Three Quarters Of North African Graduates Concider Entrepreneurship, Says Study


A new survey entitled “Fresh Graduates in the Middle East and North Africa” by jobs website and market research agency YouGov has revealed that 73 per cent of graduates in UAE consider entrepreneurship as a valuable option, with the believe that finding a job is a challenge.

“It’s interesting that most graduates feel that the biggest challenge is that employers are looking for candidates with previous experience, when in fact, our research constantly proves that many employers in the MENA are heavily hiring fresh graduates,” Suhail Masri, VP of Sales, informed Emirates.

Graduates were surveyed online since May 26-June 26, 2014, with 1,586 respondents from UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Despite the quality of the teaching methods, quality of infrastructure, sufficient technology usage for teaching, value for money paid, curriculum and qualification of teachers considered to be ‘good’ by UAE graduates, four fifths (81 per cent) claimed that jobs were hard to find, they found.

According to one fifth of UAE graduates, the most appealing industries from a career point of view are banking and finance, business consultancy, business management or management consulting, and advertising and marketing. A third of respondents said that their education prepared them to target the industry of their choice to ‘a large extent’.

Some 74 per cent of respondents noted that their college or university did not help them to identify job opportunities. For those whose colleges assisted them,60 per cent were assisted by job announcements  and career fairs helped them. Almost seven in 10 respondents acquired work experience either before or during their time at university, with 36 per cent having spent 1-6 months in a work placement.

Three quarters (70 per cent) graduates felt that the biggest challenge they face in finding a job is that employers are looking for candidates with previous experience, though knowing where to find relevant jobs is also considered to be a challenge by 37 per cent.

“To feel more comfortable, we advise fresh graduates to work on their transferable skills as well as to take as many relevant courses as possibly, mainly on leadership. Adding transferable skills and coursework to their CVs will certainly make an impact with hiring managers.” said Masri.