study done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveyed on 201 US companies about which degrees they look for most when hiring. The survey reported on the World Economic Forum Website in 2016 that computer science degree is the 2nd top bachelor's degree demand in the fourth Industrial Revolution Countries. This major is the top master's degree most demand in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Countries as well, which Cambodia is struggling to integrate herself to be a member of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Countries in 2024 (cited from Cambodia's Industrial Development Policy First Draft 2014-2014). So this skill will be much needed in Cambodia.

Source: World Economic Forum (Cited from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/02/which-degree-will-get-you-hired/)

2. Cambodia's Skills Challenge in Jobs Market

The goal for Cambodia is to become a middle-income country in 2030. This country introduces the industrial development policy to increase the country's industrial sector by aiming to add up 30% of GDP in 2025, compared with 24.1% in 2013 (Mark, 2016). To achieve this economically, Cambodia needs to diversity its exports base from garment into light manufacturing, electronics, food processing, and other higher-skilled and higher-skilled and better-educated workers (KAING, 2016).

Moreover, according to the PILY WONG, CEO of MDO Cambodia and Former VP of Cambodia's ICT (information and communication technology) Federation said that there is growing demand for more advanced computer and tech skills. He suggested that students should take courses that teach advanced courses on Java/net programming, network engineering, web development, mobile app development, and graphic design. These skills will be in higher demand as Cambodia integrates into the ASEAN economy.

Based on the DINGMAN gave an interview with KHMER TIMES Newspapers about Bridging Cambodia's Skills Gap. She emphasized that hospitality, trade, import/export, banking and education are most job vacancies nowadays and other sectors such as the information technology, automotive and construction are climbing very fast on the listing vacancies today, and in the future.

However, the main challenge in shift towards a more light manufacturing-driven economy is the skills and human resource gaps that exist. Especially, the new booming sectors (manufacturing, tourism, and construction) create new jobs, which skilled labors are needed. Yet, employers in these sectors reported that graduate students' skilled labors don't respond their needs (NEA, 2016).

Specifically, employers are difficult to find employees to fill the positions. Accommodation, logistics, warehousing and transportation are the hardest sectors to find the skilled labors to fill vacancies, 53.5% and 45.7% respectively. Food and Beverage (33.2%), ICT (17.4%), and Insurance (15.6%) have shown significantly skilled shortages to fill in these sectors (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Share of hard-to-fill vacancies by sector, 2015.

Cambodia's Information Technology (CIT) sector has also seen positively grown due to an increasing prosperity and growth in both manufacturing and agriculture industry. This leads to increase the demands on IT sector for providing the modern IT solution for other non-technology businesses (Markova & Wray, 2016). However, IT sector is facing an enormous skills gap that is lowering the industry's development. Markova and Wray (2016) studied on the Cambodian IT industry skills for a digital economy. This study surveyed on 21 IT-focused businesses and 63 IT students in Cambodia. The study found that 75% of businesses interviewed were unable to hire competent IT staff at entry level, and importantly IT project manager and team leader. The IT course is very needed in this sector.

3. Recommendation Opening More Majors at HEIs

From above literature reviews, I would like to give a suggestion for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) management team to consider about opening more majors in a respond to the skilled shortage and future labor market demand in Cambodia.

The following suggested courses are also greatly consistent with the ministry of education, sport and youth Education Policies; along with Cambodia’s current economy development. Each of new suggested majors provides the career guidance after graduating the courses. There are 5 majors such as International Trade, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Risk Management Insurance, Business Information Technology, and E-commerce Management; which these majors are under the Department of Business Administration. The second department is Department of Tourism and Hotel management; which should be offered 2 majors (Hotel Management and Tourism Management). The third department is Department of Science, which should be offered 2 majors (Computer Science and Information Technology). The detail information is as following:

3.1 Department of Business Administration

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in International Trade
    Career Guidance
    • Import-Export officer/agent
    • International sales and marketing
    • Purchasing officer
    • Supply chain management
    • Foreign currency investment advisor
    • International banker
    • Contract manager
    • Global logistics manager
    • International banker
    • Commodities broker
    • International trade buyers
    • Trade consultant
    • Trade compliance law specialist
    • Exporters or Importers
    • International securities analyst
    • Foreign service officer
    • Etc.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
    Career Guidance
    • Shipping and packing clerks
    • Stock and freight clerks
    • Managers for operations, labor, transportation, distribution, and storage
    • Customer service manager
    • International logistics manager
    • Inventory control manager
    • Inventory coordinator
    • Warehouse operations manager
    • Logistics manager
    • Logistics services
    • Logistics software manager
    • Materials manager
    • Production manager
    • Purchasing manager
    • Supply chain manager
    • Systems support manager
    • Transportation manager
    • Procurement manager
    • Etc.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management & Insurance
    Career Guidance
    • Insurance underwriters
    • Claims administrator
    • Investment manager
    • Insurance sales agents
    • Broker companies
    • Insurance claims and policy processing clerks
    • Actuary
    • Risk Insurance claims manager
    • Risk control specialist
    • Insurance carrier marketing
    • Financial advisor/planner
    • Risk analyst/appraisal
    • Etc.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Information Technology
    Career Guidance
    • Business systems analysts
    • IT project managers
    • Information systems analysts
    • E-Business designers
    • Web application developer
    • Mobile app development
    • Software engineer
    • Business IT consultant
    • Software system tester
    • Database administrator
    • Technical and network supporter
    • Chief information officers
    • Etc.
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in E-Commerce Management
    Career Guidance
    • Web Developers and Webmaster
    • Advertising and promotions managers
    • Online store owner
    • E-commerce consultant
    • Systems design
    • Online marketing
    • Microcomputers
    • Strategic planning
    • Network design
    • E-Business analyst
    • Administrative executive
    • E-Business project manager
    • Business Owner
    • Etc.

3.2 Department of Tourism and Hotel Management

  • Bachelor of Arts in Hotel Management
    Career Guidance
    • Club Management
    • Hospital administration and catering
    • Airline catering and cabin services
    • Forest lodges
    • Hotel and catering institutes
    • Hotel and tourism associations
    • Hotel and restaurant management
    • Fast food joint management
    • Manufacturers and suppliers of hotel and restaurant equipment and services
    • In food, confectionery, beverage production industries
    • Etc.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Management
    Career Guidance
    • Travel agencies
    • Lodging manager
    • Travel coordinator
    • Congress and fair organizer
    • Airlines
    • Holiday resorts
    • Business consulting
    • Hotel manager
    • Restaurant manager
    • Tour manager
    • Food and beverage manager
    • Tourist information Centre
    • Supervisor
    • Resort manager
    • Property manager
    • Hotel operations
    • Front office reception
    • Spa and Wellness management
    • Concerts, festivals and Exhibitions
    • Start your own business
    • Etc.

3.3 Department of Information and Technology

  • Bachelor of science in Computer Science
    Career Guidance
    • Application analyst
    • Business analyst
    • Data analyst
    • Database administrator
    • Games developer
    • Information systems manager
    • IT consultant
    • Computer systems analyst
    • Computer programmer
    • Multimedia programmer
    • SEO specialist
    • Systems analyst
    • Systems developer
    • Web designer
    • IT sales professional
    • IT trainer
    • Network engineer
    • Product manager
    • Social media manager
    • Software developer
    • Etc.
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
    Career Guidance
    • IT analysts
    • Programmers
    • Graphic designers
    • Hardware and software technicians
    • IT management
    • Application analyst
    • Applications developer
    • Data analyst
    • Database administrator
    • Web designer
    • Web Developer
    • Information security specialist
    • Information system manager
    • IT consultant
    • IT sales professional
    • IT Technical support officer
    • IT Trainer
    • Network engineer
    • Software tester
    • Systems analyst
    • Systems developer
    • Etc.


  • ADB. (2017, July 06). ADB Forecasts Cambodia's Economic Growth to Remain Robust. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/news/adb-forecasts-cambodias- economic-growth-remain-robust
  • Chan, S. (2017, April 12). Master Plan for Tourism Development. Retrieved from http://www.khmertimeskh. com/news/37450/master-plan-for-tourism-development/
  • Choeun, H. (2016). Cambodia Labor Market Information System and Public Employment Service. National Employment Agency, Cambodia.
  • KUOCH, S. (2017). ACAC As TVET And Long-term Support Of Molvt: Policies And Strategies. National Employment Agency of Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, Phnom Penh.
  • Kaing, S. (2016). STEM Education in Cambodia. Working Paper. Retrieved from DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2. 36444.59524
  • Mark. (2016). Cambodia's Skills Challenge; Bridging the Gap. Retrieved
  • From ASEAN Forum: http://aseanforum.asia/cambodias-skills-challenge-bridging-the-gap-2/.
  • Markova, J., Wray, C. (2016). Cambodian IT Industry: Skills for a Digital Economy. Digital Rain.
  • National Employment Agency (2016). Skills Shortages and Skills Gaps in The Cambodian Labor Market: Evidence from Employer Skills Needs Survey 2015. National Employment Agency. Phnom Penh.
  • World Travel & Tourism Council (2015). Travel and Tourism: Economic Impact 2015 Cambodia, London.
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