(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
ABU DHABI, 9th January, 2019 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Education has unveiled the results of its "Majors in Demand" study for 2018, which complements its efforts to provide academic support and counselling for students preparing to pursue their higher education in the UAE.
The study canvassed a balanced sample of more than 13,000 students graduating from government and private higher education institutions in 2017, covering over 80 percent of institutes across the seven emirates.
Publication of the survey coincides with the registration period for universities in the UAE, which serves to raise awareness among soon-to-be university students about the requirements of the labour market and the available opportunities for graduates of each discipline. This, in turn, increases their chances of finding suitable employment in the future, steering them towards developing the right set of skills they would require.
The study was based on a clear methodology that sought to reflect an accurate and realistic image of which specialisations and majors graduates chose to pursue while highlighting employment prospects and speed of employment associated with each discipline. The survey focused on a set of specialisations, such as engineering, business administration, arts and humanities, education, information technology, environmental and health sciences, medical sciences, law, science, and agriculture, in addition to majors associated with each of them.
Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, said, "The UAE's wise leadership places a high priority on investing in human capital, building capacities, and nurturing scientific talent. This stems from the firm belief that any investment in human capital is an investment for the future. Furthermore, equipping our talent with scientific knowledge and advanced skills, which are now a major global competitive advantage, is our best leap for moving past simply receiving knowledge to creating it ourselves, which supports plans and efforts to build the post-oil knowledge economy and accomplish the objectives of the UAE Centennial Plan."
"The study is an ideal forecasting tool for students to outline their academic careers while studying at public and private higher education institutions around the UAE," Al Falasi explained. "We will be discussing the results of our study with the Higher Education and Private Sector Council, as well as various academic institutions, in order to broaden our constant collaboration and coordination, identify the labour market requirements, and develop specialisations and programmes accordingly to help students secure suitable employment opportunities in the future."
Engineering specialisations came out on top in terms of employment opportunities, followed by business administration, medical sciences, and information technology, as measured by the number of those who secured employment compared to the number of overall graduates. In terms of majors within engineering, civil engineering led the way as the most in-demand, followed by mechanical engineering, then petroleum engineering. Furthermore, emerging specialisations with high demand in the labour market were highlighted as well, most notable of which (in terms of employment) were mechatronics and industrial engineering.
As for business majors, marketing ranked first in terms of employment opportunities, followed by finance, accounting and quality management, while retail and tourism came in last. In medical majors, which were third in the ranking, the demand was high for medicine and surgery and low for general dentistry. Within information technology, which came in fourth place in terms of employment opportunities, information security led the way, followed by networking and information systems. In fifth place were education majors, with high demand for early childhood and special education.
The study underlined the importance of opting for specialised technical majors rather than general ones, with the former becoming much more in-demand. Accounting and finance, for example, were more in-demand than general business administration, and the same applies to education majors, where early childhood and special education performed better than general education and teaching.
On the same note, the study revealed an increased demand for specialised law majors, such as commercial law and international law.
Dr Mohammad Al Mualla, Under-Secretary for Higher Education Academic Affairs at the Ministry of Education, said, "The study offers insight into the conditions of graduating students once they have completed their education and are on the cusp of joining the workforce in the UAE or abroad. It presents a practical instrument for assessing the compatibility of the disciplines they have chosen to specialise in with the situation in the labour market, particularly with the rapid technological advancements, which have pushed the education sector to innovate in the way it forecasts the future of economic sectors, and steer academic majors towards the jobs and skills of the future."
WAM/Esraa Ismail/MOHD AAMIR