DUBAI – Twenty-three-year-old Marwa Abdullah, a UAE national, is ready to take up any job that comes her way. She has been working with the Dubai Metro for the last 10 months and is desperate for a shift in career due to the odd working hours with the Metro.
Marwa is only one among the several young Emirati women who are walking into Careers UAE 2012 looking for a fresh start and newer opportunities.
Emirati youth, both men and women are heading out to the three-day career fair in the hopes of a job offer. The candidates are walking in with high expectations, but at the same time are sceptical about the offers that come their way.
Most of them are hoping for a career in the government sector considering easier work timings and ‘more holidays’. Abdullah went on to add: “I am a girl, it’s not appropriate for me to work in shifts. My family does not approve of it”
In view of these issues, Universities are inviting applications for vacancies for both teaching and non-teaching faculty. Professor Ashly H Pinnington, Dean, Faculty of Business at the British University in Dubai opined that there is limited aspiration among nationals to embark on a career in teaching. “There are a lot of opportunities for students in the education sector. The obvious qualification for a career in education is an MEd (Masters in Education). But from what I have noticed, most Emirati’s choose to do a degree in business since they prefer a government job over one in the private sector,” added Pinnington.
The British University in Dubai offers two courses in case the student wants a career in teaching. One is a one-two year long MEd, and the other being a four year long Educational doctorate. Even though the courses are extremely popular in the University, there are very few Emiratis who take up these courses. Pinnington said that the reason why a career in education is less attractive maybe because the rewards are less immediate, attractive.
Amna Al Mazam, the Dean of Health Sciences and Student Development Department said: “In the last few years, interest towards a teaching profession has increased. The number has been very small but we have several vacancies, both for teaching and non-teaching staff, open at the moment”.
Also, a senior HR Manager from the United Arab Emirates University said that with recent funding from the government, several positions have been opened for Emirati students. The positions include those of a library director and several coordinator positions.
For a job seeker like Abdullah who has been sending her CV out to all government firms, she says that there has been no response from any of the companies. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and has completed several internship projects with the RTA, Dubai Summer Surprises as well as the Dubai Customs. “See, I am young and I am willing to experiment at the moment. I don’t want to settle into anything. But at the same time, I need a job that offers me flexible work timings. I am willing to look into something in the education sector, as well.”
Amal Juma, a 21-year-old graduate said, “I want a government job. It’s much easier and work timings are more flexible. But no, I am not interested in a career in teaching”.