The 2022 Fresh Graduates in the MENA Survey by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s #1 job site, and market research agency YouGov, was conducted to help identify which industries are most appealing to fresh graduates in the MENA region and to describe some of the challenges young job seekers face when looking for a job.
Interestingly, almost 9 in 10 fresh graduates (88%) in the UAE are satisfied with the quality of higher education they received, and 84% said that their education has prepared them to target the industry of their choice.
Top Hiring Industries
This year, many industries in the UAE are thriving with new career opportunities for fresh graduates. Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations (24%), Banking/ Finance (14%) and Healthcare/ Medical Services (14%) emerged as the top hiring sectors.
Lower salary expectations (45%) is the main reason why respondents believe that some industries hire more fresh graduates than others, while 39% believe that certain industries hire more young graduates because they are able to handle challenges.
In the UAE, Advertising/ Marketing/ Public Relations (19%) and Engineering/ Design (18%) emerge as the most appealing industries to fresh graduates from a career point of view, followed by Banking/ Finance (17%).
Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at Bayt.com says: “The Fresh Graduates Survey depicts the perceptions of young job seekers and recent graduates across the MENA region in regards to the job market, the most attractive industries, as well how this group envisions their careers. Fresh graduates can easily utilize different tools on Bayt.com that are designed to build their CV, develop their skills and increase their professional knowledge.”
Most In-Demand Skills in the Workplace
When asked about the top skills required to excel in the workplace, respondents mentioned computer skills (51%) as most important, followed by communication skills (45%) and interpersonal/ team playing skills (36%). In terms of their own personal skills, respondents consider their interpersonal/ team playing skills (93%), communication skills (93%), and flexibility/ adaptability to change (90%) to be ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
Jobs for Fresh Graduates
Most UAE graduates (44%) feel that the biggest challenge they face when searching for a job is lack of previous work experience. Not knowing how to approach the job search effectively (41%) is also considered an obstacle. That said, over three-quarters (76%) of graduates said they acquired work experience during or before their time in college.
The nature of the job/ being passionate about the job (39%) emerges as the single most important factor for UAE respondents when selecting a job. Over three-quarters (77%) of fresh graduates expect to be offered a basic salary for their first job and 54% expect to get personal medical insurance.
When asked what they will do if they do not find a job in their exact target job role/ industry, half of the MENA fresh graduates said they will keep looking until they do, while 29% said they will start looking into another role/ industry.
Zafar Shah, Research Director at YouGov said: “The Fresh Graduates Survey provides the timely insights needed to optimize recruiters’ hiring efforts against the needs of fresh graduates in the region. The data 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.”
Data for the Fresh Graduates in the MENA Survey was collected online between 9 March and 16 April, 2022. Results are based on a sample of 1,141 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya among others.