90% of UAE Youth Positive about Future Career Prospects

Dubai: According to a recent survey conducted by Canon Middle East, a leader in imaging solutions, and the International Computer Driving License (ICDL)- GCC Foundation, 90% of UAE youth are positive about their future career prospects.

The results are based on a survey conducted between July and August 2012 with 450 respondents aged between 16 and 23 years. The research was carried out during the ICDL summer camps held at universities and educational centres across the UAE under the auspices of the ICDL-GCC Foundation with support from Canon Middle East.

The summer camps aimed to enhance the youth’s IT skills especially with the view of supporting their future career development in an increasingly knowledge-based society. In addition to the UAE, the summer camps were also held in Oman, Qatar and Kuwait. This is the third consecutive year that Canon Middle East has extended its region-wide support for the summer camps.

Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East said: “Canon’s support of the ICDL Summer Camps is in line with the company’s corporate philosophy of kyosei’ which emphasises living and working together for the common good. The initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to inspire people’s creativity and innovation, and it highlights our belief that developing the skills and competencies of the youth is critical to future development.

“We conducted this survey in collaboration with the ICDL-GCC Foundation, in order to find out more about the career aspirations of the UAE youth and to better understand which digital skills they deem important for their future career development and everyday life.” According to the survey, 47% of the participants were very positive about their future prospects, whereas 43% were positive. In terms of choice of career, science/technology/engineering/mathematics was the most popular category amongst the surveyed students with 13.8% planning to pursue the field in the future.

The second most popular career choice was arts/audio-video technology ‘&’ communications with 9.8% of the student population showing a preference for this field. Health Science was the third most popular career choice with 9.1% of the students aiming to pursue the field in the future. Manufacturing and transportation/distribution/logistics appeared to be the least favourite career choices with only 2.8% and 2.3% of the youth voting for these categories, respectively.

The survey also examined students’ perceptions about valuable ICT skills for work and everyday life. According to the survey, the most valuable ICT skill in order to enter work life was using the computer and managing files and folders (21.9%), followed by using the internet and communication techniques (email, chatting, video conferencing) (12.7%) and word processing/formatting texts (10.99%). Interestingly, the least useful ICT skill, according to the students, was protecting their computer against viruses and online threats (4.8%).

When the students were asked which ICT skills they use the most in their everyday life, by far the most popular choice was that of using the internet and communication techniques (email, chatting, video conferencing) which captured 17.9% of the students’ responses. This was followed by using the computer and managing files and folders (12.4%) and creating presentations (11%). The least popular ICT skills for everyday life were deemed to be protecting computers against viruses and online threats (5.7%) and connecting and installing devices to a computer (5.7%).

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL GCC Foundation, said: “We are thankful to Canon for their support to the ICDL summer campaign for the third consecutive year. We are proud to have educated thousands of youth across the GCC over the 11 years of running the Summer Camps and it is clear that digital knowledge has spread in the region successfully. Additionally, we would like to call on all corporate citizens to support the GCC community with funding or in kind support to engage our youth in becoming better learners.

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