Abu Dhabi: School leavers in the emirate of Abu Dhabi should pursue careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in order to align with labour market needs, the Abu Dhabi Department of Knowledge (Adek) has urged.

In a statement sent to Gulf News this week, the education sector regulator stressed that these fields of study are in focus as the emirate works to meet the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030.

“New academic programmes will [therefore] be announced at the 30 institutions of undergraduate and graduate education at the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, including space, energy, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and medicine,” the Adek statement said.

The emirate currently boasts 30 institutions of further education, including 11 federal institutions, 10 Abu Dhabi Government-funded institutions and nine private ones. Between them, the institutions offer a total of 300 different academic programmes.

While a variety of academic courses are available, including many in the fields of business, management and arts, education officials are stressing the need for more graduates who have studied Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

“There is also a big push towards Artificial Intelligence education as AI will form the basis of much of our infrastructure in the future,” the Adek statement said.

This year, in addition to introducing new academic programmes geared towards the emirate’s labour market needs, the Adek is also working to attract qualified international faculty and institutes in a bid to enhance the standards of further education.

As reported by Gulf News in January, a comprehensive study by the Ministry of Education found that engineering students were most successful at finding employment opportunities in the UAE in 2018. The survey, which polled 13,000 students, also found a high demand for business, medicine and information technology graduates.