How is UAE equipping its citizens in terms of tech skills and career opportunities?

The technology and business landscape in the UAE is changing. As a result, the need for technical jobs is changing. According to Korn Ferry, a consulting business based in the United States, the demand for qualified labor outnumbers the supply. If this is not solved, the UAE might lose US$14.46 billion this year and $50.55 billion a decade from now. Fortunately, despite the consequences of the pandemic in 2020, demand for significant IT roles in the UAE region is still on the rise. As markets gradually return to normalcy, a dynamic shift in the digital capabilities preferred by businesses may be seen around the world. In the United Arab Emirates, this pattern is paralleled.

The continual rise of companies in the UAE has seen significant growth over the last decade. Dubai is referred to as the Middle East’s Silicon Valley. There have been numerous measures to improve the AI sector in the UAE since Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the creation of the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in October 2017. The UAE’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 intends to establish the UAE as a global leader in artificial intelligence by 2031, as well as to develop an integrated system that uses artificial intelligence in key areas. Artificial intelligence jobs will grow in industries such as transportation, health, space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, the environment, and traffic. More personnel will undoubtedly be hired under this strategic plan to ensure that the process is completed.

The following are the top emerging jobs in the UAE, according to LinkedIn’s Emerging Jobs Report 2019:

  • Data Scientist
  • Full Stack Engineer
  • Android Developer
  • Digital Marketing Specialist 
  • Tax Specialist 
  • Analytics Specialist
  • Customer Success Specialist
  • Cyber Security Specialist 
  • Content Specialist
  • Learning Support Assistant 
  • Commerce Manager
  • Chief Marketing Officer

According to the research, IT and digital-related jobs account for 11 of the top 15 most wanted jobs in 2020. During the pandemic’s forced lockdown this year, a 62% decline in hiring was seen between March and May, compared to April’s figures last year. When the lockdown was removed in late June and July, the hiring rate began to steadily rise again. In comparison to the previous year’s data, the software and IT sector had a 44% increase in job posts from May to July 2020.

Statistical analysis and data mining, algorithm design, web architecture, and development framework, middleware, and integration software, and user interface design were among the top tech skills according to LinkedIn data from 2016.

According to the Coursera 2020 Global Skills Index (GSI), the UAE is on track to develop business and technology skills. However, it lags behind in terms of data science expertise. With 17% skill competency, it ranks fourth in the Middle East and Africa and 50th overall. This indicates that data scientists in the region have a scarcity of capabilities. Although around 90% of organizations in the UAE are in the process of implementing their digital transformation initiatives, according to a Microsoft-commissioned research report titled “Future of Work Skills,” there is still a gap in the depth of digital experience and skills required to support these ambitious journeys.

Meanwhile, to address the UAE’s talent and skilling gap, firms such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Huawei have developed unique focused programmes that will considerably close the gap, particularly among graduates entering the workforce. The Huawei Authorized Information and Network Academy programme, for example, has partnered with Ajman University (AU) to provide training and certification programmes to the university’s students (HAINA). By upskilling local people, the step intends to further improve Ajman’s and the UAE’s ICT capacity and competence. RackNap, a cloud service delivery platform, teamed with a number of IT industry and educational institutions to train students in IT coding concepts (coding for kids ), software engineering, security, and other topics, preparing them for the workforce.

Though artificial intelligence and data science are given precedence, this does not mean that other technological industries are overlooked. E.g. According to a survey published by IDC in 2018, the increased use of cloud services and the Microsoft ecosystem in the UAE will create more than 55,000 employment between 2017 and 2022, according to the market research firm. Business leaders have also stated a desire to improve soft skills such as leadership, networking, and team player attributes in order to lead their organizations into the digital age.

For its 2020 Salary Guide, global recruiting firm Robert Half interviewed over 75 CFOs and received 200 answers from hiring managers in the UAE. According to the research gathered, technological knowledge (63%), communication skills (52%), and technical know-how are the top three employable abilities that hiring managers will be searching for in the digital future in the UAE (51%).

The abilities required for the future workforce include problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills such as empathy and collaboration. Artificial intelligence, robots, automation, and sophisticated manufacturing, as well as virtual reality, augmented reality, big data, alternative energy, and waste management will influence future skills.

The UAE has already taken significant steps to prepare its youth for future difficulties and to accomplish the primary goals of its Vision 2021 and Centennial 2071. There are 5 main drivers that define the future of jobs and skills in the world, according to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Future Skills 2030 Report.

Among them are technological advancements that will open up new horizons for previously unattainable opportunities, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing, as well as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), big data, and data analysis. Furthermore, as the world moves toward sustainability, new professions in alternative energy and waste management are emerging. Read more about the UAE’s next step in developing their digital economy.

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