The survey has over 1000 students and graduates respondents from over 10 universities in the GCC, providing valuable insights into their preferred employers, expected salaries, international career ambitions and the benefits they seek from an employer.
ADNOC captures the top spot of most preferred employer in the UAE, followed by Emaar and Etisalat. Respondents in Saudi Arabia rank Saudi Aramco as the most popular employer, ahead of SABIC and Samba.
The results also show a strong performance of Microsoft and Google throughout the GCC region and particularly in Bahrain, where they lead the rankings.
The survey also found growth and development opportunities are the most important criteria in choosing an employer with 52% of respondents indicating they find this an important factor, ahead of an attractive salary (37%) and a strong reputation (11%).
Bahraini students and graduates have the strongest international ambitions: 87% intends to work abroad either permanently or temporarily. Respondents in the UAE and Saudi Arabia also indicate a strong international outlook (75%).
Key findings of the survey include:
- Local blue chip companies dominate the rankings of most preferred employers: ADNOC captures top spot in UAE, followed by Emaar and Etisalat.
Saudi Aramco leads the rankings in Saudi Arabia, ahead of SABIC and Samba. Microsoft and Google are the strongest foreign performers in the overall results, even leading the rankings in Bahrain.
- Students value the growth and development opportunities as the most important attribute in choosing an employer (52% of respondents), ahead of an attractive salary (37%) and a strong reputation (11%).
- International career exposure is an important career preference: 75% of graduates in the UAE and Saudi Arabia intend to work abroad, either temporarily or permanently. Bahraini’s have the strongest intent to work internationally (87%).
- UAE students and graduates have the highest entry salary expectations in the region ($3990), more than 50% higher than expected salaries in Saudi Arabia and around 150% higher than Bahrain.
- Friends, family and acquaintances are the most important source of information when researching an employer (58% of respondents). Employer presence on campus (20%) and career videos (7%) are the least common sources of information.
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