These degrees could lead you to the highest paying jobs in UAE

Degrees in engineering and business-related programs are among the best for graduates looking to secure well-paid jobs, experts have said.

Qualifications in IT and related fields, artificial intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology are also likely to lead to high-paying jobs.

Choosing a place to study is influenced by average salaries after graduation, and some senior academics in the UAE have identified subject-by-subject salary trends.

“When we look at the graduate employment range of salaries, those with technical backgrounds, like engineering programmes, have a higher salary range than say business programs or any other programme,” said Dr Kavita Shukla, vice president for student affairs at Amity University Dubai , the local branch of an Indian institution.

People very rarely have difficulty in finding employment as a result of having done a business degree

Dr James Trotter, Murdoch University Dubai

“In the business programmes, master’s programmes, like MBA, those going into operational roles, like logistics or project management or operations, are slightly lower paid than the ones in sales or marketing.

“The insurance industry is a very big sector here and they do hire a lot of management graduates. That’s where the higher salaries are paid.”

Business is “by far the most popular” subject in UAE universities, said Dr James Trotter, dean of Murdoch University Dubai, the UAE branch of an Australian university.

“People very rarely have difficulty in finding employment as a result of having done a business degree,” Dr Trotter said.

“The UAE is such a vibrant and growing economy and constantly growing population. There’s almost an ever-increasing need for highly skilled employees.”

There is an array of fields that people with business degrees can go into in the UAE, according to Prof Ammar Kaka, provost of Heriot-Watt University Dubai, which is headquartered in Scotland.

“There’s a lot of job opportunities which require those skills from students who have business degrees,” he said. “A large proportion get jobs within the first six months of graduation.”

Increased use of technology

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for graduates with technical backgrounds, Dr Shukla said.

IT and related fields, aerospace engineering and nanotechnology are popular. All fields, including retail, are seeing the increased use of technology, which creates opportunities for those with the right skills.

“Then we have medical diagnostics, where robots are going to replace a lot of the work that humans are doing. Large warehouses are going to be run by robots, so there’s a renewed emphasis on technology,” Dr Shukla said.

“India is one of the biggest sources of IT professionals across the world. In our India campuses also, technical and Btech (engineering) programs are most popular, which has been reflected here in the UAE because it is a mega-trend. It is a trend which is in line with industry demand now.

“So if you look at the job generation in the coming years, almost 130 million jobs will become redundant, they will be replaced by another 130m jobs of a different profile, which are more related to technology and behavioral sciences.”

It is a trend that institutions such as Heriot-Watt University Dubai see themselves as being well placed to capitalise on.

Graduates secure jobs quickly

Dr Kaka said his institution’s focus is on engineering, business, science, computing, design and psychology.

There are “quite specific” subjects including renewable energy, artificial intelligence and robotics, while data analytics and computer programming are other popular courses.

“The programs we offer in these areas are quite technical,” he said. “We can say students get jobs very, very quickly after they graduate because there’s very, very big demand.”

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