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UAE students believe earning a Professional Certificate can help them get a job after graduation: Coursera study

With advances in digitalization, data, and artificial intelligence expected to create up to 97 million new jobs while displacing 85 million existing roles, the need for large-scale skills development has never been greater. In this context, Coursera, a global online learning platform, led a student and employer-focused survey that explored the motivations, needs, and challenges of students pursuing a degree and employers seeking to hire them.

In partnership with universities and colleges across the globe, Courseras Advancing Higher Education with Industry Micro-Credential Survey Report explores the demands for entry-level Professional Certificates and career-related skills training deployed in degree programs to improve student recruitment and graduate employability. Coursera surveyed nearly 5,000 students and employers across 11 countries, including the UAE, in collaboration with two market research firms, Dynata and Repdata.

With the UAE focused on changing its perception as an oil-driven economy by heavily investing in technology and start-ups in the coming decade, job prospects in the country are only expected to boom. As a result, the majority of students in the country are looking for fast-tracked pathways to well-paying jobs.

New Coursera data indicates that 97% of students in the UAE agree that earning a Professional Certificate from companies like Google and Meta would help them stand out to employers and get a job when graduating, while 88% affirm that a Professional Certificate will help them succeed at their job.

In fact, according to Coursera, 4 out of its top 10 most popular online courses in 2022 were Professional Certificates by Google, as 83% of UAE learners believe that in the next five years, skills certifications from tech giants will be just as valued by certain employers as traditional degrees.

When it comes to the hiring trend in the country, about 70% of the UAE companies plan to hire new employees this year. However, while organizations prioritize expanding their workforce, there is an increased expectation for entry-level talent joining companies to be already equipped with job-relevant skills and hands-on experience. In alignment with this, the Coursera study further reveals that 77% of employers agree that a Professional Certificate would strengthen a candidate's job application.

Hadi Moussa, Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Coursera, said: Despite the global economic downturn, the UAEs job market continues to thrive on the back of the countrys aggressive growth and diversification plans. However, as sectors such as technology and startups flourish at a rapid pace, employers are seeking talent ready with in-demand digital skills, further necessitating universities to incorporate more skills-based training and job-relevant content into their curriculum to prepare students for jobs of the future. Academic institutions need to collaborate with governments and industries to align with the demands of the job market and unlock career opportunities for current and future talent in the region.

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