Marketing, Banking, and Engineering Top 3 Industries Hiring Fresh Grads in the UAE

Tuesday 18 June 2019
Omar Tahboub, General Manager of
Dubai - MENA Herald:

The 2019 'Fresh Graduates in the Middle East and North Africa' survey, conducted by, the Middle East's leading career site, and market research agency YouGov, has found that the most popular tool cited by fresh graduates for finding a job is online job sites. Moreover, the most important attribute for fresh graduates when selecting a job is said to be ‘the nature of the work/being passionate about the job’.

73% of respondents say they’ve considered the job availability in the field they chose to major in prior to enrolment. At the same time, more than half of respondents (64%) who are currently employed work in their field of study, while 36% ended up working in a totally different field.

Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) fresh graduates in the UAE are satisfied with the quality of higher education they received. Qualification of teachers, curriculum, teaching methods applied, quality of infrastructure, technology usage, and value for money paid, were also rated positively by UAE respondents. The two most common fields of study pursued by fresh graduates were engineering (17%) and accounting/finance (16%).

Jobs for Fresh Graduates

A significant number of respondents (46%) 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%) is also considered an obstacle. That said, three in five respondents (68%) have managed to acquire work experience before or during college. Of these, 52% worked for a period of up to six months.

"The 2019 Fresh Graduates are highly satisfied with their higher education and very much prefer using online job sites for entering the workforce and building their career,” said Omar Tahboub, General Manager of “Our goal at is to arm these graduates with the right tools and information needed to thrive in today's ever-evolving employment sector. Entry-level candidates can easily utilize different tools on that are designed to build their CV, grow their skills and increase their professional knowledge. They can also apply to nearly 20,000 jobs that are available on our site currently.”

Most Attractive Industries and Skills in Demand

Based on the survey, in the UAE, the most appealing industries for fresh graduates from a career perspective are engineering & design (25%) and banking and finance (20%), advertising/ marketing/ public relations (18%) and government/ civil service (16%).

When it comes to industries that seem to be hiring the highest number of fresh graduates, UAE respondents listed advertising/marketing/ public relations (22%), followed by banking/finance (21%), and engineering & design (15%).

In terms of skills required to excel in the workplace, respondents mentioned both computer and communication skills (49%) as the most important, followed by academic and technical skills (37%), interpersonal/ team skills (34%) and Flexibility/ adaptability to change (30%).

Fresh graduates in the UAE consider their skills in communication (88%), computer (89%), academic and technical skills (83%), problem-solving and analytical thinking (83%), negotiation (74%), leadership (84%) and linguistics (68%), interpersonal and team playing skills (88%), and flexibility and adaptability to change (84%) to be ‘good’ or 'very good'.

Kerry McLaren at YouGov MENA said, “The 2019 Fresh Graduates in the MENA survey shows that more and more employers are opening their doors to fresh graduates, presenting a significant shift in what employers need in these 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 Fresh Graduates in the MENA survey was collected online from 18th April 2019 to 13th May 2019. Results are based on a sample of 1,582 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and others.

Related News