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Basic IT skills could soon extend to more than a passing knowledge of AI and automation. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Upcoming jobs in the Gulf will require more than a passing awareness about spreadsheets. In fact, heavy tech skills could decide whether one candidate makes it and another doesn’t.

Two-thirds of UAE-based respondents in a survey by believe factors such as digital transformation, automation and AI are most likely to change the nature of work. “As the younger generation advances in the workforce, the survey stats make it clear that computer skill, creative thinking and communication will become even more prominent,” said Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at

Organisations will ‘increasingly use technology to create extraordinary workplace experiences and do things previously impossible’. Around 69 per cent of the survey respondents believe demand for data analysts as most likely to increase over the next 10 years, along with demand for doctors (69 per cent), business operations managers (68 per cent) and software engineers (66 per cent).

When it comes to getting transferred to another job or department when demand for a current job role declines, 42 per cent believe that it should neither be easy nor difficult. “Employers in the region could grow and broaden employee’s skills, not just through formal learning but by exposing them to a myriad of new jobs and roles inside the company to increase their engagement levels while stymying job hopping,” said the survey.

Skill requirements

UAE companies favor employees with both interpersonal and technical skills. Results show that while soft skills such as time management, teamwork and communication are considered important today, over half the respondents believe that both technical and soft skills will be equally important 10 years from now. On the other hand, nearly two in five respondents believe technical skills will become more important.

Organisations are focusing on strategically recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce. According to respondents, technology skills, time management and creative thinking will be more important in the next 10 years. From a hiring perspective, previous job experience and CV presentation and cover letter are considered as the most important factors today. Interestingly, job experience continues to be the top factor that will be needed much more than it is needed right now. This is followed by the CV presentation of the candidate and degree specialization.

The survey was collected online from May 18 to June 6. Results are based on a sample of 1,625 respondents from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon and others.

Future of jobs
Around 58 per cent of respondents in the poll believe that online job boards and career websites will be the most reliable job seeking sources in the future. As far as social and professional networks are concerned, that number comes down to 55 per cent.
“Employers in the MENA are leveraging technology to help drive growth, better anticipate uncertainty and create a workplace that top talent is eager to join,” said Zafar Shah, Research Director, Data Services at YouGov. “Employers are able to step up hiring practices and be transparent with employees about how they are reimagining the future of work and making progress toward that vision.”