Monday 16 July 2018

60pc of fresh graduates in Mena 'want to work in UAE'

DUBAI, August 13, 2017

The UAE is perceived as the most attractive country by fresh graduates from the Mena region to work, according to a new study. Nearly six in 10 respondents (58 per cent) said they would relocate to the UAE for job opportunities.

Young job seekers and recent graduates continue to enter the job market in the Middle East and North Africa, competing for entry level jobs very actively, said the suvery titled “Fresh Graduates in the Mena”, launched by, a leading jobsite in the Middle East, and YouGov, a global online market research company.

More than half of UAE respondents (61 per cent) claimed that they found or plan to find their first job through leading online job sites. Further, almost half (49 per cent) of respondents in the UAE claim that they found their first job in less than six months, it said.  

Most attractive industries
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents in the UAE said that the most appealing industry for a career is engineering / design. This was closely followed by banking / finance (20 per cent) and advertising / marketing (20 per cent). These findings seemed to mirror the views of respondents when it came to which industries they see hiring the highest number of fresh graduates.

A quarter of respondents said that advertising / marketing (25 per cent), banking / finance (25 per cent), and IT (21 per cent) hire the highest number of fresh graduates in the UAE.

When asked why respondents think these industries employ more fresh graduates compared to others in the UAE, almost half (45 per cent) said that these industries believe fresh graduates have “lower expectation on salary”. This was followed by respondents believing that fresh graduates can “handle more challenges” (37 per cent) and that they are “more creative” (36 per cent).

Salaries, benefits
When selecting a job in the UAE, being passionate about the job itself emerged as the most important factor, according to 44 per cent of respondents. Just over one in 10 (11 per cent) also said that a well-known organisation was an important factor when selecting a job in the UAE.
Another 8 per cent of respondents also mentioned “opportunities for career progression” as an important attribute when selecting a job.

Salary expectations are varied in the UAE, with 30 per cent of respondents saying that they received or would expect to receive a salary between $751 and $1,500 in their first job. Another 30 per cent said they received or would expect to receive a salary that is higher than $1,501 in their first job. 28 per cent of respondents said they received or expect to receive a salary below $750, while 12 per cent said they don’t know or are not sure about their salary expectations.

In addition to a basic salary, other benefits that respondents expect include personal medical insurance (42 per cent), housing allowance / company provided accommodation (42 per cent), annual air ticket (40 per cent), and transportation allowance (36 per cent).

Choosing a field of study
One in four respondents residing in the UAE (25 per cent) have studied Engineering. Business / Commerce / Economics (20 per cent), Accounting / Finance (16 per cent), Sciences (9 per cent), and Information Technology (8 per cent) were also among the most popular subjects.

Over two thirds of fresh graduates (69 per cent) in the UAE said that they considered the availability of jobs in their potential field before deciding their major. Whereas less than one in three (31 per cent) said they did not consider job availability prior to their decision.

Respondents were asked if they believe they would have fared better in the job market with a different major or a different school. While 36 per cent said no, over one in four (28 per cent) said that they would have fared better with a different major and 25 per cent said that they would have fared better with a different major and a different school.

When it came to whether there was a link between the field respondents studied and where they are employed, surprisingly, half of fresh graduates who are employed (50 per cent) said that they were not employed in their field of study. The other half does, in fact, work in their field of study.

The role of higher education
The majority (80 per cent) of fresh graduates in the UAE said that they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of higher education they had received. Only 10 per cent said that they were somewhat or very dissatisfied and the rest of respondents (10 per cent) were neutral.

When it came to the role of higher education in preparing students for their industry of choice, 31 per cent of UAE respondents said their university helped “completely”, 18 per cent said it helped to “a large extent”,  and 31 per cent said it helped “but only to some extent”. 16 per cent said their university didn’t help them in this aspect, while the rest of the respondents (4 per cent) didn’t give their opinion.

As many as 41 per cent of fresh graduates in the UAE claimed that they received help from their Institute to find job opportunities during their time as college students, while 59 per cent said they didn’t receive any support.

For those who did receive help, the most common ways were career fairs (39 per cent), job announcements (35 per cent), help with CV and cover letter writing (34 per cent), and open days / campus recruitment (32 per cent).

Challenges faced by fresh graduates
When asked what challenges fresh graduates face most in the UAE, ‘finding a job’ emerged as the top challenge (68 per cent), this was followed by ‘discovering what we want to do in life’ (44 per cent) and ‘saving money’ (33 per cent).

When respondents were searching for a job the greatest challenges they faced included the fact that ‘employers were looking for candidates with previous work experience’ (52 per cent), this was followed by the challenge of ‘knowing how to approach the job search effectively’ (39 per cent) and knowing ‘where to find relevant jobs’ (36 per cent).
Suhail Masri, vice president of employer solutions,, said: "Fresh graduates seeking to secure their first job should take advantage of the numerous entry-level jobs, internships, as well as information about the job market that regularly provides. Today, and on any given day, over 10,000 jobs are available on our job site, nearly 5,000 of which are suitable for young job seekers and fresh graduates. For more than 17 years, we have been successfully designing solutions at to help employers find the most suitable young talent and help job seekers highlight their skills and gain more knowledge on how to approach the job search effectively.”

Respondents also said that industries are hesitant in hiring fresh graduates because they may lack the needed experience (75 per cent) as well as skills (36 per cent).

Respondents commented on what skills they believe are required to excel in the workplace, with more than half (58 per cent) saying communication skills. This was followed by computer skills (45 per cent), academic and technical skills (39 per cent), and flexibility / adaptability to change (32 per cent).
“Although fresh graduates are reportedly highly content with the quality of education they received, it seems that their institutions fell a bit short on preparing them for the job search, “ said Anjali Chhabra, Senior Research Manager, YouGov. “The survey shows that fresh graduates are finding a lot of value in searching for a job online as they look for opportunities in a competitive and crowded job market.”

Data for the 2017 ‘Fresh Graduates in the Mena Survey’ was collected online from June 21 to July 12. Results are based on a sample of 1,865 respondents. Countries that participated are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and others. - TradeArabia News Service


Tags: Employment | YouGov | Bayt |

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