UAE best place to study and work, says survey
Dubai, November 24, 2013
With one out of every two transnational expatriates preferring to stay and work in the UAE after graduation, the country is truly an attractive destination for graduates to live and work, said a new study
The inaugural Qudurat Student Wave study was conducted by Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon, in partnership with Dubai International Academic City (DIAC).
Over 2,300 students, which included both UAE nationals and expatriates from 15 academic institutions in the UAE, took part in the research, making it one of the most comprehensive studies in the region.
More than 72 per cent of the students surveyed said they intended to stay and work in the UAE after graduating. One out of every two transnational expatriates – individuals who specifically came to the UAE to pursue their higher education – also said they would like to stay and work in the UAE.
The study is part of a pioneering research initiative known as Qudurat, meaning ’Capabilities’ in Arabic. It focuses on understanding the personal strengths, preferences and expectations of students with an emphasis on understanding what drives and motivates national talent in the world of work.
The other key findings from the study include:
•Even though the public sector emerged as the most popular avenue for employment for Emirati students – with53% of Emiratis opting for work in government sector – 7.6 per cent of the Emirati students indicated that they would like to join the private sector. About 32 per cent preferred pursuing further studies and just 3.6 per cent selected an entrepreneurial route.
•On the other hand, expatriate students largely preferred to pursue a career in the private sector.
•For Emirati students, career counsellors stood as the greatest source of career advice followed by their families.
•About 68 per cent of Emirati female students wanted to work upon graduation, with only three wanting to become a homemaker.
•Emirati students preferred to find work in management and support function roles, such as marketing, HR or administration, over more technical fields such as medicine, engineering and banking.
•Students chose pay and benefits as the most important criteria for selecting their job closely followed by personal convenience and growth opportunities. For expatriate students, the growth opportunities available to them emerged as the single most important criteria for selecting a job.
•Overall, student expectations for growth in their careers are high. About 45 per cent of students expected to be a departmental head in the next 10 years and 11 per cent expected to be a CEO.
•When considering what should determinepay, expatriate students expected to be differentiated based on the quality of their experience on the job, whereas Emirati students expected their academic qualifications to be thekey driver.
The survey findings were officially revealed during an event hosted by Aon Hewitt and DIAC. The panel discussion was attended by Dr Ayoub Kazim, the managing director of Tecom Investments’ Education Cluster which includes Dubai Knowledge Village and DIAC; Dr Markus Wiesner, the CEO of Aon Hewitt Middle East; Dr RK Mittal, the director of Dubai Campus, BITS Pilani University and Iman Al Qasim, the deputy VP, Human Resources & Administration, Dolphin Energy.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Kazim said: "We are committed to building a skilled and competitive future UAE workforce by offering students quality higher education that is tailored to the needs of industries and the economy. Armed with the information in this survey, DIAC can continue to customise its offering to better prepare students for the unique workplace challenges typical to this region."
“This study will be valuable to governmental institutions, private sector organisations, academic institutions, and other stakeholders looking to advance the UAE’s future talent pool in diverse capacities.”
Dr Wiesner pointed out that the Middle East was a unique labour market and hence policy makers, business leaders and HR professionals must ‘localize’ their strategy and approach to work within this context.
"The findings from the study will help employers understand the key engagement drivers for the new generation of national and expatriate talent entering the workforce and help derive an attractive value proposition to recruit, retain and engage university graduates in the future," he added.-TradeArabia News Service