Abu Dhabi, UAE: Emirati students continue to randomly choose their majors at universities rather than focusing on the requirements of the UAE labour market, experts told Gulf News at the Mubadala Youth forum held yesterday in the capital.
“Although over 700,000 job opportunities are created annually, more than 30,000 Emiratis are still unemployed. The reason behind such a dilemma is that students make wrong decisions about their education path,” Dr Abdullah Amer Al Bishr, head of strategy, planning and policy at Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC), said at the forum.
“There should be a layout of the most in-demand jobs in the next five years. The layout should be made clear to all higher education institutions and universities in the country in order to achieve its objectives and satisfy the needs of the labour market,” he added.
The forum, which is held under the theme “Our Future, Your Ambition”, focused on providing Emirati students with an understanding of the current job market and highlighted the increasing need for graduates in all sectors and industries within the country.
Panellists from Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Masdar and Tabreed advised participants that qualities are as significant as qualifications in career progression.
“Qualities are as important as qualifications in career progression. Diligence, teamwork, positive attitude, patience and passion are among the top qualities needed and sought by recruiters for career development,” Dr Ahmad Bel Houl, CEO of Masdar Institute in the capital, said.
The forum saw the attendance of Emirati role models in various fields, including health care and renewables, as well as students and fresh graduates, who came with an appetite for learning new experiences and expanding their skills.
Alya Al Hazamy, an 18-year-old Emirati student at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), was one of the winners recognised at the forum for her inspirational and positive impact on the community.
Alya, who majored in international studies, told Gulf News: “It was easy for me to choose my major at the university. I have always wanted to be a politician and defend women’s rights. I wrote a novel and published many articles on how to adjust to change and life transitions nowadays. When I graduate, I want to be part of the UN, particularly working on women’s rights.”
When asked if she chose her major based on work opportunities, she answered: “I would rather be jobless than doing something that I don’t love. You should have passion for what you do.”
The one-day event featured a series of workshops designed to provide practical tools that will help students navigate today’s job market and its requirements, from interview skills to learning about productivity and team work, equipping young people with communications and interpersonal skills to prepare them for the professional phase of their lives.
© Gulf News