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19 April 2024

Revealed: Top 5 college degrees that will make you most employable in the UAE

By Shuchita Kapur

A 103 job applications sent out to companies, registration with all the top 20 recruitment firms in the country, countless cover letters, attending numerous job fairs… End result? Zero job offers.

Since graduating from a college three years ago, Mash Arya (name changed) finally got a job offer some six months back but goes to work disillusioned each day. He’d thought his American degree would get him the job of his dreams. Undoubtedly, a US degree will always have an edge, but Arya forgot the discipline he was pursuing in college was not high on the priority list of companies looking to hire.

The past few years, the timeframe tagged as the worst five years since the Great Depression, saw jobs vanish in thin air.

In the midst of a terrible, hopeless job market, new or recent college graduates saw no jobs at hand and those that were following light majors suffered the most.

It’s always good to pursue education in a field you are passionate about, but it may not necessarily translate into bright job prospects.

If you are pragmatic, realistic and have your eyes set on the job market, here is a list of degrees and disciplines that will make you most employable in the UAE, according to leading recruitment companies in the country. [Read – the best paying jobs in the UAE

Business/ Finance Degrees

Money makes the world go round, or so goes the saying. And these degrees will definitely give you material returns in the real world.

There are many courses on offer in this subject area to cover each and every aspect of business and management. Courses range from Accounting and Finance, Human Resource or Supply Chain Management to Consumer Psychology, Managerial Leadership and Intercultural Business Communication. Reputed institutes also offer an MSc in Luxury Management and Marketing.

In addition, of course, there are the numerous MBAs, MScs and MAs to choose from.

“Finance degrees along with professional accountancy qualifications such as CPA, CA, ACCA and CIA in Audit are much sought-after,” says Hasnain Qazi, Middle East Business Manager at career advisors Huxley Associates.

Career paths with such degrees on the CV are definitely bright, say headhunters in the UAE. [Read Know Your Worth: Finance and Accounting salaries in UAE]


Good economists are the philosophers of the financial world, only that they earn sacks-full of money for preaching.

Those who take economics as their area of specialisation are not only one of the best paid, but also ones who never stick their neck out in turbulent times.

In fact, a top economist in a bank in the UAE can earn over $1 million a year and not as much in terms of accountability as, say, the CEO or the CFO. So, if you are looking for a job that offers the moolah without saddling you with back-breaking responsibility, you know which degree to opt for.


Having been an extension of business studies for a long time, marketing has evolved into a strong individual discipline.

Majors in marketing can lead not only to careers in marketing, but other sectors such as retail, fashion, manufacturing, financial and public services, leisure and tourism, consumer goods, and even music and electronics. [Read Know your worth: How much do UAE’s sales and marketing executives earn]


We all know the UAE is faced with a huge demand for medical professionals; so once you are out of a medical college, you can be sure you’ll well be worth your money spent and the hard work you put in.

If you have the two letters – ‘D’ and ‘r’ before your name, rest assured, you’ll never be out of demand or out of job but will definitely be a priority bank account holder.

Being a recession-proof industry, medicine is one degree that will keep you on top in the UAE. [Read Know your worth: what are the salaries of doctors in the UAE?]


Studying law takes a lot of hard work but there are plenty of career options for law graduates who don’t necessarily want to have their day in court. Besides going straight into jobs in the legal profession, law graduates can also consider commercial/industrial sector, business and finance, social/welfare and even marketing. Many lawyers make their way to the corporate world, earning plum salaries.

And, in some cases they also shoot up to the CEO level. A Head General Counsel (GC) for the MENA Region will make on average $330,000 plus 30 per cent bonus. The real upside for this position is the ability of the GC to leapfrog the organisation structure and take the CEO’s position by storm.

Earning an employable degree is the first and foremost step to succeed (monetarily) in the real world but is not the only ticket to a swelling bank account.

“Most candidates who are successful during job interviews are ones who can demonstrate intelligence, passion and a willingness to grow and learn. So, qualification does not always dictate who is the most employable person, but it does help,” says Krishna Patel, Managing Consultant at Quest Search and Selection.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)