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The past 24 months have altered nearly every aspect of our world, including the vision of the future workplace in the post-Covid world. Now more than ever young people are seeking high quality courses that will set them on the path to career success.

The education landscape has changed for good. Moving learning online was the first and most important short-term necessity during the height of Covid-19. While students have now headed back to the classrooms, mixing on-demand digital delivery with face-to-face lectures is the trend that most universities have embraced in order to become more flexible.

New students will also need to be up on the newest technology and understand how to use communication and collaboration platforms to be ready to enter the workforce. Employers say they want future recruits who can self-manage; so universities must deliver degree programmes that encourage this.

Indeed, a report by McKinsey showed many companies are already planning to shift to flexible workspaces after positive experiences with remote work during the pandemic, a move that will reduce the overall space they need and bring fewer workers into offices each day. Its survey of executives in August 2020 found that on average they planned to reduce office space by 30 per cent.

Change at work

Covid-19 has accelerated a massive social and economic transformation that future graduates need to be ready for. This includes advances in automation and artificial intelligence and unprecedented access to data and computation.

The shift in approach can be seen in the course content and programmes that top UAE universities are promoting.

“The use of robots, nano technology and other forms of computer-controlled production has changed the nature of work for many workers. It has also created a wide range of new opportunities for businesses,” says Prof. Dr Paulson Mathew Chunkapura, President and CEO, London American City College (LACC), UAE. “The Information Technology revolution is also enabling rapid communication and making it possible for many workers to do their job from home or while travelling. So, technology-based careers will be in great demand in the UAE in the coming years. We are providing intensive and extensive training to our students for IT-based career growth and development as most of the jobs will require a very sound knowledge of IT.”

In addition to BBA and MBA in International Business, Quality and Operations Management, Supply chain and Logistics Management, Project Management, Accounting, Marketing and Human Resource Management – LACC is also offering BBA and MBA in Information Technology and MBA in IT Management and Travel and Tourism for the January intake.

Careers in hospitality

The tourism and the hospitality sector in particular took a huge hit during the pandemic and the industry has had to react fast to reposition itself. In the UAE, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) is preparing the way for new recruits by facilitating university level learning, scholarship, and applied research in the fields of tourism and hospitality management. It is offering a range of programmes that will make students stand out in the customer-centric business world.

“At The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, students will join a community of like-minded people who share their vision for transforming the marketplace. They will find themselves empowered to think boldly and act creatively, developing solutions for tomorrow’s complex business challenges,” says its Dean, Dr Frederic Bouchon. “Whether the goal is to be employable or build a business, a degree from The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management will put students ahead of their peers in today’s competitive global workforce.”

Another prestigious university, RIT Dubai offers a range of industry-oriented courses in the fields of Engineering, Computing, Business, Data Analytics, Engineering Management, Leadership and Innovation and many more.

For the January intake, the university will be offering two Master of Science in Professional Studies programmes — Smart Cities and Future Foresight and Planning.

There is certainly a new, enticing flavour to the courses on offer for January’s eager student intake.

In 2022, Murdoch University will be launching a Web Communication major under its Bachelor of Communication programme.

“Web Communication combines an exciting mix of web design, digital marketing, and public relations. Students will learn all about conveying information and ideas using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, powerful search engines such as Google, and well-designed and written websites and blogs to deliver creatively planned strategic outcomes for organisations,” says Dr James Trotter, Dean and Academic President, Murdoch University Dubai.

The school also offers a Master of Science in Information Technology (Information Management) which will help IT professionals evolve into leaders in their fields.

Meanwhile, the futuristic security world is booming, with schools like Canadian University of Dubai offering a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security programme to help students develop careers in the network security industry.

To prepare students for the future world of work, Middlesex University Dubai is offering a range of UK foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Business, Marketing, IT, Data Science, Education and more.

Advantages of January intake

“The major benefit of starting one of our globally-recognised degrees in January 2022 is that you do not have to wait another year to start your studies, which is beneficial for those who didn’t get the results they were expecting or didn’t want to rush into making a decision in September 2021,” says Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro-Vice Chancellor of

Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai. “Students can start their first Foundation or Undergraduate year in January 2022 and progress to their second year of study in September 2022 alongside their peers. After all, there’s no time like the present to take that next step into your dream future,”

With so many career-ready courses on offer at higher education institutions in the UAE, it seems a brave new world lies ahead for the next batch of undergraduates. ■

Tips for parents

“A strong advice for parents is to first help your child explore their passion. Then support them to turn that passion into a career. Encourage them to choose a stream that connects well with their passion,” says Tarun Jain, Founder and Managing Director, World Academy of Design. “When they pursue their passion as a career, you will never need to push them to work hard. Your child will work like a solar clock — self-driven, self-guided and successful. We usually try to bring our children into our business or make them do what we could not achieve in life. Every student has his strength and weakness and exploring the strength is the biggest fight. If done right, success is guaranteed.”