Posted on April 23, 2018

The most recent “Top Industries in the Middle East and North Africa” survey was just released by Bayt.com, the number one job site in the Middle East, and YouGov, a pioneer in online market research, revealing that one in every two (48%) Qatar professionals are considering an industry change in the next few months. This is in spite of the fact that only one in four (26%) respondents report having changed industries during the last two years.

The desire to find a new job, switch current career or industry altogether is also translating to heavier online activities. Bayt.com reported that over 60,000 job applications are submitted on the job site every day and over 15,000 new professionals join the Bayt.com platform on a daily basis.

Amongst those considering an industry change in Qatar, the most appealing industries include hospitality/ recreation/ entertainment (9%), followed by government/ civil service (7%), banking/ finance/ accounting (6%), and engineering/ design (6%). When asked about their reasons for considering an industry change, the top answers were ‘better salary’ (57%), ‘better career growth’ (53%), and ‘better benefits’ (29%). For those who have already changed industries, the most common reasons for having done so were a ‘better salary in the new industry’ (41%), ‘better career growth opportunities in the new industry’ (31%), and to ‘better work culture in the new industry’ (24%).

Assessment of Current or Most Recent Industry

According to the survey, the most common industries Qatar respondents are currently working in or worked in most recently are real estate/ construction/ property development (15%), engineering/ design (14%), healthcare/ medical services (7%), and hospitality/recreation/ entertainment (7%). Of those seeking employment in the MENA region as a whole, the most popular industries are banking/finance/accounting (11%), education/academia (7%), and engineering/ design (7%). When it came to satisfaction with the current or most recent industries for Qatar respondents, more than two thirds (68%) said they are satisfied with the working hours, followed by work culture (62%), work-life balance (57%), and training and development (53%).

Most Attractive Industries

When asked about their perception of job attributes in various industries, survey respondents claim that the best salary packages in Qatar are found in certain industries including government/ civil services (21%), banking/ finance/ accounting (15%), and engineering/ design (14%).

According to respondents, government/ civil service (29%), education/ academia (16%), and real estate/ construction/ property development (13%) are among the industries with the best work-life balance, while banking/ finance/ accounting (20%) and engineering/design (20%) remain high on the list for having the best career growth opportunities. Further, among industries perceived to have the most optimum job security are government/ civil service (36%), military/ defense/ police (29%), and healthcare/ medical services (18%). For survey respondents, the industries believed to have experienced the strongest growth in the past year include real estate/ construction/ property development (24%), banking/ finance/ accounting (16%), and healthcare/ medical sector (16%).

“Here in the MENA, we are seeing a collective push towards the diversification of the regional economy and the establishment of a knowledge-based economy in which a highly talented workforce is spread relatively evenly across industries,” said Suhail Masri, VP of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com. “Increasingly, the most attractive industries are defined by factors that include, but extend beyond salary, such as work-life balance, opportunities for career growth, and job security. Today, job seekers are looking for employment in industries that tick every box on their job hunt checklist; and at Bayt.com, we aim to use this information to help employers and job seekers connect more effectively. We have already witnessed a spike in job postings during the first of 2018 by more than 50%. The region’s professionals are also very active on our jobsite, with over 15,000 daily registrations, 60,000 daily applications and CV updates. The market is very dynamic and continues to bring new and more diverse career opportunities that we always make available on Bayt.com.”

In terms of the talent being attracted by various industries, those that are most attractive to women in Qatar include healthcare/medical services (31%), education/academia (27%), and banking/ finance/ accounting (26%). Meanwhile, industries attracting the most local talent include government/civil service (23%), military/defense/police (18%), as well as  banking/finance/accounting, healthcare/ medical sector, and education/ academia (all 17%).  As for those hiring the largest proportion of fresh graduates in Qatar, healthcare/ medical services (20%), banking/finance/accounting (19%), and military/ defense/ police (18%).

Across Qatar, a majority (75%) of respondents agree that the government is an employer of choice, with over half (57%) claiming that the government is an “extremely favorable” employer. The survey found that government/civil service emerged among the top five industries in terms of optimum job security (36%), best work-life balance (29%) and best career growth (19%).

Most Challenging Industries

In Qatar, respondents perceive the most stressful industries to be real estate/ construction/ property development (27%), followed by banking/ finance/ accounting (17%), and engineering/ design (15%). Among industries perceived to have the longest working hours, real estate/ construction/ property development (23%), hospitality/ recreation/ entertainment (17%), and engineering/ design (16%).

“We can see from this survey that industries are becoming increasingly competitive amongst each other in terms of securing top talent in the MENA,” said Nehal Jibouri, Head of Custom Research, YouGov MENA. “The difference in percentage points between the most and least appealing industries is generally small across the board, indicating that the regional workforce is quite diverse and multifaceted. We are delighted to see this trend emerge as the region evolves to become a global hub for talent and innovation, but this also calls for each individual employer to become more attentive to their branding, workplace, and methods of securing top talent.”

Data for the Bayt.com “Top Industries in the Middle East and North Africa” survey was conducted between 14 February 2018 and 29 March 2018 with 3,561 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

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