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Majority UAE graduates prefer online job sites

DUBAI, July 12, 2015

Seventy-seven per cent of fresh graduates living in the UAE used or plan to use leading online job sites when pursuing their first job, a report said.

The majority of respondents also state that finding a job is the biggest challenge of their generation; in line with this, 74 per cent are leaning towards entrepreneurship as a potential future career option, according to the survey ‘Fresh Graduates in Mena’ conducted by Bayt.com, a leading career site in the Middle East and market research agency YouGov.

The study has also revealed that 29 per cent of UAE respondents obtained their most recent qualification in the UAE, followed by India, at 28 per cent. The two most common fields of study pursued by respondents were engineering (28 per cent) and accounting/finance (21 per cent). Most graduates living in the UAE (74 per cent) were satisfied with the quality of higher education they received; in fact, 60 per cent consider the preparation it gave them for the workplace to be ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

Qualification of teachers (83 per cent), curriculum (74 per cent), teaching methods applied (71 per cent), quality of infrastructure (68 per cent), technology usage (66 per cent), and value for money paid (65 per cent),  are also rated positively by UAE respondents.

A third of fresh graduates living in the UAE (34 per cent) do not feel that they would have fared better in the job market if they had chosen a different major or different school, with 66 per cent admitting to having considered the job availability in the field they chose to major in prior to enrolment. In contrast, 29 per cent of working UAE respondents ended up working in a totally different industry.

Based on the survey, in the UAE, the most appealing industries from a career perspective are engineering and design (27 per cent) and banking and finance (25 per cent). Business consultancy, business management and management consulting (19 per cent) and oil, gas & petrochemicals (16 per cent) are also popular industries among UAE fresh graduates. Fortunately, three-quarters of respondents (75 per cent) claim that their education prepared them to target the industry of their choice.

For almost half of UAE respondents (48 per cent), the most important attribute when selecting a job is experience in the field they want to work in. While most UAE respondents (77 per cent) rely on leading online job sites to search for employment opportunities, direct applications to target companies (58 per cent) and a resourceful network of family and friends (56 per cent) are also highly valued and used.

Up to 44 per cent of fresh graduates living in the UAE state that landing their first job was/will be ‘very difficult’. Most respondents (75 per cent) feel that the biggest challenge they face in finding a job is the fact that employers are looking for candidates with previous experience. Knowing where to find relevant jobs and how to approach the job search effectively are also considered to be challenges by 38 per cent and 32 per cent of them, respectively.

Seventeen per cent of UAE respondents claim that it took/ will take less than 3 months for them to find their first job. For 33 per cent of them, the job search lasted/ will last between 3 and 12 months, while only 6 per cent got or are expecting to get a job directly through campus placements. A third of UAE respondents (33 per cent) stayed or anticipate staying in their first job for 1-2 years.

Salary expectations for fresh graduates living in the UAE are high; 23 per cent expect to receive/have received between $2001-3000, while 19 per cent anticipate a salary between $1,001-1,500. A large portion (86 per cent) of UAE respondents expect to be offered/were offered a basic salary. Fifty-two per cent are also looking to receive/have received personal medical insurance and 41 per cent anticipate both housing and transport allowance. 40 per cent expect a personal annual air ticket.

According to 73 per cent of UAE respondents, their college or university did not help them identify job opportunities. Overall, 59 per cent of graduates living in the UAE acquired work experience either before or during their time at university.

The survey has revealed that 70 per cent of UAE respondents are planning to pursue higher education, with the UK (32 per cent) being the most popular destination to do so outside of their country of residence, followed by the US (30 per cent). Graduates are also eager to travel abroad for employment purposes, with 65 per cent saying that they might consider moving elsewhere for a job.

When asked what challenges fresh graduates face the most, 36 per cent disclosed that discovering what they wanted to do in life is difficult while 34 per cent said that saving money is a major challenge for them. 68 per cent claim that there is a low availability of jobs for fresh graduates in the UAE. However, 58 per cent are optimistic that their generation has better career and educational opportunities in comparison to their parents’ generation.

Fifty-four per cent of fresh graduates living in the UAE consider communication skills to be among the most important skills required to excel in the workplace, followed by computer skills (48 per cent), and academic and technical skills (41 per cent).

Fresh graduates in the UAE consider their skills in negotiation (51 per cent), leadership (49 per cent), linguistics (44 per cent), communications (44 per cent), problem-solving and analytical thinking (48 per cent), academic and technical skills (59 per cent), and computers (44 per cent) to be ‘good’. Moreover, they consider themselves to have ‘very good’ interpersonal and team playing skills (48 per cent), and flexibility (46 per cent).

“The 2015 Bayt.com Fresh Graduates in the Middle East and North Africa survey reveals that finding a job of their liking is proving difficult for fresh graduates in the UAE,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, Bayt.com.

“While most of these young job seekers firmly believe that their lack of experience is what is jeopardizing their job search, results from our extensive research into the Mena region’s employment sector disagree with that assumption. The truth is, employers in the UAE are increasingly tapping into the graduate talent pool; they are looking for capable individuals who can seamlessly transition from academia to industry, regardless of their level of experience.”

“For them to increase their eligibility, young job seekers need to focus on fine-tuning both their transferable skills and leadership prowess, via hands-on internship experiences or specialized courses,” Masri added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Salary | Bayt.com | YouGov | Job site | Online job search |

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