A study into career opportunities for fresh graduates found that job hunters believe UAE-based marketing and public relations firms are hiring the highest number of graduates, while across the wider Middle East and North Africa region, those quizzed cite PR as one of the top three most appealing jobs.
The 2019 'Fresh Graduates in the Middle East and North Africa' survey, conducted by Middle Eastern careers site Bayt.com and market research agency YouGov, found that the most appealing industries for fresh graduates from a career perspective are engineering & design (25 per cent) and banking and finance (20 per cent), followed by advertising/marketing/public relations (18 per cent) and government/civil service (16 per cent).
When it comes to industries that seem to be hiring the highest number of fresh graduates, UAE respondents listed advertising/marketing/ public relations (22 per cent), followed by banking/finance (21 per cent), and engineering & design (15 per cent).
In terms of skills required to excel in the workplace, respondents mentioned both computer and communication skills (49 per cent) as the most important, followed by academic and technical skills (37 per cent), interpersonal/team skills (34 per cent) and Flexibility/adaptability to change (30 per cent).
Fresh graduates in the UAE consider their skills in communication (88 per cent), computers (89 per cent), academic and technical skills (83 per cent), problem-solving and analytical thinking (83 per cent), negotiation (74 per cent), leadership (84 per cent), interpersonal and team-playing skills (88 per cent) to be ‘good’ or 'very good’.
Kerry McLaren, of YouGov MENA, said: "The 2019 survey shows that more and more employers are opening their doors to fresh graduates, presenting a significant shift in what employers need in this increasingly digital world.
"Our research reflects the preference of employers in hiring candidates who have already developed interpersonal and technological proficiencies, despite being new to the workforce. And this can, in turn, help shape the future of employment across the UAE."
Data for the 2019 Bayt.com Fresh Graduates in the MENA survey was collected online between April and May 2019. Results are based on a sample of 1,582 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and others.
The study also found that the most popular tool cited by fresh graduates for finding a job is online job sites.
About 73 per cent of respondents say they’ve considered the job availability in the field they chose to major in prior to enrolment. At the same time, nearly two thirds of respondents (64 per cent) who are currently employed work in their field of study, while 36 per cent ended up working in a totally different field.
A significant number of respondents (46 per cent) feel that the biggest challenge they face in finding a job is not knowing how to approach the job search effectively. Lack of previous work experience (35 per cent) is also considered an obstacle.
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