Dubai / WAM
According to Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021, the UAE ranks first in the Mena region and second globally in overall business skills, only after Luxemburg.
This year’s study draws on performance data since the pandemic’s onset from more than 77 million learners on the platform to benchmark skills proficiency across business, technology, and data science for over 100 countries.
Communication, entrepreneurship, leadership and management, and strategy and operations are areas where UAE learners have placed within the top 97 percentile or higher in business skills. These proficiencies are fundamental to accurately interpret and respond to the opportunities and challenges that determine an organisation’s success.
While UAE’s overall business skills proficiency ranks near the top of the list globally, technology and data science skills represent areas for continued growth. With the UAE government’s prioritisation of digital transformation as a driver of national development and economic advancement, the Global Skills Report highlights a significant opportunity for UAE professionals to upskill in these fields the country’s talent pools for technology and data science skills ranked just 72 and 71 respectively.
“In recent years, the UAE government has implemented numerous initiatives, aimed at promoting a skills-based economy. These are having a positive impact on the economy as evidenced by the UAE’s business leadership position in our rankings,” said Anthony Tattersall, Coursera Vice President of EMEA, “When it comes to technology and data science skills, access to a variety of job-relevant credentials, including a path to entry-level digital jobs, will be key to help reskill at scale, not just in the UAE but worldwide”.
It was, however, promising to see an increase in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) course enrollments – which account for many foundational digital skills – by women in the UAE. The share of STEM enrollments from women in the UAE rose from 33 percent in 2018-19 to 41 percent in 2019-20.
Another notable outlier in the overall technology skills performance of the country was its competitiveness in Security Engineering, where the UAE ranked in the 77 percentile. With the country witnessing a 250 percent increase in cyberattacks through the pandemic, there has been a strong emphasis on attracting and developing cybersecurity skills within the UAE, which helps explain this high ranking.