The UAE has been ranked second globally for the business skills of its workforce in areas like entrepreneurship, leadership, management, strategy, operations and communication, by the Global Skills Report for 2021.
The annual report developed by online course provider Coursera places UAE at the top among Middle East countries and 35th globally in terms of overall skills.
“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,” Anthony Tattersall, Coursera vice president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, said.
Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford University Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller. The company provides online courses through partnerships with more than 200 universities and industry players.
The company had 82 million registered learners as of March 31, when it raised $519 million through an initial public offering of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. It is currently valued at about $5.9 billion.
In the UAE, Coursera provides services to the Abu Dhabi School of Government, where it has enrolled 43,000 employees in 187,230 courses and it has developed a data science academy with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Government Support.
The study highlighted the country’s talent pools for technology and data science which ranked 72 and 71 globally respectively. This indicated a significant opportunity for UAE professionals to upskill these areas especially during the pandemic, the country experienced increased cyberattacks.
The UAE government’s prioritization of digital transformation as a driver of national development and economic advancement means there is “a significant opportunity to upskill” in these fields, Coursera said.
The learners in the country demonstrated strong capabilities in data analysis (82 percent), an area that is playing a key role in business, covering streamlining processes, recognizing market trends or enhancing employee productivity.
“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,” Mr. Tattersall said.
The number of women enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses in the UAE is growing. Participation in STEM courses among women grew to 41 percent in 2019-20, up from 33 percent in 2018-19.