Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 3 December 2020

Emirates Airline is most attractive employer for millennial business students

A survey of 21,860 students and recent grads sheds light on workplace preferences

An Airbus A380, the largest passenger jet in the world, in Dubai. The airline topped a list of attractive employers in a recent survey of Gen Y and Gen Z. EPA
An Airbus A380, the largest passenger jet in the world, in Dubai. The airline topped a list of attractive employers in a recent survey of Gen Y and Gen Z. EPA

Emirates Airline tops the list of most attractive employers for millennial business students in the UAE, while Google takes the top spot for those studying IT, both for the second year in a row, according to a new survey.

The Swedish research company Universum Global surveyed 21,860 students and recent graduates from 80 universities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon as part of its Global Talent Survey to understand the career ambitions of Generation Y and Generation Z – the rising workforce born between 1984 and 2010.

Work-life balance is the most important career objective for students in the UAE, while those in the other surveyed countries prefer an employer that encourages them to be entreprenuerial, creative and innovative.

“What does this mean for companies?” said Claudia Tattanelli, chairman of the strategic board for Universum. “To become attractive, employers should offer empowerment opportunities, possibilities for interns and new joiners to express their ideas and contribute to the final result as well as reverse mentoring initiatives.”

For the third year in a row, Google was the second-most attractive employer for business students in the UAE, followed by Apple, Etihad Airways and Dubai Airports, edging out Dubai-based Emaar Properties, the emirate’s biggest listed real estate company, which dropped two spots to sixth place.


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For engineering and IT students surveyed, Google was followed this year by Emaar, Microsoft, Apple and Emirates.

Women studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the UAE most want to work for Emaar, while Emirati STEM students overall want to work for local companies Dubai Electric and Water Authority, Masdar and Emirates Airlines.

Saudi business students prefer a local employer and tech firms: Saudi Aramco and SAUDIA are both in the top five along with Google, Apple and Microsoft. Saudi Aramco is still the top most attractive employer for Saudi STEM students, both male and female, followed by Google, Microsoft, Apple and Emaar.

An airline tops the ranking in Egypt, with EgyptAir, the second most attractive employer for business students and sixthh for STEM students. Apple and Google, the National Bank of Egypt and HSBC are all in the top five for business students: banks are among the most popular employers. Egyptian STEM students are attracted by international companies - Google, Microsoft and Apple are the top three - followed by Orascom Constuction and Arab Contractors.

In Lebanon, Google and Apple are the most attractive employers, in the top three for both business and STEM students, Universum said. The other companies at the top of the rankings are Bank Audi, BLOM Bank and MBC for business students, Dar Al Handasah for STEM students.

Gen Z, compared to millennials in the region, value more innovation and respectful environments when looking for an employer, according to the survey. Millennials, on the other hand, said they are attracted by a dynamic work environment where performance is recognised.

Both Millennials and Gen Z said they use Instagram to interact with employers, more than LinkedIn and Facebook.

Updated: October 27, 2018 03:08 PM

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