Muslim World

Business management degrees ‘boost career prospects in Saudia’

MBAJEDDAH: Career advisory experts see a positive trend in hiring practices in Saudi Arabia within the next 3 and 12 months.

A graduate/post graduate degree in business management is the most sought-after academic qualification, head hunters revealed in a recent survey.

According to the latest Middle East Job Index Survey conducted by, the number one job site in the Middle East, and leading research and consulting group, YouGov, around 2 out of 5 employers in Saudi Arabia will definitely be hiring in the next 3 months.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed in Saudi Arabia believe that their country of residence is more attractive as a job market in comparison to other MENA countries.

Moreover, 52 percent of working respondents in Saudi Arabia rate their industry as being more attractive as a potential employer in comparison to other industries.

Seventy-two percent of KSA employers will be hiring in the next 3 months, with 41 percent definitely hiring and 31 percent probably hiring.

According to them, only 4 percent of Saudi companies are definitely not hiring. Moreover, in a year’s time, 44 percent of current employers in the Kingdom state that their companies will definitely be hiring, and 34 percent will probably be hiring.

Fifty-nine percent of those looking to hire candidates in Saudi Arabia will be opening up to 10 new positions to potential employees in the next 3 months. The majority of these jobs will be for junior executives (46 percent) and executives (41 percent). Only a minority are seeking top-level candidates.

When looking at specific roles in Saudi Arabia, according to working respondents, the most popular candidate positions will be for human resource professionals (26 percent) and accountants (23 percent), followed by sales managers (18 percent), customer service representatives (17 percent), and mechanical engineers (16 percent).

Forty-five percent of working respondents in Saudi Arabia said that their company is generally seeking candidates with managerial experience, while 37 percent of them said they are looking for candidates with administrative skills. Moreover, 35 percent are ideally looking for candidates with mid-level (35 percent) and sales and marketing (32 percent) experience, and computer skills (26 percent).

A graduate/post graduate degree in business management (39 percent) is the most sought-after academic qualification when looking for candidates in Saudi Arabia. This is followed by a degree in engineering (28 percent) and Administrative Qualifications (25 percent).

Eighty-three percent of working respondents in Saudi Arabia mentioned their company values candidates with good communications skills in Arabic and English. Overall personality and demeanor (50 percent) and trustworthiness (46 percent) are also highly esteemed.

When asked which industry is attracting top talent in Saudi Arabia, 42 percent of respondents replied the banking and finance industry, followed by construction (37 percent) and telecommunications (32 percent).

“Our goal at is to arm job seekers with the tools needed to thrive in today’s increasingly competitive job market,” said Suhail Al-Masri, vice president of sales,

“The Middle East Job Index Survey is a biannual study conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring in the region, as well as identify the key skill sets and qualifications in the current job market,” said the vice president.

“The survey shows that there is a positive trend in hiring practices in Saudi Arabia within the next 3 and 12 months,” said Suhail Al-Masri.

Results show that employment opportunities will mostly be geared toward the younger generation who are looking for entry-level positions.

For them to increase their eligibility, young job seekers need to focus on fine-tuning their communication and leadership skills.

Entry-level candidates can also tap into different tools on that are designed to improve their skills and increase their professional knowledge. Specialties is a platform where anyone can ask and answer questions related to their field and professional specialties, and get ranked based on their interactions. Tests is also a great way for younger candidates to test and display their knowledge.

Elissavet Vraka, research manager, YouGov, said: “With 72 percent of working respondents in Saudi Arabia stating that their company is planning to hire within the next 3 months, it is refreshing to see that hiring schemes in the country are on an upward trajectory. And while a majority of these employers will be looking for junior executives and executives, now is the time for fresh graduates and job seekers with little or no experience to hone their skills and apply for the thousands of job vacancies that are advertised daily on leading job sites across the region.”

Almost nine out of 10 respondents in Saudi Arabia work in the private sector, with 26 percent of them working for a multinational company.

Four percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia are unemployed.

The most popular industries among respondents in Saudi Arabia are construction (17 percent), other private sector (6 percent) and banking and finance (5 percent).

A quarter of current employees in Saudi Arabia are junior managers or team leaders, while 24 percent are directors or senior managers and 17 percent are in middle management.

Data for the Middle East Job Index Survey was collected online between May 28 and July 14, 2015, with a total of 807 online interviews conducted with respondents from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Pakistan.

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