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Top hiring sectors in the MENA region

The MENA region's top hiring sectors are advertising/marketing, healthcare, military/defense, and banking/finance.

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Advertising, marketing, and public relations are the most appealing sectors for fresh graduates in MENA.
Graduates value computer, interpersonal, and communication skills for workplace success.
The main job search challenges for graduates are knowing how to approach the job search and finding relevant jobs.

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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region sees advertising/marketing/public relations (25%), healthcare/medical services (14%), military/defence/police (13%), and banking/finance (13%) as the top hiring sectors, according to new research released on Wednesday. 

The 2024 Fresh Graduates in the MENA Survey, conducted by Bayt.com and YouGov, reveals that advertising/marketing/public relations (22%) is the most appealing industry for fresh graduates. This is followed by the IT/internet/e-commerce sector (19%) and business consultancy (17%). 

The survey aimed to identify the most attractive industries for fresh graduates and highlight the challenges they face during job searches. 

Thriving industries and education satisfaction 

This year, many industries in the MENA region are booming with career opportunities for fresh graduates. Interestingly, more than four in five respondents (82%) are satisfied with the quality of higher education they received, with 35% being ‘very’ satisfied. 

Respondents believe certain industries hire more fresh graduates due to lower salary expectations (42%) and the ability of young graduates to handle more challenges (37%). 

Ola Haddad, General Manager at Bayt.com, said: “Our latest Fresh Graduates Survey reveals how young job seekers view the job market and identify the most attractive industries. Bayt.com offers various tools to help fresh graduates build their CVs, improve their skills, and expand their professional expertise.” 

Key workplace skills 

Respondents identified computer skills (53%) as the most important to excel in the workplace, followed by interpersonal/team skills and communication skills (both at 39%). They rated themselves highly in interpersonal/team playing skills (89%), communication skills (86%), and flexibility/adaptability to change (85%). 

Job search challenges and preferences 

The survey found that most MENA graduates (43%) struggle with knowing how to effectively approach their job search, and the same percentage find it challenging to locate relevant jobs. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of graduates had work experience during or before college. 

When selecting a job, the nature of the job or passion for it (46%) is the most important factor for MENA respondents. Almost three-quarters (74%) of fresh graduates expect a basic salary for their first job, and 45% expect personal medical insurance. 

If they cannot find a job in their desired role or industry, more than half (54%) of MENA fresh graduates would keep looking, while 28% would consider another role or industry. 

Zafar Shah, Account Director at YouGov, said: “The survey provides valuable insights into aligning recruitment efforts with the aspirations of recent graduates in the MENA region. The findings show an increasing openness among employers to hire fresh graduates, reflecting a significant change in the skills demanded in our digital age.” 

The data for this survey was collected online from respondents in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. 

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