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Food delivery rider confesses to Post-PhD Depression, M’sians online offer valuable advice

Food delivery rider confesses to Post-PhD Depression, M’sians online offer valuable advice

The government says that we need more science graduates.

Headlines pop up all the time with calls for more scientists and engineers in Malaysia.

But our knowledgeable graduates have only one thing to say
to that: “No one is hiring us.”

Credit: primzahl/Imgur

Youth unemployment is a serious issue and we’ve read many
tales of talented and skilled youth resorting to food delivery just to make
ends meet.

We’re once again confronted with this sad reality when a tale titled “Post-PhD Depression” shared on the IIUM confessions page went viral.

In the story signed off by “Grabfood PhD Holder”, the Bioprocess researcher recounts how he could not land a job despite earning his PhD in 2017.

At every job interview, the confessor was rejected for being “overqualified”. When they tried to hide their academic qualifications, the 8-year post-degree gap becomes a point of fault.

“I’m a man, almost 32 years old. With no stable job, no stable income. I’m get increasingly scared of the coming days. I feel bad for my mum and dad.

At the age of 32, I should be able to financially provide for their daily necessities so that they don’t have to worry. There are 3 younger siblings who have not finished school that my parents need to support.

Me? Only be able to sustain myself. I’m sorry, mum, dad and my younger siblings.”

Grabfood PhD Holder

He also expressed regret of wasting 8 years on his Masters and PhD, valuable time that could’ve been used to build his career from scratch.

“I just realised that my friends are starting to succeed in life. I am 8 years behind.

Grabfood PhD Holder

The mournful confession ends with words of advice and
caution to not pursue a postgraduate degree directly after graduating. In his
words: It’s. Not. Worth. It.

“I would say postgrad is only suitable for working people with lots of experience and expert in certain field.”

“Lecturers & Professor also should stop aiming fresh grad student to be their postgrad student. Please encourage them to work and gain experience first.”

Grabfood PhD Holder

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Credit: ME.ME

The sobering confession garnered scores of reactions online, many were felt sorry for him and Malaysians also took the opportunity to share valuable advice to those seeking to further their education.

Screenshot from Twitter

Translation: “As a postgrad student, I can say it’s not worth it to continue right after degree if you are not interested in academics. If you want to be an educator/researcher after degree, continue with postgrad. If you want to work in the industry, gain work experience first. Posgrad can wait.”

Screenshot from Twitter
Screenshot from Twitter

Translation: “One of my lectures has said, work for at least a year to gain experience. Then, do your Masters.”

Screenshot from Twitter
Screenshot from Twitter

Translation: “I agree with this bro.
Student intake should be reviewed. Do not make the university a Master and PhD factory. Encourage students to work after their degree. Only continue learning when there is a full time job to improve your career.”


While this may be a sad reality of the current job market, things may change as Malaysian public universities have recently dropped 38 “irrelevant” courses, which are mainly in science and engineering.

The move would ease the youth unemployment for the future, current unemployed graduates have the Graduates@Work initiative announced at Budget 2020 to hopefully solve their problems.

What do you think of this situation? Share your words of advice on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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