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70% of MENA graduates grim on college job prospects

Around 70 percent of college graduates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) believe the college they attended did not provide them with enough suitable job opportunities, according to the results of a survey released on Sunday.

The “Where are the Middle East’s Fresh Graduates Heading?” research survey, conducted by Bayt.com in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj, found that 21 percent of respondents to the survey said their educational background has completely prepared them to target their industry of choice.

A further 22 percent said their education prepared them “to a large extent”, 33 percent said “only to some extent”, nine percent said “hardly” and six percent said “not at all”.

While 70 percent of graduates surveyed were disappointed with the opportunities their college provided them with, 87 percent said they were optimistic about their chances of securing a job.

Despite the downturn and global recession, the report found that four out of ten respondents said they managed to find a job within three months of graduating.

The most popular sectors targeted by graduates for employment were Banking/Finance (twenty percent), IT (twenty percent) and engineering (sixteen percent), while the least favoured were human resources (ten percent), electronics (ten percent) and airlines (nine percent).

This was reflected in hiring levels, with 27 percent of graduates ending up in the banking and finance sector, eighteen percent in IT and fifteen percent in education.

Graduates were also asked what skills were required to succeed in the work place. Linguistic skills were ranked highest by 40 percent, followed by computer skills (26 percent) and leadership (24 percent).

Respondents obviously believe their education has better prepared them to obtain these skills to succeed in the working environment as 67 percent said they were optimistic that they had more career and education opportunities than their parent’s generation.

The survey was conducted online between July 25 and August 15 2010 among 5,996 respondents from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan.

Students and fresh graduates aged over eighteen years old were included in the survey.


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