How Traditional Emirati Career Choices have been Impacted by the Digital Era

By Asma Al Sharif, Show Director – Careers UAE 2019

Digital transformation is now impacting every industry on the planet – and the effect is now being felt among the career choices open to Emiratis and even the way they apply for them.

An increasing number of exhibitors at Careers UAE, the leading recruitment and training fair for UAE nationals which marks its 19th edition at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from March 19-21 this year, have identified openings in advanced technology as the most difficult posts to fill with national talent.

High on the employers’ wish lists are qualified Emiratis seeking careers in cloud computing, engineering, IT as well as statistical and research analytics.

The advent of big data in the overall business strategy spectrum and the move towards artificial intelligence and machine learning is calling for Emiratis who are at the sharp end of digital transformation, as evidenced among our exhibitor openings.

Yet with the UAE bent on developing a knowledge-based society and being in the vanguard of 4th industrial revolution adoption, digital prowess is key to achieving these goals. This doesn’t mean that the fair can’t fulfill exhibitor and visitor aspirations – just the opposite. The reason being, many of the exhibitors are actually ready and more than able to invest in programmes to develop these talents – all they seek is commitment to see the training and development programmes through.

Exhibiting at the fair allows companies to show-off their trainee programmes and what career progression could follow. This is coupled, hopefully, with examples of how qualified personnel will then make a difference not only to their own lives, but to the nation’s progression – something at the heart of all Emiratis. The Emirati visitors in turn can demonstrate their own commitment to seeking and seizing opportunities for training for the digital transformation era and commitment to seeing any prospective employer’s investment through and making good on it. These are vital conversations needing to take place and Careers UAE is the forum to spark them off.

Yet it’s not simply career choices which are being impacted by digital transformation, it’s also the very way in which Emiratis seek employment in the future. A whole new industry, that of HR Automation, is emerging where applications will be sought online, posts applied for, even interviews taking place remotely.

A recent conversation with ZenHR Solutions, the show’s own recruitment solutions partner, is a case in point. ZenHR will be at the show to demonstrate its own HR Automation Software Solutions capabilities, encourage Emirati career seekers to apply for the thousands of UAE job vacancies posted on its Akhtaboot portal, and to recruit top talent for its own hiring needs. The company admits that specialised talent is hard to find. One of the main challenges in the HR Automation Software Solutions industry is the lack of cloud computing expertise and the competition for the top talent in the industry – and that’s valuable information for any young Emirati to consider when deciding what career path to base their further education on.

Similar insights and industry knowledge are vital as its guides young Emiratis to make informed and future-proof decisions. They must learn to tell the difference between the jobs that exist today, and those that will stand the test of time until tomorrow and offer significant progression opportunities. A byproduct of imparting that information, and assessing the responses, is the potential resource pool of informed, future-conscious national talent that employers will have access to and can rely upon to be committed to knowledge-building, sharing and implementation.

This is one of the key outcomes of Careers UAE – it’s not just a hiring fair. It is a forum for education, for Emirati development aligned to national priorities. It tracks the present and the future. In digital transformation the fair highlights challenges, it’s true, but it also shines a brilliant spotlight on a world of opportunity opening up to Emiratis who are ready and committed to playing a role in a fiercely competitive era where technology has the leading edge.

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